Why Jim Harbaugh and Michigan are the Perfect Match


Imagine the roar of the Michigan fans when Jim Harbaugh leads his team out of the tunnel and onto the Big House field for the first time.

Harbaugh, once a Big Ten Player Of the Year while quarterbacking for legendary Michigan coach Bo Schembechler in 1986, is considering a 6-year, $48 million contract to be the next coach of the Wolverines. Several sources released those figures today.

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Money is apparently not an issue, since Harbaugh might be the only coach who could receive the undivided support of the entire Michigan family.

And that includes former coach Lloyd Carr, who had a self-admitted feud with Harbaugh back in 2007. Harbaugh complained the athletes were shoved into easy majors, and had nothing to show for themselves when they graduated.  At the time, Carr let him have it.


He called Harbaugh’s comments “elitist” and “arrogant.”

“Do I think they’re elitist? Yeah,” Carr said, during an interview at the Big Ten Conference Kickoff. “Arrogant? Yes. Self-serving? Yes.”

But that feud has disappeared, especially since Harbaugh is such a favorite.

“Everyone has an opinion, and I am no different,” Carr said recently. “If I had a choice, I would choose Jim Harbaugh. But it will be (athletic director) Jim Hackett’s decision, and that is as it should be.”

Michigan has money

Back to the $48 million. The money is no object. The University of Michigan has one of the largest endowments ($8 billion-plus), has one of the largest athletic department incomes and can boast the largest college-owned stadium in the nation.

So what’s the rush. Harbaugh said earlier today (Dec. 12)  he’d finish the season.

"“As you know, I only talk about the job that I have,” Harbaugh  replied, calmly, to reporters at their Santa Clara, Calif. facility. “We’ve been together a long time, it’s a longstanding policy. Yeah, I’ve said we’re going to finish this to the end,” he said. “My focus is the same as the players’ focus, the same as the coaches’ focus. Focus on the practice field, the focus on the meetings by our players and our coaches and by me.”"

San Francisco’s season ends Dec. 28 vs. Arizona (4:25 ET).

Back in 2013, ESPN posted this YouTube video of Harbaugh joining the network’s “Pick Six” segment with Lindsay Czarniak. When asked for something his viewers don’t know about him, Harbaugh said: “I lived in 12 places growing up.”


Czarniak: “Twelve places. And your favorite?”

Harbaugh: “Favorite was Ann Arbor, Michigan.”

Czarniak: “Okay. Why?”

Harbaugh: “It was the place I lived the longest. I loved Michigan football growing up. My dad was a defensive backs coach under Bo Schembechler at the University of Michigan. And I ended up playing college football at the University of Michigan for Bo Schembechler. And those were my best years growing up.”

OSU and MSU?

How can you argue with that.

Harbaugh must be upset at how bad Michigan has performed against both Ohio State and Michigan State of late. When he was a Michigan quarterback, Harbaugh took two-out-of-three from both the Buckeyes and Spartans.

So why is he really a perfect match? Take just one look at his coaching record. He rebuilt the University of San Diego, fixed Stanford and took the  49ers to the Super Bowl.

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