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Michigan could be moving closer to making a run at Harbaugh

Harbaugh AP

With the University of Michigan struggling to such a bad start that the program has been forced to give tickets away to anyone who purchased a bottle of Coca-Cola (unless it didn’t), the speculation already has begun regarding the next coach of the Wolverines.

Coincidentally, the speculation has been ongoing regarding the future of 49ers coach (and former Michigan quarterback) Jim Harbaugh for a while.  Mired in a contractual impasse that has been tabled until after the season, any college or program now knows that Harbaugh is in play for a jump to a new job come 2015.  With the 49ers already mired in a disappointing, stressful year, that jump could be more likely.

And while other NFL programs technically must wait to openly pursue Harbaugh until after the NFL season ends, Michigan can get a jump on everyone by dumping Brady Hoke and beginning the discussions with a man who has had great success at every stop of his coaching career.

Could Harbaugh be tempted to leave?  If he’d leave the NFL for any job, it surely would be the Michigan job.  And the Michigan job likely won’t be open every few years.  This could be the only time the planets line up just right, allowing Harbaugh to exit the 49ers after four seasons and return to the college game.

Where he can run the show.  And run the town.  And run to the bank with more money than the 49ers will pay him.

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74 Responses to “Michigan could be moving closer to making a run at Harbaugh”
  1. veerapan88 says: Sep 23, 2014 3:06 PM

    PFT’s photo selections continues to be very impressive. Love it!

  2. jda129 says: Sep 23, 2014 3:06 PM

    He just sharted a little in his khakis right there.

  3. simplesimon1 says: Sep 23, 2014 3:06 PM

    Best Face Ever!!!!!

    Looks like he’s passing a stone while trying to throw a football, yet is still managing to be a spaz.

  4. nfloracle says: Sep 23, 2014 3:08 PM

    With the reports coming out of the San Francisco lockerroom that quite a few players have grown tired of Harbaugh’s personality, this story may well be quite prophetic.

    Indeed, during the coming months, circumstances may be hatching out Michigan’s new coach as we also watch the Niners’ season swirling down the toilet.

  5. sfsugator says: Sep 23, 2014 3:09 PM

    He will go to Ann Arbor and I’m a niner fan.

  6. slugbaitspace says: Sep 23, 2014 3:11 PM

    I would prefer Jim stay with the niners. He was one of the key people who helped make the NFC West a powerhouse division. And the sideline closeup camera shots, although predictable, are still entertaining.

  7. ryann252013 says: Sep 23, 2014 3:11 PM

    That picture LOL

  8. pats3rings says: Sep 23, 2014 3:12 PM

    In my opinion the UM job is a lot better than any NFL job. Harbaugh’s style is better suited for the college game….. He has the NFL pedigree and is a UM alum. Leaving San Fran for the UM head coaching job just makes so much sense.

  9. higheriqthanyou says: Sep 23, 2014 3:12 PM

    That sucking sound is coming from Santa Clara.

  10. sparty0n says: Sep 23, 2014 3:13 PM

    Actually, Harbaugh and can wait and see how things for the 9ers. The job will be open again in another 3-4 years.

  11. explosionsauce says: Sep 23, 2014 3:16 PM

    Keep on trying to create a rift where there is none.

  12. kingokra says: Sep 23, 2014 3:16 PM

    The 49ers lead the league in arrests over the past couple years. How’s that going to work on the recruiting trail? This guy has no team discipline because there are no consequences for off-field misbehavior. Shooting at party guests with illegal weaponry, beating your girlfriend, hitting a teammate over the head with a beer bottle, DUIs, etc. Look at the team’s disarray, lack of control and the growing contempt among it’s fans for the state of the team. If Jimmy comes to town to coach your team, the Ann Arbor DA better get ready for a big jump in his/her workload. Yes, he wins (not the big game), but at what cost?

  13. icanhazblogs says: Sep 23, 2014 3:17 PM

    Well at least we already know what his stance on domestic violence will be. If you are a four star recruit or better, you will still be allowed to play.

  14. pascalswager42 says: Sep 23, 2014 3:19 PM

    As a native of Ohio and (not a delusional homer) OSU fan, it would be nice to get that school from up north to field a competitive program again.

