Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh and quarterback Cade McNamara celebrate a touchdown against Iowa during the first half of the Big Ten championship game at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis on Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021.

Syndication Detroit Free Press

Jim Harbaugh on Michigan’s two-QB system: ‘It’s really biblical’

Jim Harbaugh is doing things by the book at Michigan.

In granting the Wolverines’ top two quarterbacks each a start to begin the regular season, Harbaugh delayed naming a No. 1 quarterback after considering biblical guidance.

Cade McNamara will start for No. 8 Michigan against Colorado State on Saturday. Sophomore J.J. McCarthy gets the nod Sept. 10 against Hawaii.

Harbaugh said both quarterbacks will play in each game.

“No person, that’s biblical, no person knows what the future holds,” Harbaugh said Monday. “It’s a process and it’s going to be based on performance, but we’re not going to withhold any good thing. Both have been tremendous quarterbacks. We think that both are capable of leading our team to a championship.”

McNamara was the starter for the Wolverines in 2021 on the way to Michigan’s outright conference championship and a spot in the College Football Playoff. Harbaugh said McNamara was “arguably one of the most improved players on the team” following a season in which he amassed 2,576 passing yards, 15 touchdowns and six interceptions.

McCarthy was a top-25 overall recruit but an injured throwing shoulder limited his availability this spring. He came off the bench to play in 11 games in 2021.

The quarterbacks made a decision difficult on the Wolverines’ coaching staff, Harbaugh said, adding he believes both are ready to lead the team to a championship if their number is called.

“Some people have asked, ‘How did you come to that decision? Was it based on some kind of NFL model?’” Harbaugh said. “No, it’s really based biblical. Solomon, he was known to be a pretty wise person.”

–Field Level Media

Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh reacts after being knocked into a dunk tank for the first time during the Maize and Blue Big Top Event Kids Fair at the Dort Event Center in Flint on Thursday, July 21, 2022, as part of the Michigan football state caravan.

Jim Harbaugh, Michigan thinking big with ‘best player’ under center

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh laid out his goals for the 2022 season – including winning the national championship – with either Cade McNamara or J.J. McCarthy under center.

Harbaugh, speaking at Big Ten Media Days in Indianapolis, made clear it’s an open competition between the quarterbacks, both of whom had “phenomenal seasons” in 2021. McNamara was the starter last season, passing for 2,576 yards and 15 touchdowns.

“The best player is going to play,” Harbaugh said.

“Cade McNamara is going to be really tough to beat out for the starting quarterback job,” Harbaugh added. “J.J. McCarthy is going to be really tough to beat out for the starting quarterback job.”

McCarthy threw for 516 yards and five TDs while rushing for 124 yards and two scores.

“A really cool stat on Cade McNamara is over 50 percent of his drives end in points,” Harbaugh said. “I don’t know exactly what the number is for JJ, but it seems like every time he got in there and led a drive it ended in points as well.”

While that competition begins Aug. 3 when preseason camp kicks off, Harbaugh pinpointed the four goals for the Wolverines in 2022, two of which the team checked off last season.

“Our goals would be to beat Ohio State and Michigan State in the same year, win the Big Ten championship and win the national championship,” Harbaugh said. “Those are our four goals.”

The Wolverines beat Ohio State last season for the first time since 2011 but suffered their only regular-season loss to Michigan State.

Harbaugh guided the Wolverines to the Big Ten championship and College Football Playoff in 2021. They lost to eventual champion Georgia in the semifinals. Harbaugh was named the 2021 Associated Press Coach of the Year.

The Big Ten title was the school’s first since 2004.

Harbaugh is also coaching under a new contract he inked in February. Harbaugh will make $7.05 million this season, the first year of his reworked five-year contract. The new deal makes Harbaugh the second-highest paid coach in the Big Ten behind Michigan State’s Mel Tucker.

He owns a 61-24 record during his seven seasons at Michigan, his alma mater.

–Field Level Media

Tyler Nielsen trips up Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson in a game played Nov. 5, 2011 in Iowa City.

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Report: Ex-Michigan QB Denard Robinson to join Jim Harbaugh’s staff

Former Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson is returning to serve on coach Jim Harbaugh’s staff, 247Sports reported Wednesday.

The outlet said Robinson, 31, will be the football program’s assistant director of player personnel.

Robinson quarterbacked Michigan from 2009 to 2012. In 2010, he placed sixth in the Heisman Trophy voting after completing 62.5 percent of his passes for 2,570 yards and 18 touchdowns. He finished his college career throwing for 6,250 yards and 49 TDs.

Robinson was selected by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the fifth round of the 2013 NFL Draft. He played four seasons as a running back in Jacksonville before joining the Atlanta Legends of the Alliance of American Football league in 2018.

After the league folded in 2019, Robinson joined the Jacksonville University coaching staff as an offensive analyst. He became the Jaguars’ offensive quality control coach in 2020, and later, under then-Jags coach Urban Meyer, Robinson became a college scouting assistant in the team’s front office.

