The leading candidate for the head coaching job at the University of Kansas, Jim Harbaugh, has instead opted to sign a three-year extension and stay at Stanford.
The news comes less than a day after media in the Kansas City area reported that Harbaugh would be arriving in town tonight to meet with KU officials and sign a deal. That report was obviously the brain-child of a blindly optimistic KU alum.
It was rumored earlier in the week that Harbaugh could be using the Jayhawks as leverage for a better deal at the Cardinal, and it appears he got one.
Harbaugh would've been an excellent choice to lead the Jayhawks, if Athletic Director Lew Perkins could have reeled him in. After inheriting a one-win team three years ago, the former NFL quarterback led this year's team to an eight-win season, has developed a Heisman worthy running back, and led his team to an upset of perennial Pac-10 contender USC.
The Jayhawks will continue their search, and one of the remaining coaches on their short-list, Buffalo's Turner Gill, has reportedly already publicly announced that he would accept the position if offered.
Gill could be a good fit for the Jayhawks. His daughter, Jordan Gill, is a sophomore at KU and works in the KU Athletic Department. Also, being a former star quarterback in the early 1980s at Nebraska and later an assistant under Head Coach Tom Osborne, Gill is quite familiar with Big 12 country.
Whether Perkins hires Gill or someone else, he can ill afford to have another Harbaugh moment where one of his candidates picks another school over KU. By the time he decides on a coach, he may lose any recruits who were once pondering the thought of signing with KU.