Jim Harbaugh coached his final game as head coach of the San Francisco 49ers leading the team to a 20-17 win against the Arizona Cardinals amidst much speculation bordering on certainty that the embattled coach would accept a reported six year, $50 million offer to coach the Michigan Wolverines. Immediately following the game, the 49ers released a statement announcing Harbaugh's departure from the team, according to ESPN's Paul Gutierrez.
Fox football insiders Mark Garofalo and Bruce Feldman reported last week that news of the University of Michigan offer were "inaccurate," while ESPN's Marcellus Wiley cited two inside sources that confirmed that Harbaugh had already accepted the offer.
The Inquisitr reported last week that Harbaugh was torn between the opportunity to coach his alma mater and restore the once proud program to national prominence, and his desire to remain a head coach in the NFL. Reports surfaced this week that Harbaugh's close friends and family had given the successful coach their full support and blessing to make whatever decision he felt was best.
"For the last four seasons I have had the great privilege to coach one of the storied franchises in the history of football. We accomplished many great things together as a team during this period, which is a tribute to the incredible efforts of some of the most dedicated players and coaches in the NFL. I will miss competing alongside this group of players and coaches, I have the utmost respect and admiration for their hard work and support. It has been my honor to share the sideline with these mighty men. I will always appreciate and remember fondly, the passion and support of our Faithful fans, and want to express my particular thanks to them."In four years as head coach of the 49ers, Harbaugh led the team to an overall record of 49-22-1 (5-3 during the postseason), which includes two NFC West titles, the NFC Championship game three consecutive seasons, and an appearance in Super Bowl XLVII. Harbaugh is the second winningest coach during his tenure, and is the only head coach in NFL history to reach the conference championship game each of his first three seasons.
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 programs almost immediately following his taking over each program. His proven record of success would be a welcome infusion to the Wolverines football program and stands to return the team to prominence for the first time since the retirement of coach Lloyd Carr in 2007