–Field Level Media

Jim Harbaugh

Reports: Jim Harbaugh’s new deal starts at $7M in 2022

Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh will make $7.05 million in the first year of his reworked five-year contract, multiple outlets reported Thursday.

Harbaugh, 58, stands to earn $7.6 million in the final year of the deal, per the outlets, citing copies of the contract obtained through a records request with the school.

The new deal makes Harbaugh the second-highest paid coach in the Big Ten behind Michigan State’s Mel Tucker.

Harbaugh would owe Michigan a $3 million buyout if he leaves after the first year. The buyout drops $750,000 per year after that.

Harbaugh had a base salary that was slashed to $4 million in 2021 after a 2-4 finish in 2020. However, he earned much more after hitting performance incentives. Those incentives are part of the new deal, including $1 million for winning the national championship and $500,000 for reaching the national semifinals again, among others.

The new deal essentially restores Harbaugh to where he was prior to the 2020 season.

Harbaugh returned to Ann Arbor somewhat unexpectedly after interviewing for and being linked to the Minnesota Vikings head coaching vacancy. After not getting the job, Harbaugh said he’s done chasing NFL jobs, telling a Detroit newspaper that “this is the last time.”

Harbaugh guided the Wolverines to the Big Ten championship and College Football Playoff in 2021. They lost to eventual champion Georgia in the semifinals. Harbaugh was named the 2021 Associated Press Coach of the Year.

He owns a 61-24 record during his seven seasons at Michigan, his alma mater.

–Field Level Media

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh watched his team warm up before the Orange Bowl against Georgia on Friday, Dec. 31, 2021, in Miami Gardens, Florida.

Capital One Orange Bowl

Jim Harbaugh gets contract extension at Michigan

Michigan and head coach Jim Harbaugh on Wednesday agreed to a contract extension through the 2026 season.

The new deal adds a year to the deal Harbaugh and the school announced in January 2021. It also alters the terms, which were not released.

“I love Michigan Football, the University of Michigan and the Ann Arbor community,” said Harbaugh. “My enthusiasm for tomorrow, the day after and every day following is as high as ever, and we are ready to get on the practice field and start preparations for the 2022 season.”

Harbaugh, 58, returned to Ann Arbor somewhat unexpectedly after interviewing for and being linked to the Minnesota Vikings head coaching vacancy. After not getting the job, Harbaugh said he’s done chasing NFL jobs, telling a Detroit newspaper that “this is the last time.”

Harbaugh guided the Wolverines to the Big Ten championship and College Football Playoff in 2021. They lost to eventual champion Georgia in the semifinals. Harbaugh was named the 2021 Associated Press Coach of the Year.

He owns a 61-24 record during his seven seasons at Michigan, his alma mater.

–Field Level Media

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh watched his team warm up before the Orange Bowl against Georgia on Friday, Dec. 31, 2021, in Miami Gardens, Florida.

Capital One Orange Bowl

Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh: Done chasing NFL jobs

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh said he no longer is interested in seeking employment in the NFL.

Following an interview with the Minnesota Vikings, Harbaugh told the Detroit Free Press that the idea of winning the Super Bowl spurred his interest in the NFL. He was unsuccessful in his lone appearance in the big game as head coach of the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII on Feb. 3, 2013.

“Sure, the Super Bowl is the greatest prize in our sport,” Harbaugh told the newspaper. “But winning a national championship, that’s pretty darn great. Let’s do that.

“There was a pull to the NFL because I got that close to the Super Bowl, but this was the time (to try and return). And this is the last time. Now let’s go chase college football’s greatest prize.”

Harbaugh, 58, met with the Vikings this week, however the club reportedly is expected to hire Los Angeles Rams offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell following Super Bowl LVI.

“There was a tugging at me that I was once that close to a Super Bowl and I didn’t get it,” Harbaugh told the newspaper. “Some NFL jobs came open. I was contacted by the Vikings. For better or for worse, it was something I wanted to explore. I went in thinking, ‘I’m gonna have 100 percent conviction on this, and if they (the Vikings) have 100 percent conviction on this, then it’s something I’m gonna do.’”

New Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah was in the research and development department with the San Francisco 49ers in 2013 and 2014 when Harbaugh was the team’s head coach. Harbaugh was 44-19-1 with the 49ers with three NFC Championship game appearances. His Super Bowl loss was to the Baltimore Ravens, coached by his older brother, John.

Harbaugh guided the Wolverines to the Big Ten championship and College Football Playoff in 2021. They lost to eventual champion Georgia in the semifinals.

He owns a 61-24 record during his seven seasons at Michigan, his alma mater.

–Field Level Media

Jim Harbaugh

Report: Jim Harbaugh won’t return to NFL, staying at Michigan

Jim Harbaugh’s flirtation with the NFL apparently is over.

ESPN reported Wednesday that Harbaugh informed Michigan he will return to the school as head coach instead of jumping to the NFL. He interviewed with the Minnesota Vikings earlier in the day — his second interview with the club.

Harbaugh told Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel that he intends to stay at his alma mater as long as the school wants him, per the report.

