Jim Harbaugh is returning to Michigan football in 2022 and beyond
Well, it seems the circus is finally over, and Jim Harbaugh will be staying at Michigan. The Michigan football coach had been linked to numerous NFL head coaching gigs over the past month, including Las Vegas, Chicago, Miami, and the lastest being the Minnesota Vikings.
Harbaugh had been rumored willing to accept the Raiders job if offered; he wasn’t. Was that rumor true? We’ll likely never know since there has been so much uncertainty surrounding coach Harbaugh and his future over the past couple of weeks.
He’d also been rumored to be heading to Miami a couple of weeks after Dolphins owner Stephen Ross, who is a massive donor to the university, said he wouldn’t be the one to take Harbaugh away from Michigan. This rumor was led by FanSided‘s Mark Carman and followed by others, so I believe there had been something there. Usually, where there is smoke, there is fire.
If Harbaugh told Ross that he wanted to return to the NFL regardless, perhaps Ross had a change of heart and would welcome Harbaugh with open arms, knowing that the Vikings had been set to conduct a second interview with the current Michigan football head coach.
In the meantime, former Dolphins head coach Brian Flores brought to light everything wrong with the NFL hiring process along with the bombshell bribery allegations suggesting that Dolphins owner Ross was willing to pay Flores $100,000 for every loss in 2019 in hopes of securing a better draft pick. Ross faces potential prosecution for violation of the Sports Bribery Act, according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk.
It’s not confirmed, but these allegations may have played a significant role in Harbaugh steering clear of Miami if there were even talks between the two behind closed doors.
This past Saturday, Harbaugh had an interview with the Vikings remotely and later flew to Minnesota on Wednesday for an in-person second interview.
Per sources, Jim Harbaugh is returning as Michigan football’s head coach in 2022 and beyond.
Cue an ecstatic Suzyn Waldman describing the scene in New York to Yankee fans that Roger Clemens was standing in George Steinbrenner’s box (suite), and Roger Clemens was ‘coming back.’ For Michigan football fans, Wednesday night was their ‘ Roger Clemens’ moment when reading ESPN insider Adam Schefter‘s Twitter.
There is no telling what transpired in Minnesota, but after a nine-hour interview, Harbaugh left town without a deal. Schefter is reporting that following the in-person interview, Harbaugh has told Michigan that he will be returning for the 2022 season. Harbaugh has also told Warde Manuel that this will not be a re-occurring issue, and he will be staying at Michigan for as long as the school wants him.
Shortly after Schefter broke this news, Dan Graziano of ESPN mentioned that the Vikings have narrowed their head coaching search down and have informed other candidates such as Raheem Morris and Patrick Graham that Rams offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell is their guy, but a deal cannot be finalized until the conclusion of the Super Bowl.
All of this chaos fell on National Signing Day. Although the day is not nearly as significant as years past understanding, we now have ‘early’ signing day; if Harbaugh had been offered and accepted the Vikings job, it would have left Michigan scrambling to fill its head coaching vacancy in February.
With Harbaugh returning, it should immensely help the program’s recruiting and calm any student pondering their future if coach Harbaugh elected not to return as Michigan football’s head coach in 2022.
Harbaugh has been coaching his alma mater over the past seven seasons. If Harbaugh decided to leave Michigan football after finally slaying the dragon Ohio State and winning his first Big Ten Title, punching a ticket in the College Football Playoff with the program finally pointed in the right direction, the blow would have felt impossible to overcome.
With Harbaugh back and claiming he’s here for good, Michigan has plenty of stability to build on. The program would be wise to allow its athletes to take full advantage of the NIL agree with the NCAA and open the transfer portal to more than just grad transfers if they hope to compete with the likes of Alabama, Georgia, and Ohio State on a yearly basis.