Sources close to Jim Harbaugh believe it’s a ‘done deal’ if he gets NFL offer

By Bruce Feldman, Nicole Auerbach, Austin Meek, Nick Kosmider

Multiple sources close to Jim Harbaugh said athletic On Monday they expect him to leave Michigan for the NFL if the franchise offers him a coaching job.

  • Harbaugh went 74-25 in eight seasons with Michigan. He led the Wolverines to back-to-back Big Ten titles and made it to the college football his playoffs.
  • Coach’s buyout this year is just $3 million, and it’s dwindling with each new deal. Lump-sum payment is due within 60 days after retirement. According to his contract, Harbaugh said he could be fired for good reason if he entered the job search without telling the athletic director.
  • A source close to Harbaugh said, “If he gets the offer, I think the deal is closed.”

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Harbaugh, who last year led Michigan to its first Big Ten title in 17 years, pursued a return to the NFL.

On signing day 2022, Harbaugh met with the Minnesota Vikings, but ended up not getting a job offer. He then told reporters: And this is the last. Go chase college football’s best prizes! ”

This year, Harbaugh led his alma mater to an even more impressive season, going undefeated in the regular season and dominating nemesis Ohio State once again. This time it happened in Columbus, where the Wolverines won his 45-23.

Over the past two seasons, Harbaugh has continued to evolve as head coach and has shown a dramatic shift in his program. UM was upset last weekend when he was a big favorite to play in the College Football Playoff Semifinals game against TCU. Now that NFL teams are once again considering his 58-year-old Harbaugh strongly, his next move will be noteworthy. Perhaps a return to the Denver Broncos or his old team, the Indianapolis Colts, could be very appealing. — Feldman

Harbour Achievements

Harbaugh is 44-19-1 as an NFL coach.

He took over the 49ers in 2011 after the 49ers missed an eight-year winning season and led them to the NFC title game in their debut season. In his second season, he took them to the Super Bowl, losing to his brother John’s Baltimore Ravens on his team. In his third year, Harbaugh’s 49ers are back in his NFC title game. His team went 8-8 in his fourth and final season before returning to college to take over Michigan State. — Feldman

Why The Broncos Make Sense

After hiring three first-time head coaches in a row who didn’t have a winning record in any of their six seasons, Denver’s new owner group sees previous head coaching experience. It’s almost certainly a prerequisite. Harbaugh’s success with the 49ers—a record of 44-19-1 and his record of three straight NFC Championship appearances in his game—is for a franchise that hasn’t reached the playoffs since 2015. Certainly charming.

There is also the Stanford Connection. Broncos CEO Greg Penner and his wife and partner, Carrie Walton Penner, both attended graduate school. Limited shareholder Condoleezza Rice, a member of Denver’s search committee, also has deep ties to Stanford, where Harbaugh coached from 2007-2010.

Penner also said in a media address last month following the dismissal of Nathaniel Hackett that he wants the team’s next head coach to have CEO-like qualities. It’s a box that Harbaugh, who spent the season, checked.

“I’ve worked with a lot of great CEOs, and it starts with really strong leadership,” Penner said on Dec. 27. Of course, the X and O are important, but this winning-focused organization needs a strong leader. It starts with culture. It instills a sense of accountability and discipline. Attacks require identity. As a starting point, it should be about culture and leadership. These characteristics are the ones we value most. ”— Cosmidor

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(Photo: Kirby Lee/USA Today)

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