Latest on Jim Harbaugh, Michigan

Jim Harbaugh has been in the news recently, as the 49ers have been eliminated from playoff contention and tensions between him and the organization have culminated in a disappointing season. Harbaugh’s alma mater, the University of Michigan, has reportedly offered him a mammoth $48MM contract to be their head coach.

Here are a few notes regarding Harbaugh’s purported next coaching stop:

  • Harbaugh’s family and friends have encouraged him to take the job coaching the University of Michigan, reports Adam Schefter of ESPN. However, Harbaugh still wants to coach in the NFL, even if it is with a team besides the 49ers. He will likely wait for NFL jobs to come open in order to see what is available before getting back to Michigan regarding their opening. Schefter also writes that NFL teams may not be willing to open up the checkbooks as wide as Michigan is, as the Wolverines are starved to return to their winning ways.
  • One job that has not become available yet that Harbaugh might be interested is with the Dolphins, according to Bill Williamson of ESPN. If the Dolphins decide to move on from Joe Philbin, he may be a top candidate as his replacement. The organization pursued him very adamantly the last time he was available, and could be interested again.
  • Despite reports that Harbaugh is set on staying in the NFL, Marcellus Wiley of ESPN reports that he has two sources that confirm Harbaugh will be the next head coach at the University of Michigan (via Twitter). According to Wiley, the announcement will come after the NFL season.
  • Not everyone is sold on Harbaugh leaving for college however, and one adamant doubter is Mike Freeman of Bleacher Report. He writes that the move for Harbaugh to return to college, after the NFL success he has experienced, would be unprecedented. He writes that while it is not impossible, that it would be surprising to see him make that move.
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