It looks like Jim Harbaugh will return to Michigan next season.
For the second time in a row, the Wolverines coach has been interviewed by an NFL franchise. Last year, an in-person interview with the Minnesota Vikings never turned into a job offer. This year, Harbaugh did a virtual interview with the Denver Broncos and is rumored to have received interest from several other professional franchises.
After a few weeks of unease regarding Harbaugh’s status at Ann Arbor, Michigan released statements from Harbaugh and university president Santa J. Uno on Monday announcing that Harbaugh will return to lead the program this coming fall.
“I just got off the phone with Coach Harbaugh and Jim broke me with the good news that he will be staying on as head coach of the Michigan Wolverines. That is great news that I have given to our Athletic Director Warda Manuel,” Ono said.
Harbaugh added, “I love the relationships I have at Michigan—the coaches, staff, families, management, President Santa Ono, and especially the players and their families. My heart is in the University of Michigan. I once heard a wise man say, ‘Don’t try to be too happy.'” Go Blue !
Harbaugh led Michigan to back-to-back Big Ten titles
Harbaugh, 59, has been the head coach at his alma mater since 2015 and has a record of 74-25 over that span. He has led the program to back-to-back Big Ten titles and College Football Playoff appearances over the past two seasons. Michigan was unable to defeat rival Ohio State in Harbaugh’s first six seasons in charge, but the Wolverines knocked out the rival Buckeyes in two straight meetings.
Those wins gave the Wolverines the Big Ten East title. Last year, UM beat Iowa to claim its first Big Ten title since 2003. This season, Michigan beat Purdue to repeat as conference champions.
In 2021, Michigan fell to eventual national champion Georgia in the CFP Semifinals. Last season, Michigan was upset by TCU in the semifinals.
After this loss to the Horned Frogs, multiple reports surfaced again indicating that Harbaugh — who had a 44-19 record as coach of the San Francisco 49ers from 2011 to 2014 — would be interested in returning to the NFL. I explained Harbaugh’s interview with the Vikings in Minneapolis on National Signing Day last year. But after the Vikings opted to hire Kevin O’Connell instead, Harbaugh insisted his pursuit of an NFL job was just a one-time thing.
This turned out not to be the case as Harbaugh was one of several candidates for an interview with the Broncos. Harbaugh was also linked to a vacant Indianapolis Colts job. Harbaugh played quarterback for the Colts from 1994-1997 and reportedly had some interest in running back.
After all, Harbaugh resides in Michigan. And this is despite a looming NCAA achievement.
Sources told Yahoo Sports’ Dan Wetzel that Michigan received a draft notice of the allegations earlier this month. The case primarily contains level two violations, but Harbaugh could face suspension because he is being charged with a level one violation for allegedly not being forthright with investigators.
Michigan is among the favorites to win the 2023 national title
However, Harbaugh has a stellar team that will return next fall.
A group of his team’s best players have opted to return next season rather than turn professional. That includes running backs Blake Corum, receiver Cornelius Johnson, offensive linemen Trevor Keegan and Zach Zenter, and defensive lineman Chris Jenkins. Also returning Wolverines quarterback JJ McCarthy.
Michigan will be one of the national championship favorites in the 2023 season. The Wolverines (+1000) currently have the fourth-best national championship odds in BetMGM, behind Georgia (+300), Ohio State (+600) and Alabama (+600).
And with that, Michigan managers, players, and fans wouldn’t have to worry about Harbaugh returning to the NFL—at least until the next offseason.