Jim Harbaugh happy for 'homecoming' to Michigan
Calling it a "homecoming," Jim Harbaugh was introduced as the 20th head coach in the history of the University of Michigan football program on Tuesday in Ann Arbor.
Harbaugh, one of the game's hottest coaching names, chose to coach his alma mater over potentially taking another job in the NFL. Harbaugh and the 49ers mutually parted ways shortly after Sunday's game against the Cardinals.
In four years with the 49ers, Harbaugh took San Francisco to three NFC Championship Games and one Super Bowl appearance in 2012. Harbaugh lost that game 34-31 to his brother John Harbaugh and the Baltimore Ravens.
Now Harbaugh will have the task of restoring glory to the school he quarterbacked from 1983-1986. Wearing a maize and blue striped tie, Harbaugh told reporters he was excited for the challenge.
"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 said at his introductory press conference.
Harbaugh replaces Brady Hoke, who progressively got worse during his time at Michigan. After going 11-2 his first season, Hoke led the Wolverines to 8-5, 7-6 and 5-7 seasons in consecutive years. Hoke was fired after losing to Ohio State for the third consecutive year.
Harbaugh's deal is worth $35 million for seven years, though interim athletics director Jim Hackett said the deal will be reviewed for market value after his first season. According to Michigan insider and Wall Street Journal writer John U. Bacon, Harbaugh elected against an $8 million per year salary, which would make him the highest-paid football coach in college football history, so that he could have more money to spend on his assistants.
It's not out of the realm to expect Harbaugh to return Michigan to college football prominence. Whether it was at the University of San Diego, Stanford or the 49ers, Harbaugh has won as a football coach. It can safely be assumed the same will follow with the Wolverines, a program in need of someone to turn the program around.
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