The Vikings now are expected to turn their focus to three other candidates: Los Angeles Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris, Rams offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell and New York Giants defensive coordinator Patrick Graham.

Harbaugh guided the Wolverines to the Big Ten championship and College Football Playoff in 2021. They lost to eventual champion Georgia in the semifinals.

ESPN reported over the weekend that Harbaugh “conveyed legitimate interest” in the Vikings and added that team management came away from the first interview “feeling Harbaugh is ready to return to the NFL.”

The Vikings’ head-coaching job is available after the team fired Mike Zimmer on Jan. 10 following an 8-9 season.

Zimmer, 65, posted a 72-56-1 record during his eight seasons at the helm in Minnesota, although the club finished under .500 in each of the past two seasons.

Harbaugh, 58, owns a 61-24 record during his seven seasons at Michigan. That success followed a 44-19-1 run during his stint with the San Francisco 49ers (2011-14). He guided the 49ers to three straight NFC Championship Games and an appearance in Super Bowl XLVII.

–Field Level Media

Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh walks off the field after the Wolverines' 34-11 loss to the Georgia Bulldogs in the Orange Bowl.

Syndication Detroit Free Press

Reports: Jim Harbaugh, Vikings set second interview

Jim Harbaugh and the Minnesota Vikings are meeting a second time to discuss the Michigan coach jumping back to the NFL.

NFL reporter Aaron Wilson reported Harbaugh would interview with the Vikings a second time following a Zoom interview on Saturday, during which he reportedly made clear his intentions were serious.

New Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah was in the San Francisco 49ers research and development department in 2013 and 2014 when Harbaugh was the team’s head coach. Harbaugh was 44-19-1 with the 49ers with three NFC Championship game appearances.

The Michigan head coach guided the Wolverines to the Big Ten championship and College Football Playoff in 2021.

The Vikings are searching for a replacement for Mike Zimmer, who was fired at the end of the regular season, and have interviewed Buccaneers defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, Giants defensive coordinator Patrick Graham, Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris, Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon, Rams offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell and new Broncos coach Nathaniel Hackett. Hackett was previously offensive coordinator of the Green Bay Packers.

Before preparing for the Super Bowl, Morris interviewed a second time with Adofo-Mensah on Monday, the Vikings confirmed.

Harbaugh agreed to a pay cut at Michigan prior to last season, but made $4 million in salary plus incentives for reaching college football’s final four.

–Field Level Media

Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh walks off the field after the Wolverines' 34-11 loss to the Georgia Bulldogs in the Orange Bowl.

Syndication Detroit Free Press

Report: Jim Harbaugh has ‘legitimate interest’ in Vikings’ job

Jim Harbaugh has been making inroads toward a return to the NFL.

The Michigan head coach interviewed for the same position with the Minnesota Vikings over the weekend.

ESPN reported Harbaugh “conveyed legitimate interest” in the club and added the Vikings’ management came away “feeling Harbaugh is ready to return to the NFL.”

Los Angeles Rams offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell and San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans will be given second interviews with Minnesota, NFL Network reported.

The Vikings head-coaching job is available after the team fired Mike Zimmer on Jan. 10.

Zimmer, 65, posted a 72-56-1 record during his eight seasons at the helm in Minnesota, although the club finished under .500 in each of the past two seasons.

Harbaugh, 58, owns a 61-24 record during his seven seasons at Michigan, his alma mater. That came following a 44-19-1 run during his stint with the San Francisco 49ers (2011-14). He guided the 49ers to three straight NFC Championship Games and an appearance in Super Bowl XLVII.

–Field Level Media

Michigan Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh stands on the sideline during the NCAA football game at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor on Monday, Nov. 29, 2021.

Ohio State Buckeyes At Michigan Wolverines

Report: Mutual interest between Bears, Jim Harbaugh

A coaching change appears imminent in Chicago, and the Bears reportedly have strong interest in interviewing Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh.

According to The Athletic, that interest is mutual.

Matt Nagy reportedly will coach his final game as head coach of the team on Sunday, and NBC Chicago said Harbaugh is at the top of the list of potential replacements.

Multiple outlets reported the Bears attempted to engage Harbaugh when Nagy, then offensive coordinator of the Kansas City Chiefs, was hired by general manager Ryan Pace and approved by the team’s ownership before the 2018 season.

Nagy has a 34-30 overall record with two playoff appearances — both losses — entering Sunday’s finale.

Longtime college football writer Bruce Feldman told the “Rich Eisen Show” that Harbaugh has “really positive feelings” toward the organization, but rated the expected opening with the Las Vegas Raiders as the best fit for the Wolverines’ head coach.

Harbaugh played quarterback for the Bears from 1987-93.

Harbaugh, 58, took a pay cut prior to the 2021 season and led Michigan to the College Football Playoff as Big Ten champions. But he has NFL coaching experience, including a Super Bowl appearance with the San Francisco 49ers.

He was 44-19-1 with the 49ers from 2011-14.

–Field Level Media