Jim Harbaugh doesn’t seem to be inclined to return to the NFL

Playoff Semifinal at the Capital One Orange Bowl - Georgia v Michigan
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Jim Harbaugh’s seventh season at Michigan was his best. At a time when some are wondering whether it will be his last, it sure didn’t sound that way after the loss to Georgia on Friday night.

“It was a great season,” Harbaugh said. “To me, it’s one of the best seasons in Michigan football, and we were trying to make it greater tonight. It’s still a beginning for this team. It’s where it began last year, and it’ll begin anew this year.”

While a far cry from “I’m not going to be the Alabama coach,” Harbaugh’s comments will push back against recent speculation that he’ll land with the Raiders. Harbaugh’s coaching career actually began with the Raiders, in 2002 and 2003 as the team’s quarterbacks coach. Then came his run of head-coaching gigs, from the University of San Diego to Stanford to the 49ers and then to Michigan.

Would Harbaugh leave Michigan? He recently said he’d do the job at his alma mater for free. But what if Mark Davis offers to pay Harbaugh a whole lot more than zero dollars plus benefits? Is there a number that will get him to finish what he started with the 49ers, a team he took to the Super Bowl in only his second season on the job?

Attention Matt Rhule defenders, a turnaround can happen quickly, even with a college coach.

What if other NFL teams, like Carolina, get in on the Harbaugh action? Or how about the Bears, the team that made Harbaugh a first-round draft choice 35 years ago? Sure, he tends to wear out his welcome. But he’s effective. And his seven years at Michigan suggest that he has indeed matured and grown and learned how not to need to leave town after four years.

Money always talks. The question is how loudly it may scream from an NFL team that is willing to blow the curve on getting a former college coach who, unlike Rhule and Urban Meyer, knows how to thrive at the professional level.

That said, folks in Jacksonville shouldn’t let visions of Harbaugh dance in their heads. With former 49ers G.M. Trent Baalke running the search and given that the two men grew to despise each other in San Francisco, a Florida reunion most definitely won’t be happening.

44 responses to “Jim Harbaugh doesn’t seem to be inclined to return to the NFL

  1. I’m a big Harbaugh fan, have been rooting for him for years in college and pros, and was looking forward to the day he returns to the NFL. But it’s pretty clear now that the success in San Fran was mostly due to Greg Roman’s play design and development of Kaepernick– as well as the incredible roster Scot McCloughan put together. Harbaugh is perfect for college and should stay there.

  2. As Urban said,he’d have to play Alabama every week.Now he can’t even get past Georgia.

  3. He’s a good coach. He’s just not good at social and communication skills. He’s awkward.

  4. He is a proven NFL coach. That said if he is happy where he is, you would have to drop a ton of money on the table. I don’t think the Raiders would be in that game after the 100 million they dropped on Gruden. How did that work out?

  5. Michigan Wolverines are BIG 10 Champions! Harbaugh is the perfect coach for Michigan. Harbaugh tasted life in the NFL. He took one of the worst teams in the league to the NFC Championship game his first three years, getting to the super bowl his second season. That season was the with Colin Kaepernick as his QB, and Kap barely had ten pro starts under his belt when he led his team to a play away from a Super Bowl victory. Since Kap isn’t even good enough to make it as a backup QB, Harbaugh should go down in history as one of the NFL’s all-time greatest coaches. But in the NFL, you have many clueless owners and a few back-stabbing front office people. Ask Urban Meyer. He and Harbaugh enjoyed the same GM. Lol. There aren’t many perfect NFL jobs. Michigan is one of college football’s best coaching environments, and they appreciate a great coach. It’s a match made in heaven. Unless a guy like Eddie DeBartolo got back in the business, Harbaugh is better off where he is.

  6. Harbaugh isn’t going anywhere…. he is at home, and is winning.

    If he does give any indication he wants to jump to the NFL, Steve Ross, Dolphins owner and the guy with the Muchigan School of Business named after him, will throw his checkbook and a pen at Harbaugh. Brian Flowho? Up until this magic win streak against scout teams and basement dwellers, Flores went 1-7, and had a worse Fins HC career record than the last 2 Fins HC’s that got cannned. Way back around Halloween, writers and fans were placing odds on whether Flores would be fired before or after the season ended. Now many fans, prisoners of the moment, think he us COTY material, but I bet Ross is smart enough to look at the total picture.

    But Harbaugh isn’t leaving.

  7. Jim Harbaugh has a “grate on the nerves” personality. This was proven in San Francisco. Jim couldn’t deal or motivate a grown adult man professional football player making big money on a daily basis. In college,these kids come and go quickly and there’s almost a complete turnover every 3-4 years.

