When signs were pointing to Jim Harbaugh landing the Chargers’ head coaching position, his son Jay was floated as a logical candidate to join him as special teams coordinator. The latter is indeed making the jump to the NFL, but not in Los Angeles.
Harbaugh is set to join the Seahawks as their special teams coordinator, Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated reports. He has been with Michigan under Jim Harbaugh since 2015, and much of his tenure with the Wolverines has included time as special teams coordinator. Jay has held that title since 2017, while also serving as a position coach (running backs, tight ends and safeties) at various points along the way.
Once it became clear Jim Harbaugh and the Chargers were talking terms on a contract and candidates to fill out his staff, Jay was reported as a top option for the role of ST coordinator in L.A. The Chargers have indeed matched expectations by hiring Greg Roman in a top offensive role, but today’s news confirms that the younger Harbaugh will not be joining him. Instead, incumbent ST coordinator Ryan Ficken will be retained, as KPRC2’s Aaron Wilson recently reported would likely be the case.
Jay Harbaugh, 34, and new Seahawks head coach Mike Macdonald worked together at Michigan when the latter spent the 2021 season as the Wolverines’ defensive coordinator. Macdonald excelled in the DC post with the Ravens for two years, and his success in that role has now helped him become the youngest head coach in the NFL. Macdonald will have a familiar face in at least one coordinator spot on his initial staff.
Seattle’s third phase units had been guided by Larry Izzo for the past three seasons, after he had spent the previous three years as an assistant on special teams. The Seahawks allowed their staffers to seek out new opportunities once it was announced Pete Carroll would return, however. Seattle ranked eighth in special teams DVOA in 2023, and Harbaugh will look to at least match that level of success as the Seahawks aim to return to the postseason. This will mark his first full-time NFL gig as Macdonald’s staff begins to take shape.