Harbaugh makes it official and takes over at Michigan


To perhaps no one's surprise, Palo Alto High grad and former Stanford head coach Jim Harbaugh was named head football coach at the University of Michigan on Tuesday morning in Ann Arbor.

Michigan interim athletic director Jim Hackett said Harbaugh agreed to a seven-year deal worth more than $35 million. He also received a $2 million signing bonus. There were original reports that Harbaugh would make $48 millons over six years.

"Top to bottom, Michigan is about excellence, is about greatness, and you have my pledge that I will carry forward the tradition of excellence of the University of Michigan football program," Harbaugh told a a packed news conference, introducing his family one by one.

The 51-year-old Harbaugh coached the San Francisco 49ers to three straight NFC championship games and the Niners lost the 2013 Super Bowl to a Baltimore Ravens team coached by his brother, John. After the 49ers slipped to an uncharacteristic 8-8 record this season and missed the playoffs, Harbaugh parted ways with the team following Sunday's win over Arizona in what both sides called a mutual decision, despite having one year remaining on his 49ers' contract.

Harbaugh is now the buzz of the Big Ten.

Harbaugh went 58-27 overall as a college coach at San Diego and Stanford, including a 29-21 record in four seasons with the Cardinal. He took over a 1-11 Stanford team when he was hired in December 2006 and quickly turned the program back into a winner and bowl contender.

Harbaugh's first Stanford team went 4-8 in a season highlighted by a 24-23 win over No. 1 Southern California, a game in which the Cardinal was a 41-point underdog. Stanford was 5-7 the following season, then improved to 8-5 and earned a Sun Bowl berth in 2009 -- the school's first bowl appearance since 2001. They won the Orange Bowl with quarterback Andrew Luck his final season and reached the Rose Bowl in 2012 and '13 after winning the Pac-12 Conference title each year.

At Michigan, Harbaugh replaces Brady Hoke, fired on Dec. 2 after four seasons. This is Michigan's third head coach since 2008. Rich Rodriguez was fired in 2011 after three seasons. The Wolverines have gone 46-42 since Lloyd Carr retired after the 2007 season, his 13th as head coach. They have endured three losing seasons, including the most recent 5-7 record. Michigan hasn't won a Big Ten title since 2004.

Harbaugh is a former Michigan quarterback (1982-86), who played under legendary coach Bo Schembechler. Harbaugh graduated from Palo Alto High in 1982.

— Palo Alto Online Sports

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1 person likes this
Posted by just asking
a resident of Barron Park
on Dec 30, 2014 at 4:55 pm

Is Jed York the stupidest person in the Bay Area?

2 people like this
Posted by Agenda
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 30, 2014 at 5:05 pm

Goodbye and good riddance. Under harbuaghs watch the 49ers led the NFL in arrests. His handling of the Ray mcdonald affair was particularly revolting, given the climate in the NFL this year. Defend him staunchly, but once you are out of the playoffs, cut him from the team without a comment from harbaugh.
Harbaugh was out of control and lacks a moral and ethical compass

2 people like this
Posted by Paly Alum
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Dec 30, 2014 at 7:32 pm

Ultra competitive and provoked people, didn't care about negative opinions of him as long as he got what he wanted. Very confident, knew he was talented, yet was always trying to improve and worked excessively hard in sports. Expects a lot of himself and teammates because of his goal to win. Has matured since high school.

1 person likes this
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Dec 30, 2014 at 7:33 pm

Hmmm is a registered user.

Agenda - I appreciate your insightful comments. How much impact does a coach have on how players behave off the field? I'm curious about that, and there's been a lot of reprehensible behavior off the field under his leadership!

1 person likes this
Posted by Ed
a resident of Downtown North
on Dec 30, 2014 at 8:25 pm

[Post removed.]

3 people like this
Posted by Crescent Park Dad
a resident of Crescent Park
on Dec 30, 2014 at 9:18 pm

@ Agenda: frankly, all three top dogs (Harbaugh, York & Baalke) should be held responsible for decisions regarding whether a player should have been suspended or not. No way Harbaugh should be the only one to blame.

2 people like this
Posted by UC Davis Grad
a resident of Mountain View
on Dec 30, 2014 at 10:08 pm

Quite frankly, the York/Baalke/Harbaugh triumvirate made a mess out of things. York exerted no real leadership skills as the supposed head of a professional franchise; Baalke never *really* took on the role of the adult in the room; and for all of his supposed mastery of a pro-style offense, Harbaugh took a middling offense and drove it straight into the ground (figuratively speaking; after all, where did the rushing game go this season?).

A pox on all of their houses.

1 person likes this
Posted by Sparty
a resident of another community
on Dec 31, 2014 at 2:54 am

Sparty is a registered user.

so does that mean he is ok with Sports Communication majors now?

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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