Report: Jim Harbaugh 'In No Rush' to Fill Michigan's Staff; Not Linked to Dolphins

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 10, 2022

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - DECEMBER 31: Michigan Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh during the Capital One Orange Bowl game between the Georgia Bulldogs and the Michigan Wolverines on December 31, 2021 at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fl.  (Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

University of Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh has reportedly been slow to fill vacancies within his coaching staff amid rumors of a potential return to the NFL.

Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated reported Monday that Harbaugh could be an option for the Las Vegas Raiders, but their win over the Los Angeles Chargers under interim head coach Rich Bisaccia on Sunday to clinch a postseason berth will delay the process:

"Does the Raiders' inclusion in the playoffs lead to a Harbaugh extension at Michigan? It was pointed out to me by two people Sunday that Harbaugh has been in no rush to fill openings on his U of M staff (Ryan Day, conversely, has already hired two big-money assistants at Ohio State) this month, which is a sure sign he really is mulling his options. Can he wait out a Vegas playoff run? We'll see."

Harbaugh has compiled a 61-24 record across seven years at Michigan and guided the Wolverines to the College Football Playoff in 2021 before a semifinal loss to Georgia. His 1-5 record in bowl games and matching 1-5 mark against Ohio State have tainted an otherwise strong tenure.

The 58-year-old Ohio native spent four years leading the San Francisco 49ers from 2011 through 2014. He posted a terrific 44-19-1 record with three playoff appearances, highlighted by a trip to Super Bowl XLVII, where the Niners lost to his brother, John, and the Baltimore Ravens.

CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora reported Saturday there are mixed signals about whether Harbaugh would leave his alma mater for another run in the NFL, but there would be plenty of interest if he's willing to make the jump for a second time.

The former NFL quarterback is "very well liked" by Raiders owner Mark Davis and was also a former target of Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross, a major Michigan donor, per La Canfora.

Miami fired Brian Flores on Monday to create a head coaching vacancy, but it isn't targeting Harbaugh, at least at the outset of the search, per ESPN's Jeff Darlington. Ross later confirmed that stance:

Andrew Siciliano @AndrewSiciliano

Dolphins owner Stephen Ross:<br><br>"I'm not going to be the person to take Jim Harbaugh from the University of Michigan. I hope he stays there."

Meanwhile, the Raiders haven't given a strong indication about the future of Bisaccia, but getting the team into the playoffs should improve his chances of getting the full-time job.

"I haven't thought one second about [the offseason]. All I thought about was today's practice and can we improve a little bit throughout the meetings, throughout the walkthrough," Bisaccia told reporters ahead of Sunday's critical game against the Chargers.

Each playoff win would likely increase his odds of having the interim tag removed, but the question is whether the Raiders would still opt for a wide-scale search if they lose to the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC Wild Card Round on Saturday.

At the same time, Michigan has to start building toward its own 2022 campaign and would likely prefer some clarity about Harbaugh's future.