Tag Archives: Jim Harbaugh

Harbaugh Set to Return to Michigan

By Savannah Malnar

University of Michigan has been a powerhouse in college football for ages, so when they fell to 5-7 this season it was a shock to everyone. The fans were upset. Both the Athletic Director, Dave Brandon, and head coach, Brady Hoke, were fired before the season even concluded. The situation interim AD, Kim Hackett, had to take over was abysmal. But what he reportedly managed to do has brought hope into the hearts of many Michigan fans.

According to reports on Monday, Hackett had successfully hired famed coach Jim Harbaugh to take over the head coaching job. Harbaugh boasts an impressive resume: he earned a record of 29-6 in the three years he spent at University of San Diego, he brought back the Stanford football program and coached Heisman candidates Andrew Luck and Toby Gerhart there, and then went on to take a pro coaching job in San Francisco and brought the 49ers to three NFC title games and one Super Bowl (loss), finishing his time with the team with a record of 44-19-1.

While Harbaugh’s numbers look impressive, he has a habit of almost burning out after a few seasons in whatever job he is occupied with. Most recently he ended the season with the 49ers 8-8. There is speculation as to whether he quit, or if he was fired; San Francisco’s management said it was “mutual.”

Whatever the case may be there, Harbaugh appears ready to return to the college game and hopefully revive the Michigan football program. The media is speculating he chose Michigan over other possible NFL jobs because it is his alma mater; he played quarterback there under the prominent coach Bo Schembechler.

Sport media members and Michigan fans in general are convinced Harbaugh is the key to turning their program into a threat once again. Eric Bakhtiari, who played for Harbaugh at both University of San Diego and the 49ers, said this about his coach: “He takes losers and makes them winners. It’s as simple as that.”

That’s something any fan would want to hear. According to the media and an anonymous source, Harbaugh is going to be introduced to the student body as head coach at the U of M basketball game on Tuesday. That game is now sold out and tickets for it have gone up six times the average price online.

I think Harbaugh will like being a Wolverine again.

Feeling the Pressure

By Kaleb Page

It’s approaching that time of the year. Now when you hear that phrase most may think of Christmas or the holiday season. In the college football world that means the college football coaching carousel is approaching. This week two teams that joined the coaching market jumped out of the carousel ride early.

Nebraska after many tension filled season with Bo Pelini fired the coach even after posting another 9-3 season. Over his tenure Pelini went 67-27 and for what some would say brought some consistency to the Nebraska program. Another thing that could be said with the firing of Pelini is that the fan base at Nebraska could be making unrealistic expectations, but at powerhouse programs expectations can exceed reality.

With that said ESPN reports showed that early Thursday Nebraska hired Mike Riley from Oregon State to take over the team. A coach of 14 years at Oregon State he was known for his loyalty and being calm, this might have been the reason to hire Riley to just have an opposite view-point from that of Pelini. Only time will tell how consistent Riley is in comparison to how Pelini was at Nebraska.

For the time it had Will Muschamp as a coach, Florida just could never seem to hit its stride. Offensively every year it seemed to be lacking something. It might have been due to the fact that switches at coordinator on offense over the years didn’t lend to the offense at Florida being cohesive and full of continuity. The defense was not the problem though during his tenure with there being plenty of NFL talent on the defensive side, including this final season. A specialty of Muschamp’s that might land him a job as a defensive coordinator at Texas A&M or Auburn.

The same Thursday as the Nebraska hire, Florida hired from Colorado State Jim McElwain a former offensive coordinator under Nick Saban at Alabama from 2008-11 the lead to two championship runs. This season at Colorado State saw McElwain take his team to a 10-2 record and recognition from the Mountain West conference as the best coach. From the buzz around the college football scene it sure looks like Florida made the right hire in McElwain.

Now there is pressure from these schools and schools that probably will join in the coaching carousel soon to make the home run hire. To get that “it” guy who can transcend not only the conference but also the national scene to bring all the glory to that perspective school is more important than ever now. Maybe it was the pressure that caused Florida and Nebraska to make the leap for their guy right now. Possibly it was just because they did their homework and said this is the right fit in all ways. For one school in particular this better be the best hire they have had in a long time.

The University of Michigan was one of the more premiere jobs in the country back in the early to mid-2000s. However after multiple years of complete failure in the eyes of any Michigan fans’ standards under Rich Rodriguez and Brady Hoke; the job saw its luster fade away. With the vacancy created after the firing of Hoke this past weekend, the task at hand to find a new coach might be the most important one in Michigan history.  As I heard SVP and Russillo today talk about the coaching hires, they brought up a very interesting point that is very important to realize.

In the college football coaching arena there are only a handful of guys you can look at and say those guys are “it.” Coaches that are consistent and no matter the scenario or team they can bring you a level of excellency not matched by any coach out there. That is why Michigan better get this right and better hit the walk-off grand slam in the bottom of the ninth for the win to make not only a statement, but to show they mean business again.

Whether it is Jim Harbaugh, Les Miles, Dan Mullen or even Greg Schiano the man picked for the job better be the big splash needed to bring the Michigan of old back to the scene. The fans need it, the Big Ten conference needs it and even college football needs a stronger showing from Michigan. For the new athletic director at Michigan the choice better be a great one and better be that “it” guy.

No pressure.

Harbaugh brothers dominate pregame story lines

BY ANTHONY ALFORD

The biggest story line headed into Super Bowl XLVII was the battle between the two Harbaugh brothers, Jim Harbaugh of the 49ers and John Harbaugh of the Ravens. Who would have ever thought that two brothers would be competing against each other in the Super Bowl?

Within that story line, broadcasters also focused on key personnel decisions made by the brothers during the regular season. John Harbaugh made the decision to fire his offensive coordinator Cam Cameron and replaced him with Jim Caldwell. But, the bigger story was Jim Harbaugh’s decision to bench Alex Smith in favor of Colin Kaepernick mid-season.

Ray Lewis’ final game also dominated pregame broadcasts. Lewis announced his retirement a few days before the playoffs began. His emotional impact has been special to watch throughout this playoff run. He had the opportunity to be like Michael Strahan or Jerome Bettis and ride into the sunset as a champion. Seeing his fairy tale ending come true on Sunday was a joy to watch.