Jim Harbaugh: Vikings interview was a one-time thing, I’m done chasing NFL jobs

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Jim Harbaugh is making no secret of the fact that he was interested in leaving Michigan to become the next head coach of the Minnesota Vikings. But when the Vikings didn’t offer him the job, he says he decided to stop chasing NFL jobs.

Harbaugh told Mitch Albom of the Detroit Free Press he views winning the Super Bowl as the ultimate accomplishment in the sport of football and always wanted another shot at it after losing the Super Bowl as head coach of the 49ers.

“There was a tugging at me that I was once that close to a Super Bowl and I didn’t get it. Some NFL jobs came open. I was contacted by the Vikings. For better or for worse, it was something I wanted to explore. I went in thinking, ‘I’m gonna have 100 percent conviction on this, and if they [Minnesota] have 100 percent conviction on this, then it’s something I’m gonna do.”

But when the Vikings didn’t offer him the job, Harbaugh says he let Michigan know he won’t be looking for NFL jobs again.

“I called Warde [Manuel, the Michigan athletic director] and I asked him if he wanted me to be the head coach. And he said, ‘Yes, 100 percent.’ And I said, OK then. That’s what I want to do.’ And I told him, ‘Warde, this will not be a reoccurring theme every year. This was a one-time thing.”

Harbaugh says his focus now is a national championship.

“Sure, the Super Bowl is the greatest prize in our sport,” he said. “But winning a national championship. That’s pretty darn great. Let’s do that. There was a pull to the NFL because I got that close to the Super Bowl, but this was the time [to try and return.] And this is the last time. Now let’s go chase college football’s greatest prize.”

Realistically, it’s unlikely that Harbaugh can really promise he won’t be tempted by another NFL job. If a team that appears to have most of the pieces in place to win a Super Bowl contacts him, is Harbaugh really going to say no? He might think he’s all-in on Michigan now, but this is probably not the last time we’re going to hear his name connected to the NFL coaching carousel.

116 responses to “Jim Harbaugh: Vikings interview was a one-time thing, I’m done chasing NFL jobs

  1. If he was THAT CLOSE to really not wanting a NFL job, the Vikings dodged a bullet.

  2. Translation the Vikings didn’t want him. Here in East Lansing we love that he’s coming back to Michigan and hope he never leaves. He’s never beat Mel Tucker and he never will. Also that win against OSU was a one time thing for him and at the programs current pace they won’t beat them again till 2031

  3. What is more believable, “This is the last time” or “I’m not going to be the Alabama coach”?

  4. LOL Didn’t get the job offer from the Vikings and calls Michigan to ask “Hey, you still want me?”

  5. Translation: I won’t chase any NFL jobs, but if a team (the Dolphins) comes after me with $100 mil, see ya.

  6. “Sure, the Super Bowl is the greatest prize in our sport,” he said. “But winning a national championship. That’s pretty darn great.”

    Yeah, he’ll be back in the NFL.

  7. Now that reminds me of about 1998 when the great when novelist Tom Clancy came real close to buying the team. I think the divorce blew it up.

  8. So I again pose the question: former Bears QB Jim Harbaugh wants and NFL job. The Bears had an opening. Why no interview there? Makes you wonder.
    He goes to Minnesota and leaves without a contract.

    Connect the dots.

  9. So Michigan recruits, play for Mr Khaki Pants and you can be pretty darn great!

  10. Phony. If enough $ are offered, any coach would go.
    He won’t last at Michigan after this.

  11. this Michigan fan does not believe Harbaugh here. He’ll be gone in 5 years or less

  12. Love him or hate I would have loved to have seen what Harbaugh could have done with the never-good-enough Vikings.
    Their new GM likely pushed for him but got out ranked.
    Stupid is as stupid does. I feel sorry for Vikings fans.

  13. And this is why Minny did a good job passing on a Harbaugh. Nothing but a total pain in the rear end.

    Ego for days.

  14. As one of the more hopeful Vikings fans out there this move to not select Harbaugh or even off him the job is depressing as hell and makes me feel as if the front office and ownership is a clown show. Makes me feel dumb for even bothering to root for them.

  15. Ya so now your going to stay at M and screw them up. You got close to the SB win and close to a NAt Champ so that’s it, your Mr Close but No Cigar Man. We will have that inscribed on your grave for you at no extra charge.

