At the NFL coaching carousel prepares to start spinning, Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh may end up taking a spin.
Via SI.com, Harbaugh reportedly told the father of a Michigan recruit that he will indeed consider NFL opportunities.
“He said that he’ll entertain [it],” Larry Clemons, the father of Darrius Clemons, told 247sports.com. “He was up front with us about that. I had Coach Harbaugh speak to my pastor. They had a good conversation. Our pastor asked him about that, and that’s just that’s the [reply] that he gave him.”
Coaches with NFL prospects used to conceal those plans and possibilities. When that happens, however, other schools use the possibility as a weapon. By being up front about it, Harbaugh prevents it from being used against him on the recruiting trail.
Moreover, it’s in Harbaugh’s best interests to build and use leverage. Maybe he gets a better deal from Michigan. Maybe he’ll get an offer from an NFL team that he can’t refuse, whether it’s the Raiders (where he coached) or the Bears (where he played) or another team, like the Panthers.
The Matt Rhule defenders have asked whether any other college coach has turned things around for an NFL team in only two years. Harbaugh, a decade ago, did it in one year. He took a 6-10 49ers team to the brink of the Super Bowl in 2011, and he nearly won it all in his second season.
Although there’s definitely a shelf life when it comes to coexisting with Harbaugh, championships can be pursued and possibly won before the expiration date arrives.
Thus, in the coming weeks, we’ll find out whether his expiration date in Ann Arbor has arrived. Given that he went 44-19-1 in four seasons with the 49ers, teams looking for head coaches could do a lot worse.