To those who know him best, Jim Harbaugh is the ultimate competitor.
A winner. A motivator. A leader.
He is driven and fiery, confident and cocky, astute and willing to delegate and all about winning and being successful. And now he is Michigan’s new head coach, returning to his alma mater to restore its luster and return it to national prominence.
Harbaugh, 51, who spent the last four seasons as coach of the San Francisco 49ers after two college head-coaching stops at San Diego and Stanford, will be formally introduced Tuesday at a noon news conference. He is a former Michigan quarterback (1982-86) who played under legendary coach Bo Schembechler.
Harbaugh has signed his Michigan contract, a source told The Detroit News on Monday night. Terms were not immediately known.
The source spoke to The News on condition of anonymity because Michigan had not announced that Harbaugh had been hired.
Harbaugh replaces Brady Hoke, fired on Dec. 2 after four seasons. This is Michigan’s third head coach since 2008. Rich Rodriguez was fired in 2011 after three seasons. The Wolverines have gone 46-42 since Lloyd Carr retired after the 2007 season, his 13th as head coach. They have endured three losing seasons, including the most recent 5-7 record. Michigan hasn’t won a Big Ten title since 2004.
Harbaugh’s Michigan teammates have unwavering confidence in the job he will do and how he will lead.
“Unequivocally, I would play with him again,” said John Kolesar, a former Michigan receiver who played with Harbaugh. “I would want to coach with him, and I would want my son to play for him.
“I’ve seen him work, I’ve seen him sacrifice, and I’ve seen him want to be better and want great things for himself. He instilled an innate confidence that emanated from him and was absorbed in the huddle by his teammates. He’s been bred for this.”
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SOURCE: The Detroit News
Angelique S. Chengelis