Jim Harbaugh has reached some incredible heights as a head coach, but none top what he accomplished over the last two weekends.
"I love this team," Harbaugh told reporters after Michigan's Big Ten Championship Game win over Iowa. "There's no team I love more than this team. I think back to the (University of San Diego) team we had in 2005 and 2006, and the Stanford team in 2009 and 2010. And the 49ers team in '11, '12 and '13."
Michigan dismantled Iowa in a 42-3 romp to win Harbaugh's first conference championship at his alma mater, a week after the coach earned his first triumph over rival Ohio State. The Wolverines are set to be selected later Sunday to their first College Football Playoff, perhaps as the No. 1 seed.
While Harbaugh has been nothing short of a success at every stop on his coaching journey, his tenure at Michigan has been fraught at times. His teams consistently came up short in big games, particularly against Ohio State, and he entered 2021 arguably on the hot seat after an ugly 2-4 campaign a year ago.
"One of the first things I thought of after we won was Coach Harbaugh," quarterback Cade McNamara told reporters. "That happened against Ohio State, that happened here again. After last season, it was so tough, not just for us players but for Coach Harbaugh as well, and we know that there's not one person who cares about Michigan more than Coach Harbaugh.
"This team, we came together. We want to win for Coach Harbaugh too, and we're just so happy that we were able to give him back that joy because he deserves it."
Harbaugh is 61-23 over his seven seasons at Michigan and 119-50 overall as a college head coach. He was also 44-19-1 during his four-year stint with the San Francisco 49ers, never posting a losing season and reaching the conference championship game three times.