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Report: NFL Teams Looking Into Jim Harbaugh As Coaching Option

Sports Illustrated
Sports Illustrated
 2022-12-04

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His success at Michigan has made him an intriguing target for professional franchises.

Although Jim Harbaugh shut down speculation about a return to the NFL after an interview with the Vikings last winter, teams around the league don’t seem ready to give up on pursuing the Michigan coach.

To wit, multiple NFL franchises have begun doing background work on Harbaugh, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero . One source told NFL Network that they believed Harbaugh would consider a return to the pros, while another said they thought he would discuss an opening if asked, before weighing the right situation.

Harbaugh, 58, is coming off of a second consecutive Big Ten championship as well as consecutive wins over Ohio State in The Game. Michigan is on the cusp of another trip to the College Football Playoff, due in large part to Harbaugh’s hitting his stride in recent seasons in Ann Arbor.

Harbaugh, who went 44–19–1 as the 49ers’ head coach from 2011 to ’14 and led the franchise to an appearance in Super Bowl XLVII, often is mentioned in conjunction with NFL vacancies, but little has come of the rumors. That changed last season when he interviewed for the Vikings’ head coaching job.

Minnesota never offered Harbaugh the job, and former Rams offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell ultimately took the gig.

The Vikings interview was followed by Harbaugh having his contract reworked at Michigan. He’s now under contract through the 2026 season and is guaranteed to earn at least $7 million annually, with the potential to earn more in performance-based incentives.

“Ultimately, I decided this is where I wanted to be,” Harbaugh told reporters in March when addressing the re-structured deal and the Vikings interview. “And really, a lot of gratitude for that.”

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