More than 30 years after Michigan persuaded Jim Harbaugh to play football at Ann Arbor for free, the school has now persuaded him to coach the team for slightly greater compensation.
Via the Detroit Free Press, the former 49ers coach has signed a contract that makes him the next coach of the Michigan Wolverines, only one day after ending his four-year tenure in San Francisco. He’ll be introduced at a Tuesday press conference.
Widespread reports have pegged the deal at having an annual value of $8 million per year. Given the boost his decision gives to the Big 10, the rest of the conference will benefit indirectly from Michigan’s investment. Of course, if may not feel like a benefit if/when Harbaugh does for the Wolverines what he has done at every other stop in his career as a head coach.
Few believe Michigan will be Harbaugh’s last stop. After he resurrects the program, he can resume the chase for a Lombardi Trophy — and he can wait for the perfect opportunity to arise.
Indeed, many believe Harbaugh opted for his alma mater simply because a competitive alternative never materialized in the NFL, despite persistent leaks aimed at getting one or more owners to come to the table with considerable cash.