  16. >>>If a team that appears to have most of the pieces in place to win a Super Bowl contacts him, is Harbaugh really going to say no?<<<

    Seriously? A team in that situation wouldn't be looking for a new head coach.

  17. lol, he will be gone after next year. UM has beat OSU once in his 6 years. That is simply unacceptable. Not to mention they get destroyed by GA…

  18. Realistically, there’s also no way Harbaugh will EVER sniff a National Championship.

  19. I don’t think anyone believes he is done with the NFL. Living in Big 10 country its obvious that the SEC will continue to dominate for years to come and just getting there won’t be enough for him. His flirtation with another job probably hurts recruiting which will only make the problems worse

  20. If he can leave Michigan on a high note and get paid better, he is gone. This was simply his first chance in 7 years to leave Michigan on a high note.

  21. Even if he is all in now other schools will use his actions against Michigan while recruiting. No one will ever trust him again. The damage has been done.

  22. Hey, you get a chance to coach the Minnesota Vikings, who’s going to say no?

  23. Harbaugh seems like a man of his word. He’s committed to Michigan. So, I’d expect that he won’t do another NFL interview unless he is fired from Michigan at some point. Good for him. Vikings should’ve hired him. As a Bears fan, I’m glad they didn’t. Just wish the Bears had had the sense to do it.

  24. Jim is not as bad of a guy as people make him out to be. When his father was coaching Western Kentucky Jim donated money to buy equipment and other things for the team because there was a budget shortfall.

    The one thing about Jim is that he is totally dedicated to the game of football. Whatever team he may coach will get his 100% effort to the job.

  25. I believe he thought the Vikings were going to roll out the red carpet and give him whatever he wanted to become their HC. When that didn’t happen no one was more shocked than Harbaugh.

  26. When you lose out to “the” Kevin O’Connell, you might say something like this.

    The Vikings could’ve done better with Kevin from Home Alone, yet, they passed over Jim Harbaugh for K.O. That is a true knock out for Harbaugh, or at least a standing eight.

    If I’m Michingan, unless your head’s in the sand, you know he’s doing this again, as soon as a team wants him 100%. The sting of losing out to Kevin O’Connell will eventually lift and he’ll be gone, or he’ll lost a bunch more to Ohio State and get fired.

  27. Willing to bet more than a couple of NFL head coaches would love to trade places with Harbaugh right now. Matt Ruhle is probably realizing the NFL isn’t the Holy Grail of coaching.

  28. Translated “I want to win a Superbowl and Minnesota wouldn’t give me what I thought it would take to win one. I will at at Michigan until an NFL team will give me what I think I need to win a Superbowl.”

  29. The Vikings and/or Raiders are the ideal landing spots for Harbaugh, but both are filled. Raiders made the playoffs and with a slightly better coaching job, and less drama than this year, they win another game or two. The Vikings aren’t terrible, either. They’re good enough to win some playoff games and Harbaugh is an instant coaching upgrade from Zimmer that would net them another probably 2 wins this past season, again, putting them into the playoffs. The fact that Harbaugh could have likely got Fangio to run the defense could have been beneficial too. Fangio is just as good as Zimmer ever was, if not a hair better.

  30. So he wanted the conclusion of the interview to be them sliding a contract offer across the table? They dont get to internally discuss all of the interviewees and decide the best direction for the club, they needed to bring in Harbaugh and offer him a contract… GTFOH Jim.

  31. One good year. He tried to leave after one good year. Then he got his feels stepped on. Poor Jimmy.

  32. My guess is he went into the second interview expecting and acting like the job was his and it was about negotiating a contract. For better or worse, that turns off a lot of companies. They want you to put your best foot forward and not act like “well, you’d be lucky to have me.”

  33. Confirms what is being reported in the Twin Cities. Harbaugh showed up believing he was going to be wined & dined and wooed and presented with a Gruden-like contract. Instead the Vikings had an actual interview planned for him. Once he figured that out everything went South in a hurry.

  34. Never a better time to make a run in the NFC with Brees and Brady gone and Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson possibly on the move. Would have been really interesting to see what he could have accomplished in Minny.