    A rivalry isn’t a rivalry when you own the opponent. See: Browns-Steelers. Sigh.

    Of course, it would also be nice if every solid opponent didn’t own the BI6 and OSU too. Sigh again.

    Go CAVS!!

  15. billybone says: Sep 23, 2014 3:20 PM

    Although I understand the reasoning of him going to Michigan, it’s hard to see Jim leave the NFL and return to the college ranks. If anything, I could see him jump ship to an NFL team who is desperate and willing to give Jim full control along with top 5 money.

    Btw, GREAT pic Florio! You never disappoint.

  16. lionsdraftguy says: Sep 23, 2014 3:22 PM

    Every year its the same thing from Michigan fans. “Wait til’ next year”. And we wait, and they still suck.

    They hired Hoke and all Michigan fans said “Hes’ a Michigan guy, so he will get UofM back to where it was”. And he sucks and so do they.

    Maybe if Michigan worried more about winning than their “recruits” they could get somewhere.

    Loser team, Loser fans.

    GO GREEN!!!!

  17. vicnocal says: Sep 23, 2014 3:22 PM

    He would instantly turn the Wolverines back into a national power. This guy’s gotten it done from Day One at every level he’s coached.

  18. staffordsyear says: Sep 23, 2014 3:26 PM

    As an NFL and a lions fan I can’t stand the guy..but as a Michigan fan I would love this.

  19. xavierd3 says: Sep 23, 2014 3:26 PM

    First off great pic lol….he could have left for Michigan before his job at SF and didn’t for a reason. Jim and his family love living in CA. The only way I see him leaving SF is if the 49ers don’t offer him a new contract and I don’t see that happening, the media loves making a story out of nothing that is for sure….How about Michigan takes Greg Roman???

  20. thestrategyexpert says: Sep 23, 2014 3:27 PM

    Well Michigan needs to do something to turn things around, we are badly in need of a great HC and other coaches/leaders that can take charge and turn this team around. Many millions of dollars have been wasted for many years on people that haven’t done a good job.

  21. steelerben says: Sep 23, 2014 3:29 PM

    It is hard to see him being run out of town two seasons removed from taking the team to the Super Bowl.

  22. jjeagle says: Sep 23, 2014 3:30 PM

    yes!

    no one in the nfl except the 49ers is going to miss him….such an annoying character

  23. tigers182 says: Sep 23, 2014 3:30 PM

    There’s no way power-hungry AD David Brandon will hire power-hungry Jim Harbaugh. Harbaugh would never allow Brandon to embarrass the program by going through the hand shake line or whatever other silly things he would command. Brandon needs a puppet with a wide rear to control him as needed.

  24. higheriqthanyou says: Sep 23, 2014 3:32 PM

    Interesting – will Harbaugh be too prideful to leave the NFL without winning a SB?

    Oh wait, he’s never won anything in his life.

    Never mind.

    All hat and no cattle.

  25. chaney13 says: Sep 23, 2014 3:33 PM

    Michigan, and anyone else, would prove themselves to be a class act every bit as much as the 49ers, if they do pursue this piece of work that continues to play someone who beats a pregnant woman. Aren’t colleges & universities, especially those that are state run, supposed to set a community example?

    Why is this guy not tainted by the Ray McDonald situation? Sure the front office may force him to remain on the roster, but that doesn’t mean he has to play him. Also, Kaepernick seems to be tarnishing that ‘qb guru’ crown the media has so quickly bestowed onto Harby.

  26. craniator says: Sep 23, 2014 3:35 PM

    We want Harbaugh to coach the Miami Dolphins !

  27. goldbloodedindfw says: Sep 23, 2014 3:37 PM

    We shall see but I think it’s a bit early to declare this a disappointing year for the Niners. It’s a disappointing start for sure but we are entering week 4 with the same record we had at that point last year and ended up finishing 12-4. If we have 3 wins at midseason I’ll consider the season a disappointment.

