The Michigan Wolverines almost lost Jim Harbaugh to the NFL, and despite what he says, they probably will in the near future.
People lie. Just listen to Michigan Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh.
After almost being hired to run the Minnesota Vikings before the job was eventually given to Los Angeles Rams offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell, Harbaugh was ready to make the job back into the NFL. Then, when it didn’t work out, Harbaugh retreated back to Michigan where he’s coming off his most successful season yet, winning the Big Ten championship before losing to the Georgia Bulldogs in the National Semifinals.
On Thursday, Harbaugh spoke with Mitch Albom of the Detroit Free Press about his latest flirtation with the NFL, and said this will be the last time he ever does so.
“There was a tugging at me that I was once that close to a Super Bowl and I didn’t get it. Some NFL jobs came open. I was contacted by the (Minnesota) Vikings.
“For better or for worse, it was something I wanted to explore. I went in thinking, ‘I’m gonna have 100 percent conviction on this, and if they (Minnesota) have 100 percent conviction on this, then it’s something I’m gonna do.”
From 2011-14, Harbaugh coached the San Francisco 49ers after running Stanford for the previous four seasons. The former NFL quarterback proceeded to reach the Super Bowl while making the playoffs in three of his four years on the west coast, registering a record of 44-19-1.
While winning a national championship for his alma mater would certainly be a thrill, Harbaugh might be more drawn to winning a Super Bowl, as he alludes to above. Getting so close with the 49ers, despite being without a top quarterback, has to be tantalizing. If an NFL team comes calling that already has either a great quarterback or the chance to land one via the draft, that could sway the 58-year-old.
In the meantime, Harbaugh gets to return to Ann Arbor where he’s a hero after beating the Ohio State Buckeyes for the first time in his tenure. Entering 2022, Harbaugh has another strong team, even with losses to the pro ranks including edge rusher Aiden Hutchinson.
For now, Harbaugh is staying in the college ranks and saying he’s happy to do so. We’ll see how long that lasts.