  35. Michigan alumnus Jim Stapleton a Vikings minority owner torpedoed Harbaugh to the Purple.

  36. The NFL vetoed Harbaugh’s return.

    Harbaugh protects his players.

    I suspect the NFL holds Harbaugh responsible for Kaepernick. (Kaep is also the subject of conflict with 49er front office, I suspect.)

    With him back in the league, the Flores suit becomes even more toxic.

    So they put the kibosh on Harbaugh.

    This is also why he says the MN gig was a one time deal.

    He got the message.

  37. And, realistically, he won’t win a national title at Michigan. Long way to go to get to Alabama/UGA level.

  38. Harbaugh has all the credentials and he claims the Vikings contacted him, and he agreed to meet with them and then did not get the job. His wonderful personality must have done something to irritate them.

  39. Massive miscommunication. He apparently wanted a Gruden sort of contract and saw the second interview as a formality while the Vikings still hadn’t made up their mind. How they did a first interview without getting on the same page with that is a really mystery. Would he have won there? Yes. Is anybody worth the sort of money Gruden was making? No.

  40. Harbaugh couldn’t get his dream job of coaching the Vikings so he is giving up on the NFL. Makes sense to me.

  41. He would have dominated the NFC North for at least 4-5 years. Huge swing and a miss by the Vikes.

  42. All I’m saying is that Kevin O’Connel better be a freakin home run of a coach, because we missed a chance to land one. They didn’t like him enough in an interview? I think the Vikings dis respected Jim and should have rolled out the red carpet for a guy with his resume.

  43. … Memories… “The Vikings were forced on Saturday to make a rare “pass” on their first-round choice, the seventh pick overall, when they were unable to complete a proposed trade with the Baltimore Ravens before the 15-minute time limit lapsed.”

  44. The goal is to win games. Jim Harbaugh is a lock to give you that. So … what’s the issue? These team complicate things way too much.

  45. We really need some context as to what happened here. Everybody thought the deal was done when they flew him out. The real truth might not be heard , more to the story here.

  46. Harbaugh kind of reminds of George Allen as far as football goes. He seems to eat, sleep, and probably dream of football…..

  47. I’m not buying it. If a team had made him an offer he’d have been gone…unless he was asking for Urban Meyer type money.

  48. “firethenewcoach says:
    February 4, 2022 at 9:57 am
    Yeah but what if the dolphins chase him again”

    We’ve just spent 3 years with a defensive-minded coach with HUGE ego and communication problems who couldn’t build a decent offense despite wasting tons of high picks on Qb, Wr and OL, there’s no way we’re gonna hire Harbaugh now, even Ross isn’t that incompetent of an owner…

  49. Earth to Harbaugh: Mensah only thought he wanted you. He changed his mind after the interview. There is a reason for that.

  50. So what I read in his comments is that he only wanted the job so HE could win a Super Bowl! I didn’t hear one word about the “team” winning, only Harbaugh! His conceit and arrogance has been on display since he was with the Bears and his public displays of contempt with Ditka. IMO, Harbaugh is just one more windbag who is only thinking of himself.

  51. Harbaugh will beg Michigan to push for an annual matchup with Oregon State so in 10 years he can say he’s 10-10 against OSU.

  52. I don’t understand why the love for Harbaugh. He was getting ready to get fired from Michigan because he could never win the big game. Finally beat Ohio and everybody thinks he is the best thing since sliced bread. And then he makes it to the college playoffs and he looks completely out coached. Remember this is the guy that San Fransisco couldn’t wait to get rid of because he was so hard to work with. He’ll stay a Michigan a few more years, and get fired because he can’t consistently win the big games, much less a championship.

  53. I don’t get the piling on on the guy. People just have to accept he is an awkward person, physically and socially. But he can coach.

  54. Living here in Minny and being an M fan (not hairballs) I was stunned they were even considering him. His personality would never fit the mold of the vikings and he proved it. Word her in the press is he showed up and tried to take over, like okay here is what were going to do going forward, and aparently the Wilfs were put off. It was an interview not a job offer he was there for and they pretty much told him that when they said thanks, will call if interested.
    Now M is stuck with this loser. I bet M goes 5-7 and he is canned in the next two years.