  28. seachicken64 says: Sep 23, 2014 3:37 PM

    So, if you have Urban Meyer at OSU and Harbaugh at Michigan – you are starting to corner the market. Now the conference just needs to add Spurrier, Petrino and Bo Pelini and maybe that pirate guy from the Palouse. Maybe they can even find room for Lame Kitten.

  29. tedmurph says: Sep 23, 2014 3:38 PM

    Bail on one sinking ship to take the helm on another.

  30. In Teddy We Trust says: Sep 23, 2014 3:39 PM

    Minnesota will hasten the demise of Brady Hoke this weekend, with their third victory in Ann Arbor in the last 29 years.

  31. whatnojets says: Sep 23, 2014 3:41 PM

    Where is Michigan? West of Saipan???

  32. mazenblue says: Sep 23, 2014 3:42 PM

    See my name. NO THANK YOU

  33. trollaikman8 says: Sep 23, 2014 3:44 PM

    A.Boldin will help him move.

  34. patfic5 says: Sep 23, 2014 3:48 PM

    Please take Less Miles instead!

  35. robf2010 says: Sep 23, 2014 3:49 PM

    Harbaugh is a carpetbagger. Goes to a place, takes it as far as he can and for as much as he can, and moves on …

  36. ctiggs says: Sep 23, 2014 3:51 PM

    Diehard Niners and Buckeyes, i would HATE jim if he left and he wont so quit beating this dead horse #Nobodyhasitbetter

  37. joey49er says: Sep 23, 2014 3:57 PM

    Hes got 2 yrs left on original contract!
    Here we go again LOL

  38. philliesblow says: Sep 23, 2014 4:02 PM

    Michigan fans brag about how superior Michigan is academically to other schools. It would be really interesting to see Harbaugh come in there after he ripped their academics back in 2007.

  39. kd75 says: Sep 23, 2014 4:04 PM

    Surprised you didn’t throw in a “Master of Your own Domain” Seinfeld reference…

  40. mortalkondek says: Sep 23, 2014 4:05 PM

    Gotta get rid of AD Dave Brandon first. Rumor has it he is on the hot seat too.

  41. smackingfools says: Sep 23, 2014 4:08 PM

    Harbaugh is a fraud. That’s why he’s losing his locker room as we speak. He won’t be around in SF much longer. You can count on it.

  42. RegisHawk says: Sep 23, 2014 4:09 PM

    Still betting on Miami – weather’s better in Florida.

    FYI, don’t think Harbaugh’s lasted anywhere longer than 4 years, for whatever reason. That appears to be when he wears out his welcome and jumps to the next thing.

  43. number1hawkfan says: Sep 23, 2014 4:11 PM

    If Michigan wants to almost win a championship then Harbaugh is their guy. It seems to be good enough for niner fans. They think they’re the best team in football the last 3 years. Nobody has it better!!! Except every other championship team for the last 20 years. What a bunch of loser.

  44. sbchampsagain says: Sep 23, 2014 4:15 PM

    Michigan is targeting the wrong Harbaugh. John is the class of the family.

  45. harrisonhits2 says: Sep 23, 2014 4:21 PM

    Easier to cover up arrests and downplay what the bad behavior was at the college level than the NFL level.

  46. deepizzaguy says: Sep 23, 2014 4:22 PM

    I would not be surprised if Jim Harbaugh leaves the Bay Area to coach the Wolverines next year. I can see the Wolverine fans go crazy their former quarterback is coming home to coach his former team.

  47. goldbloodedindfw says: Sep 23, 2014 4:25 PM

    Hawk fans always saying the Niners are irrelevant yet they fill up the comment boards on every niner article.

    I just have to wonder why these bandwagoners spend so much time talking about a team that’s irrelevant?

  48. clipper522 says: Sep 23, 2014 4:35 PM

    10 years ago, Michigan was an attractive option for a coach or player.

    Now, the University of Maryland has better credibility in the B10 than Michigan.

  49. poweri26 says: Sep 23, 2014 4:41 PM

    Well, I was a huge NFL fan for decades and a big 9er fan but I will say the NFL is becoming unwatchable. The penalties called on Skuta for hitting Stanton and then the roughing call on Patrick Willis for “helmet to hemlet” contact were terrible calls among many terrible calls in the NFL over the weekend. This is the way of the NFL and it’s a major turnoff for me. I stopped watching the NBA because it was not as entertaining and the NFL is going in the same direction. The college game is alot better in terms of excitement and passion from fans and players. If Harbaugh goes to college he’s going to be leaving the NFL game for the college game at the same time many, many fans are making the same decision.

