Michigan Football: Jim Harbaugh somehow lands five-year extension


Michigan Football and Jim Harbaugh have agreed on terms to a five-year contract extension.

Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh is not going anywhere anytime soon after agreeing to a fresh five-year deal to guide the timid Wolverines.  Not very often do you see a coach remain at their place of employment while accepting a new contract worth a mere half of what their previous agreement paid, but that is exactly what happened in Michigan.

Jim Harbaugh has agreed to this new five-year deal that averages $4 million per season. This comes after nearly completing a contract that averaged a whopping $8 million annually, marrying the coach and the program through the 2025 season.

The Wolverines opted to attach themselves to Harbaugh over the next six years, knowing the Michigan football coach has one year remaining on his previous deal.  This new deal is expected to have a very low buy-out for the school, which does signal Michigan may indeed be considering moving in a different direction if Harbaugh cannot right the ship.

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The 57-year old head coach has achieved a career record of 49-22 with the Wolverines, but that is about as empty of a record there can be.  Under Harbaugh, the Wolverines are 0-5 against their rival Ohio State and maintain just a .500 record (3-3) against their in-state rival Michigan State Spartans.

Just when you think it couldn’t get much worse, it does.  The Wolverines under Harbaugh have a history of becoming invisible in big games, obtaining only a 1-8 record when facing a top-10 ranked team, and producing an ugly 1-4 record in bowl games.  It goes without mentioning; the Wolverines have not come close to winning a Big Ten Title or sniffing a National Championship bid.

If you are looking for some more insult to injury, the lone bowl victory came in 2016 against the Florida Gators, a convincing victory to the tune of 41-7.  That win came in Harbaugh’s first year at the helm with Brady Hoke’s players.

Since then, it’s been an uphill battle.  Harbaugh had been considered a quarterback whisperer due to his success with Andrew Luck during his Stanford days and rejuvenating Alex Smith in San Francisco, and later having tremendous success with Colin Kaepernick.

That ‘quarterback whisperer’ narrative has been squashed during his time at Michigan.  Despite getting solid recruits, Harbaugh hasn’t been able to develop his own quarterback recruits.  Harbaugh did make something out of Jake Rudock, and Shea Patterson did show a sliver of hope during the second half of last season; both were added through the transfer portal.

Although Jim’s new deal averages $4 million per season, Harbaugh has bonuses included that allows him to earn up to $8 million per season.  Maybe this will motivate the coach to finally get things turned around after numerous bleak campaigns.  This new deal does beacon the notion ‘if not Harbaugh, then who?’

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It’s apparent that the Michigan football brass still believes in Harbaugh, although many of its fans do not.