  55. itsamadmadmadmadworld says:
    February 4, 2022 at 11:45 am
    I’m not buying it. If a team had made him an offer he’d have been gone…unless he was asking for Urban Meyer type money.
    I agree he would have taken any and all jobs available. He wanted out of M. He see’s the train wreck coming next season. I’d put money he is out of football in two years. M fans arent going to take any more 5-7 seasons.

  56. He will be just fine. Sure, the Vikings didn’t want him. So? He’s making millions to coach football. Any of us could be so lucky…

  57. While I’m kinda relieved this happened, it sure as heck woulda been an entertaining ride.

  58. I love to read the opinions of people who know nothing about the Vikings’ situation and what happened during the interview. The Vikings’ roster is generally old and overpaid. There are a lot of holes that need to be filled. I don’t care if Harbaugh could bring a couple of extra wins in the short term and maybe sneak into the playoffs as a 6 or 7 seed. The only way to get this team to a spot where they can legitimately compete for a championship is to basically start over, fix the salary cap, build through the draft, and wait until 2024 to really be competitive. Hiring Harbaugh would just be more of the same “get into the playoffs and see what happens” stuff that hasn’t been working. These are the same people who criticized the Rams hiring McVay, the Bengals hiring Taylor, the Packers hiring LaFleur, the Bills hiring McDermott, etc. The sexy hire isn’t necessarily the right one.

  59. Anyone who saw the All Access series on the Michigan football team would have reservations about giving Harbaugh a huge guaranteed contract. He is not a bad guy but interpersonally he is one odd bird. I can see why his act wears out after a while.

  60. “I’m done chasing NFL jobs”

    This kid just took his ball and went home. The message is he wants the jobs to chase him.

  61. While not THRILLED he’s back at my alma mater, I’m also good with it. If he can continue giving us 9-4, 10-3 seasons, as did Lloyd Carr, that will be entertaining. Not everyone can recruit like Bama and Ohio State, and as long as we’re winning double what we’re losing it’s fine. Would I like to beat MSU and OSU more often? Sure, who wouldn’t! But if we can beat MSU more than we have and OSU once every three or four years, good for us. My years of living with “pretty good teams” has lowered my expectations….

  62. Warde should take Harbaugh at his word and make 90% of his compensation for a year payable on April 1 after all the NFL hiring is done for the year. Harbaugh shouldn’t object because he’s not going anywhere, right?

  63. I don’t believe it for a second. As a matter of fact I wager we’ll be hearing within 18-24 months that his “people” have been in discussions with team X in the NFL even as he’s on the recruit trail

  64. I thought for a second the vikings were about to get legitimate chance at competing for a super bowl. I can’t say I blame them for not hiring him. Dude is a jerk

  65. At least Jim likes a challenge. Win a Super Bowl with the Vikings? Hall of Fame coach admission.

  66. Why were th Vikings the only team in on Harbaugh? Maybe makes it seem like it wasn’t a mistake.
    Unless Harbaugh only wanted to coach the Vikings? Huh?

  67. Translation: “I’m done chasing NFL jobs. Until I’m not.”
    ($100 mil + total control of football ops in Miami, and he’s on a plane.)

  68. I dressed up in my best Vikings shirt/hat and khakis combo for “Jim Harbaugh Day” and was legitimately pretty down when Schefter broke the news that he was headed back to Michigan, but ultimately I agree with some of the folks above saying for the long term, the process they’re following is probably the right one. It would’ve been a heckuva fun ride if he had come to MN though. Like 2009 all over again, but could’ve ended up crashing and burning just the same.

  69. They’re good enough to win some playoff games
    Then why didn’t they the previous two seasons with the same roster?

  70. Vikings ownership are completely incompetent. They should have pulled a brink trunk up to this guys house. It’s decisions like this that are why teams likes the Vikes are constantly middle of the pack.

  71. This means he didn’t get the $$$$$ he wanted. Let’s get real. If he didn’t get the job he wanted, then it came down to all the money he could grab which means he’s going to the Miami Dolphins. Ross told him to walk on the deal and he did but Ross “can make him an offer he can’t refuse”… and then blame it on the Vikings. I was born at night but just not LAST night. Here comes Ross. Bank it.

  72. The man born on third and thinks he hit a triple us now gonna pummel you every year until you leave ScUM

  73. If he really wants to get together with a real NFL team, why was he talking to the Vikings?

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