  50. justwinbaby29 says: Sep 23, 2014 4:48 PM

    Harbaugh won’t leave the bay. Hello, Raiders!

  51. thegrigga49 says: Sep 23, 2014 4:52 PM

    Harbaugh is an NFL guy through n through. York will pay and extend him after The 49ers hoist their 6th Lombardi this year.

  52. thelastwordyaheard says: Sep 23, 2014 4:58 PM

    never gonna happen.. he wants to be in the bay area & his massive ego would never allow him to make a move that’d be akin to admitting failure & defeat

  53. NinerTico says: Sep 23, 2014 5:02 PM

    Ah, another season with Florio creating speculation and doubt about Harbaugh. What’s new? Here comes the “HYPE” train to a station near you.

    All aboard!!!!

  54. Elrico says: Sep 23, 2014 5:05 PM

    The problem is that Michigan in its infamous wisdom just signed him to a five or seven year extension. If only it could be true…though I thought Ron English could’ve been a great choice years ago.

  55. JSpicoli says: Sep 23, 2014 5:09 PM

    And Skuta’s hit was text book illegal as per the rule that says you cannot hit someone “Once the slide has been initiated” Quit polishing your own dome acting like the league cares about you andyour team.

    The rules are great until your team eats them and doesn’t have the luck of the irish every game (see 2011 49ers)

  56. poweri26 says: Sep 23, 2014 5:30 PM

    Well Spicoli, Mike Perreira said on the game broadcast the call against Skuta should not have been a penalty. Also, Kaepernick was in a slide with his butt already on the ground earlier in the game and a Cardinal hit him but no call. Stanton still had his feet on the ground standing straight up when Skuta hit him. Even if you want to say the hit on Stanton was “textbook illegal” the problem is that the rule was applied to one team but not the other team. Even if you want to call it “text book illegal” that is still the problem. When a football player is still standing up with both feet on the ground and he has possession of the football but it’s illegal to tackle him the game you are playing ceases to be football. It’s something else and it really isn’t worth watching.

  57. cjtrat says: Sep 23, 2014 5:31 PM

    Even though Michigan extended Hoke for 7 years?

  58. wolverinegreg60 says: Sep 23, 2014 7:41 PM

    First of all, Hoke has not signed an extension, let alone for seven years. I live in Michigan and it would be all over the news. The bottom line is, Michigan could pay Harbaugh more money than the 49ers could. Harbaugh has never been offered the job, and neither has Les Miles. Brandon better atleast try because the Hoke hire is on him. I feel Hoke and Brandon should be gone. Harbaugh has said before Michigan would be his dream job. He grew up in Bo Schembechler’s office and around the program. Played there, and consulted Bo many times when his coaching career started. To dismiss it as a possibility is being hardheaded.

  59. irishlad19 says: Sep 23, 2014 9:18 PM

    Looks like the planets are aligning.
    Harbaugh and 9ers ownership are not aligned, Hoke and UM are not aligned, and Harbaugh would be a very popular hire in MI.
    Question is, does he want to go back to the indignity of having to beg entitled adolescents, “please come play for me”?

  60. joe2jerry says: Sep 23, 2014 9:40 PM

    It’s tim kawakime’s writing that spawned this. Guy is a hack who makes stuff up regularly, never seems to have a source, and all Niner fans that can read avoid

  61. geneuwine says: Sep 24, 2014 9:50 AM

    Still salty from the SF front office refuting your attempted Harbaugh trade to the Browns claim? You were likely correct, but what did you expect them to do?

  62. kosarkid says: Sep 24, 2014 11:16 AM

    If it’s true about the players getting tired of him, then he’s gone. He’s not going to stay where he’s not welcome.

  63. gashmr says: Sep 24, 2014 12:31 PM

    As a Seahawks fan I don’t care for the 49ers coach no matter who it might be.

