Jim Harbaugh to Return to NFL

After six seasons coaching Michigan, Harbaugh is expected to return to the NFL.

Reports emerged that he is eyeing another stint in professional football. His resume at Michigan features a 49-22 record, three 10-win seasons and five bowl appearances. Harbaugh’s 1-4 bowl record is his biggest blemish while never fully recapturing the glory of his past success with Stanford in 2010 and the San Francisco 49ers in 2011-13.

With a disappointing 2-4 record this year, more reports are hinting at the possibility of the university moving on from Harbaugh. Harbaugh looking at head coaching vacancies in the NFL may be an opportunity for him to hop ship before he faces his eventual demise at Michigan.

Michigan signed him to a contract worth $7.5 million annually, the fourth highest salary in the nation.

After leading the 49ers to three straight conference championship appearances, including a lone Super Bowl trip, Harbaugh was fired when his relationship soured with the front office.

Still competitive during his fourth and final year as the 49ers head coach (7-4 start), the public feud and drama resulted in the team losing four of their last five and missing the postseason. Harbaugh was chased out of Levi Stadium before the final game’s clock ran out.

Harbaugh is a tenacious coach that has worn out his welcome at multiple destinations. He spent four years each with the University of San Diego, Stanford, Oakland Raiders and San Francisco 49ers. Michigan is his longest tenured job to date.

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Despite his reputation, Harbaugh still brings tremendous value on the defensive end. He coached the 49ers to a top-10 defense each year including two No. 2 defensive rankings and an additional No. 3 ranking.

Multiple NFL coaches have already faced the guillotine this year. Bill O’Brien with Houston, Dan Quinn with Atlanta and Matt Patricia with Detroit have all faced the chopping block and lost their jobs. Adam Gase for the New York Jets, Doug Marrone for Jacksonville, Anthony Lynn for Los Angeles Chargers, Matt Nagy for Chicago and Mike Zimmer for Minnesota are others who remain on the proverbial hot seat.

Will Harbaugh want to pair with an experienced QB like Stafford and work on the defensive side of the ball? Or join forces with a fresh faced QB prospect in New York or Jacksonville? We’ll have to wait and see.

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