Jim Harbaugh says he will return to Michigan in 2023 despite apparent NFL interest

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Looks like Jim Harbaugh will return to Michigan next season.

For the second offseason in a row, the Wolverines’ head coach interviewed the NFL franchise. Last year, it was a face-to-face interview with the Minnesota Vikings that never turned into a job offer. Harbaugh had a virtual interview with the Denver Broncos this year and is rumored to be interested in several other professional franchises.

After weeks of worries about Harbaugh’s status in Ann Arbor, Michigan released statements Monday by Harbaugh and University President Santa J. Ono announcing that Harbaugh would again lead the program next fall.

“I just got on the phone with Coach Harbaugh and Jim gave me the great news that he will remain the head coach of the Michigan Wolverines. This is fantastic news that I have shared with our sporting director, Varda Manuel,” Ono said.

Harbaugh added, “I love the relationships I have in Michigan — the coaches, the staff, the families, the administration, President Santa Ono and especially the players and their families. My heart belongs to the University of Michigan. I once heard a wise man say, “Don’t try to be happier than happiness.” Get blue!

Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh watches from the sidelines during the first half of the Big Ten Championship NCAA college football game against Purdue on Saturday, December 3, 2022, in Indianapolis.  (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh watches from the sidelines during the first half of the Big Ten Championship NCAA college football game against Purdue on Saturday, December 3, 2022, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Harbaugh led Michigan to back-to-back Big Ten titles

Harbaugh, 59, has been the head coach of his alma mater since 2015 and has a 74-25 record in that time. Over the past two seasons, he has led the program, winning Big Ten titles and making the college football playoffs. Michigan was unable to defeat an opponent from Ohio State in Harbaugh’s first six seasons, but the Wolverines knocked out rival Buckey in two straight meetings.

These wins gave the Wolverines the Big Ten East title. Last year, UM beat Iowa to claim their first Big Ten title since 2003. This season, Michigan beat Purdue to become conference champions again.

In 2021, Michigan lost to eventual national champion Georgia in the CFP semi-finals. Last season, Michigan lost to TCU in the semi-finals.

After that loss to the Horned Frogs, several reports surfaced again indicating that Harbaugh, who had a 44-19 record as the coach of the San Francisco 49ers from 2011 to 2014, would be interested in returning to the NFL. Harbaugh’s interview with the Vikings in Minneapolis on the day of the signing of the national contract last year made this clear. But after the Vikings decided to hire Kevin O’Connell instead, Harbaugh insisted that his NFL job search was just a one-time affair.

This turned out not to be the case, as Harbaugh was one of the many candidates for an interview with the Broncos. Harbaugh was also linked to a vacant job with the Indianapolis Colts. Harbaugh played quarterback for the Colts from 1994 to 1997 and was reportedly interested in returning.

After all this, Harbaugh remains in Michigan. This is despite a pending NCAA investigation.

Sources told Sportzshala Sports’ Dan Wetzel that Michigan received a draft notice of the allegations earlier this month. The case mostly contains Level II violations, but Harbaugh could be suspended because he was charged with a Level I violation for allegedly not being candid with investigators.

Michigan Among 2023 National Title Favorites

However, Harbaugh has a great team that will be back next fall.

A lot of the best players on his team decided to come back next season rather than go pro. Among them are running back Blake Corum, wide receiver Cornelius Johnson, offensive linemen Trevor Keegan and Zack Zinter, and linebacker Chris Jenkins. The Wolverines are also bringing back quarterback JJ McCarthy.

Michigan will be one of the favorites for the national championship in the 2023 season. The Wolverines (+1000) are currently ranked fourth in the best national championship odds ranking on BetMGM behind Georgia (+300), Ohio State (+600) and Alabama (+600).

And with this, Michigan administrators, players, and fans won’t have to worry about Harbaugh returning to the NFL—at least until next offseason.



Source: sports.yahoo.com