  8. He’s a good coach. He’s just not good at social and communication skills. He’s awkward.


    Lack of social skills doesn’t appear to be holding back Saban.

  9. oscarxray says:
    January 1, 2022 at 12:49 pm
    As Urban said,he’d have to play Alabama every week.
    Not if/when he would get to play the Giants. That’s more like playing Temple or Duke.

  10. They hit the big stage yesterday and they pooped there pants this guy was one great year in seven and it went straight to his head.
    You can see he no longer is in charge they brought in some young smart guys who deserve the credit for this temporary success .

  11. The NFL NEEDS Jim Harbaugh. With so many of these Matt Rhule types flopping and clueless, Kingsbury fads getting exposed, the NFL coaching ranks needs proven top guys running teams and what Jim Harbaugh did for the 49ers in the 2010’s was incredible.

    i’m so tired of this never ending carousel of coaches with no track record speeding through NFL teams only to get fired within a year or two because they’re not proven. Jim Harbaugh is a proven NFL commodity, and endlessly entertaining to boot. BRING HARBAUGH BACK!

  12. Jim Harbaugh is a college coach, like Meyers and Rhule. They have not shown a mindset to handle pros.

  13. That was a bad beat down last night. It was like high school kids vs top tier college recruits. Michigan has a long way to go.

  14. From my standpoint, I’m glad Jim Harbaugh is not interested in coming back to the NFL. One Harbaugh in the NFL is enough.

  15. Wrong headline: “Jim Harbaugh doesn’t seem to be inclined to beat Top 10 college teams.”

  16. Money talks sure, but the harbaugh, especially the one we are talking about, has money, stability, and a good place for his family.

    Harbaugh is also a guy who wants to finish what he started. He loves college football, seems he enjoys his job more than any other he’s ever had. The kind of coaches he looked up to, were college coaches who stayed for decades.

  17. heyguru1969 says:
    January 1, 2022 at 1:50 pm
    Wrong headline: “Jim Harbaugh doesn’t seem to be inclined to beat Top 10 college teams.”
    Most people would consider Ohio State a top 10 team. Every college team in America, except two, were home on their couch watching Harbaugh compete for a trip to the National Championship.

  18. Great season for Michigan – wishing the Wolverines the best in the New Year. But goodness, this season’s semifinal was dreadful with both games decided quickly.

  19. Some of you guys may not be old enough to know the but Jim Harbaugh actually coached in a Super Bowl one year.

  20. Doesn’t appear that the NFL is necessarily inclined to take him back, either, so…. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

  21. If he wants stability then his only real option is to stay at Michigan. He can probably coach for a long time there since he’s a Michigan grad – this Ohio State win will buy him quite a bit of time. In the NFL he tends to wear people out so he probably won’t be able to stay anywhere too long.

  22. Despising Baalke would be a good quality. Everyone in the NFL despises Baalke–except the clueless owner.

  23. He seems to be set there for a while. I do think he’ll return one day, just not now.

  24. His team got annihilated by what might be one of the best defenses in college football history in the semifinals and you are acting like he didn’t even make the playoffs…

  25. I wonder if Jim Harbaugh’s agent is sparking this NFL talk? Harbaugh had to take a pay cut at Michigan just last year to keep his job. However, since he took the Wolverines to the CFP this past season, I imagine he is looking to get his Michigan contract re-worked to get that big money back. Nothing like floating some NFL rumors to unlock the bank vault; that’s a classic agent tactic.

  26. Seems to me they the real question (and I don’t know the answer), is if Harbaugh is the one that gets the itch to move on more than wearing out his welcome?

  27. Darkhorse coaching spot in the NFL is to replace PC in Seattle. The Seahawks know Harbaugh very well and he’d be coming in the same way he did a decade + ago in SF. With a team that is on it’s down and outs.

  28. He tucked tail back when he lost to his brother in the Super Bowl. He’s never coming back, not with how much weight John holds in the NFL. Play second fiddle to little brother John? For an egomaniac like that? You gotta be joking.

  29. All Knowing says:

    January 1, 2022 at 7:00 pm

    In the end he failed. He’s just another Trump.


    If he’s Trump then Jim Tomsula is Biden. Great analogy

  30. Harbaugh could make a big impact in Chicago if he still has the fire for the NFL. not sure he does.

  31. He is exactly what the Jag needs to advance. Jim took Stanford from last to first within a year, jumped to NFL, took a sad 49er team to SuperBowl within two years with an unproven QB and watered down rooster. Oh and he was a former NCAA QB and a NFL QB. Not a QB whispher, he is QB shouter, he can makes any QB better. What if the Jag owner said, I will fired the GM and let you be in charge of both Coaching and GM, ala Belichick in NE, and will give you the Gruden like guaranteed contract. Nothing is out of the question my friends.

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