As the Dolphins get a head start on their latest coaching search, they won’t be considering a guy they once considered when they technically weren’t searching for a coach.
Peter King of TheMMQB.com said during NBC’s Football Night in America that the Dolphins will not pursue Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh.
The key word is “Michigan.” Dolphins owner Stephen Ross went to Michigan, and he has been a major financial supporter of the university. With Harbaugh in his first year with the Wolverines and, to no surprise, doing very well, Ross won’t try to disrupt that vibe.
Of course, any interest from Ross or another owner won’t matter if Harbaugh isn’t interested in leaving. While a sufficiently large pile of money could get Harbaugh’s attention, it’s unlikely any NFL team would offer the kind of money it would take to get Harbaugh away from Ann Arbor.
Whoever the Dolphins pursue, they need to make sure they don’t have another stream of candidates who reject offers and/or opportunities to interview, like they did when hiring G.M. Dennis Hickey after the 2013 season. The Dolphins need to make sure their first choice will take the job. Otherwise, that person shouldn’t be their first choice.
After the 2010 season, Ross and former G.M. Jeff Ireland met with Harbaugh while former coach Tony Sparano was still employed. Harbaugh didn’t take the job (he’d later leave Stanford for the 49ers), Ross kept Sparano for one more year, Ross tried to hire Jeff Fisher, and now Ross is looking for a replacement for the guy he hired after Fisher said no, Joe Philbin.