Jim Harbaugh Reportedly Torn Between Michigan Offer And NFL Aspirations Amid Conflicting Reports And Rumors
San Francisco 49er head coach Jim Harbaugh is almost certainly not going to return to the team at the end of the season, regardless of how deep into the playoffs the team reaches — regardless, even, of a possible Super Bowl run. Conflict between Harbaugh and team management has been reported since the former quarterback took the job. The main question is where Harbaugh will be coaching come 2015.
Recent rumors have been swirling that the Michigan Wolverines have offered Harbaugh $50 million over the next six years to sign on as head coach. Harbaugh has proven to be a success on both the college and pro levels. First, he resurrected the University of San Diego and Stanford University football program almost immediately following his taking over of each program. Then, upon taking the 49er coaching job, he would lead the team to three straight NFC Championship games and a Super Bowl, losing to the eventual Super Bowl champions each time.
Now, while rumors continue to persist, the reality of the deal is being hotly contested.
On Thursday, Fox Sports insider Mark Garafalo reported that Fox Sports College Football Insider Bruce Feldman claims that the $8 million per year price tag that continues to be bandied about is “inaccurate,” while also reminding readers that Harbaugh parroted his current “I only talk about the job I have” mantra in 2010, just five days before the announcement of his five-year deal with the 49ers.
Conversely, Fansided columnist Josh Sanchez cites ESPN’s Marcellus Wiley’s report that two separate sources have confirmed to him that Harbaugh has already accepted the Michigan offer, as well as ESPN’s Adam Schefter, who claims that Harbaugh is “torn” between the offer — which he is reportedly being encouraged to accept by close friends and family — and his desire to remain a head coach in the NFL.
According to Schefter, Harbaugh would like to see what professional level offers come his way at the end of the season before making a decision, but also realizes that Michigan may not be able to wait and might need to make a decision sooner.
The hiring of Jim Harbaugh, should he find the same success that has consistently defined his coaching career, could mark a return to form for the Michigan football program that has struggled for much of the last decade since the retirement of coach Lloyd Carr in 2007.