There hasn’t been any sign that Jim Harbaugh was in the running for any of the current NFL head coaching vacancies and he won’t be making a late jump into the ring.
University of Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel announced on Friday that Harbaugh has signed a four-year extension at the school. Harbaugh was under contract for 2021 and is now signed through 2025.
The Wolverines were 2-4 in a truncated 2020 season and is 49-22 since returning to his alma mater in 2015. He has had three 10-win seasons, but his tenure has been marred by an inability to beat Ohio State and other top teams.
“I continue to believe that Jim is the right man to lead our program in pursuit of Big Ten and CFP championships,” Manuel said in a statement. “Our program didn’t achieve at a level that anyone expected this year, but I know those setbacks will drive the coaches, players and staff moving forward. Jim is a tireless worker and competitor. Following the completion of the season we talked for many hours on what it will take for Jim to lead and get us back on the right trajectory.”
There was talk in recent weeks that Michigan was looking for Harbaugh, who coached the 49ers for four years before going to Ann Arbor, to take a lower base salary with incentives in the new deal. Adam Rittenberg of ESPN.com reports that is how the deal is structured, but there’s no word on the details.
Michigan’s statement said that Harbaugh “is in the process of evaluating and putting together” his coaching staff. Reports on Friday indicated he will hire Mike Macdonald to be the defensive coordinator. Macdonald is currently the linebackers coach on Harbaugh’s brother John’s staff with the Ravens.
UPDATE 5:20 p.m. ET: Michigan has filed the terms of the deal. Harbaugh made over $8 million in 2020, but his base salary in 2022 will be $4 million with $3.475 million available in incentives. The salary rises to over $4.4 million by the end of the extension while Harbaugh’s buyout shrinks from $2 million to $500,000. The school’s buyout drops from $4 million to $1 million over the life of the deal.