In the final installment of my head coaches ranking (broken down by division), we head west in the NFC, where a rising star emerged amongst his coaching brethren in 2011.
A year ago, there were those who questioned the audacity the 49ers (and the Dolphins too – who struck out) showed in breaking out the checkbook and cutting a fat one for Jim Harbaugh, the former Stanford coach and NFL quarterback.
Suffice to say the move paid off, as San Francisco transformed into the toughest defense in all of football, a functional offensive team and a consistent winner.
Harbaugh was the conductor to the fastest growing train in the league, and demonstrated the immense value a culture change prompted by a new head coach can bring in the NFL.
But what his one-year run enough to convince me he’s the lead dog amongst NFC West head coaches?
Let’s find out.