Jim Harbaugh Named Michigan’s Next Head Coach
There was speculation for months that Jim Harbaugh could return to Ann Harbor to coach the Michigan Wolverines, but nothing was ever set in stone. Now it is.
The former San Francisco 49ers head coach was officially introduced as the new head coach of the Wolverines on Tuesday, launching a new era in Michigan football.
Harbaugh oddly flamed out in the Bay Area, despite leading San Francisco to three straight NFC title games (as well as a Super Bowl appearance) in his first three seasons in the NFL. Harbaugh butted heads with the Niners’ front office, however, and was rumored to be on the trading block last summer.
The decline in Harbaugh’s relationship with the organization bled into the 2014 season, which ended with a disappointing 8-8 finish. The Niners failed to make the playoffs for the first time under Harbaugh, and the writing was more than on the wall that his tenure with the storied franchise was over.
From one national treasure to the next he goes, though, as Harbaugh returns to his old stomping grounds. Harbaugh’s father was an assistant with the Wolverines when Harbaugh was younger, and Harbaugh ultimately ended up starting at quarterback at Michigan before playing in the NFL.
Harbaugh comes in as the third coach attempting to resurrect Michigan football ever since the firing of Lloyd Carr back in 2007. Carr was the last Michigan coach to achieve real success with the team, who achieved a perfect 1997 season (12-0) and got the Wolverines to four Rose Bowl games.
Rich Rodriguez and Brady Hoke weren’t nearly as successful, with the 2014 season showcasing now more than ever that the Wolverines needed a big change after the team stumbled through a 5-7 year.
Harbaugh isn’t a lock to swiftly change their fortunes, but the university signed him to a 7-year deal worth $5 million a year to push them in the right direction. Considering Harbaugh has found nothing but success in his stops -at Stanford and San Diego State in addition to the NFL – it’s arguable that he should have a significant impact fairly soon.
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