Jim Harbaugh Rumors: Vikings Spoke with Michigan HC About Replacing Mike Zimmer as HC

Erin Walsh

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

It appears Jim Harbaugh might be one step closer to returning to the NFL. 

The Minnesota Vikings will reportedly interview the Michigan Wolverines head coach for their vacant head coaching position, according to Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio on Saturday.

Tom Pelissero of NFL.com reported Sunday the "Vikings requested and received permission from Michigan to speak with Harbaugh—standard process for NFL teams—and had an exploratory conversation with him Saturday afternoon to gauge his interest."

Pelissero added, "Nothing further is scheduled, but Harbaugh remains a candidate for the job and it wouldn't be surprising if the Vikings bring him to the facility this week."

The Vikings are searching for a new head coach after firing Mike Zimmer earlier this month. Zimmer had served as the franchise's head coach since 2014, compiling a 72-56-1 record and leading the team to the postseason three times. 

As for Harbaugh, Florio previously reported his interest in returning to the NFL over "unfinished business." At the time, Florio reported Harbaugh is "watching and waiting to see whether a team with a reasonable ownership and general manager situation is interested in giving him an opportunity."

Minnesota recently hired Kwesi Adofo-Mensah as GM to replace Rick Spielman. In addition to the Vikings, Florio listed the Denver Broncos and New York Giants as potential destinations for the Wolverines head coach. 

Harbaugh served as head coach of the San Francisco 49ers from 2011 to 2014, compiling a 44-19-1 record. He led the franchise to three straight playoff appearances, including a trip to Super Bowl XLVII following the 2012 campaign. 

However, Harbaugh and the 49ers lost 34-31 to his brother, John Harbaugh, and the Baltimore Ravens. Because of that, it's not hard to see why he would have "unfinished business."

It's been speculated the 58-year-old would be a hot NFL candidate after he led Michigan to a 12-2 record and College Football Playoff appearance. However, it's unclear if the Vikings have him as one of their top choices. 

Minnesota has reportedly shown interest in Los Angeles Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris, Rams offensive coordinator Kevin O'Connell, Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon, Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore, San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive coordinator Todd Bowles and Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, per various reports (h/t Fan Nation's Will Ragatz). 

The Vikings also showed interest in former Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett before he agreed to become head coach of the Denver Broncos.