Basketball coach Tom Crean married into one of the best-known coaching families in America. So when Indiana fired Crean, they necessarily opened themselves up to criticism from the Brothers Harbaugh.
Ravens coach John and Michigan coach Jim both had strong comments in the aftermath of Crean’s termination by the Hoosiers. John’s comments focused more on Indiana; Jim’s touched on his own experience with a job coming to an end.
“[M]uch like my situation in San Francisco, the people that are doing the micromanaging . . . when it comes to building a ball team, what they know could not blow up a small balloon,” Jim Harbaugh told Michael Rosenberg of SI.com. “In my case, an owner and a General Manager. In [Tom’s case] case, an administration. They are so similar in that way. And he still wins two Big Ten championships outright.”
Jim Harbaugh was referring to 49ers owner Jed York and former G.M. Trent Baalke. It’s the second time in recent weeks that Jim has offered public criticism of his former team.
John Harbaugh questioned whether Indiana understands what a coach needs from a school’s administration.
“In the end, it was the lack of support that basically takes its toll the most,” John Harbaugh said. “You want to feel like you’re part of a team and you’re doing it together. It’s about knowledge, loyalty and leadership. This is the merry-ground that Indiana athletics has been on forever. . . . He was just going through what he was going through — the administration over the years, the toll it takes on you. This has not been the last four or five days. It’s been the last four, five, six years.”
John Harbaugh had no personal experience to compare the situation to because the Ravens have at all times supported him, which helps explain why the Ravens contend far more often than they don’t.