    But consider the fact that if two plays in this guy’s career go differently he would have a Superbowl ring, and then have taken his team back to the Superbowl the next year. The 49ers are no worse off this year than they were at 1-2 last year.

    This is a good team and he is a good coach. 49ers won’t give him up that easily. Besides who replaces him in Santa Clara? Its got to be somebody who can get them back to the Superbowl and there isn’t many coaches like that available.

  64. lionsandtigersohmy1962 says: Sep 24, 2014 1:20 PM

    The thoughts of Jim Harbaugh coming home to Michigan and rebuilding the team to where it belongs sounds exciting. Then going up against Urban Meyers and his team from Ohio is even more exciting. Can you say Bo Schembechler vs Woody Hayes (II). The rivalry… “The Game” continues (or we can only hope)!!

  65. iloveagoodnap says: Sep 24, 2014 4:08 PM

    Remember when the 49ers were 0-2 last year because they lost in Seattle and to the Colts and everyone wrote them off? People said there was tension in the locker room and they were a train wreck. Then, 12-4 and one throw away from a presumable super bowl victory.

    This year they lose to the Bears and the Cardinals, two likely playoff teams, and the same speculation mounts.

    I’m not even a 49ers fan. But what I am is sick of seeing the media paint tension and friction and a downward slope when there’s nothing there. If you don’t truly believe the 49ers will be in the playoffs you’re out to lunch. Power ranking them only one spot ahead of Buffalo and Houston. Please.

  66. InFact says: Sep 24, 2014 11:01 PM

    Someone please make a comment that reveals how U of M can pay him more than the $6 million the 49ers will pay him with a new contract?

    Thanks.

  67. campcouch says: Sep 25, 2014 7:28 AM

    Few posts about the guy jumping ship. Not a fan of Harbaugh, but the guy used his jobs to get better ones. Improved the programs as he went and got better offers later, like most successful folks do.

  68. superjroch says: Sep 25, 2014 11:25 AM

    Would love to see this guy out of the league!

  69. bobshaferbobbywould says: Sep 25, 2014 3:06 PM

    As an Ohio State fan, I would hate to see Harbaugh go to Michigan!

  70. jasncondit says: Sep 26, 2014 5:19 PM

    1st of all who is to say that Brandon is keeping his job as AD? Hoke and Brandon may be out together. But a friend of mine made a good point. There has NEVER been a coach that went to a Superbowl and went back to the college game. So Jim would be the first!

  71. ninerfan94954 says: Sep 28, 2014 12:29 AM

    I have a bad feeling about this team…don’t know why.I feel he is going to walk at the end of the year and Michigan is going to park a Brink’s truck in his driveway. He can go back there and be an absolute Monarch with total control of every thing football. Build it into a powerhouse and come back to the NFL in three to five years and have some owner park another Brink’s truck in his driveway.

  72. larams29 says: Sep 28, 2014 12:17 PM

    As a life long Rams fan, I despise the new Santa Clara 49ers. But I’m a Michigan Wolverine fan who hasn’t had a alot to cheer about since Lloyd Carr resigned. I have a lot of respect for Jim and the job he has done as the 49ers head coach. It makes a difference when players like playing for their coach. His personality and passion for the game is unmatched in my book. Which makes him the ideal canidate for the head coaching position in Michigan. Take the job Jim, so the 49ers get what they deserve. Losing seasons! And the Wolverines get winning seasons and hopefully another National Title and embarrass Ohio State!

  73. haraldsigurdson says: Sep 29, 2014 9:15 PM

    I think Jim Harbaugh coaches his butt off every season. San Francisco was INSTANTLY a competitor for the title every year once they hired him. If the 49ers let him go, they may as well pack up and move to London.

  74. icanhazblogs says: Dec 2, 2014 11:22 AM

    One of these things is not like the others:

    Ball State
    San Diego State
    Michigan

    Hoke should be done, and I don’t even like Michigan. I live in the Midwest so I get the pleasure of hearing deluded UM fans thinking this is THE year on an annual basis.

    NEWS FLASH: the last outright UM championship was in 1948. That’s right, 1-9-4-8.

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