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NFL Rumors: Jim Harbaugh Eyed by Teams for HC Job after Michigan Clinched CFP Berth

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVDecember 4, 2022

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - DECEMBER 04: Head coach Jim Harbaugh of the Michigan Wolverines celebrates following the game against the Purdue Boilermakers in the Big Ten Championship at Lucas Oil Stadium on December 4, 2022 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
Michael Hickey/Getty Images

It seemed like Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh might leave for the NFL last offseason until he didn't.

Perhaps he will this offseason.

Tom Pelissero and Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reported "multiple NFL teams have been doing background work" on the Wolverines' leader, who just guided his team to a second straight Big Ten title.

One source suggested he would at least "consider" rejoining the NFL, while another said he would "discuss an opening if asked and weigh the right situation."

That NFL teams would be interested in Harbaugh comes as no surprise.

He went 44-19-1 from 2011 through 2014 with the San Francisco 49ers, leading them to three straight NFC Championship Games and a Super Bowl appearance during that tenure. While they fell just short in Super Bowl XLVII against his brother John and the Baltimore Ravens, it was an impressive stretch of coaching.

That has largely continued at Michigan with a 74-24 record and five double-digit win seasons in eight years.

While he didn't beat Ohio State in his first six seasons and seemed to be establishing a trend of just falling short of the team's ultimate goals, he has turned things around of late with two straight victories in the rivalry matchup and two consecutive conference crowns.

The Wolverines are also headed to the College Football Playoff for a second straight year.

Rapoport and Pelissero noted that despite the success, he may have left for the Minnesota Vikings head coaching last offseason if it was ever officially offered. He interviewed with the NFC North team virtually and again in person for nine hours, although Kevin O'Connell landed the position.

Harbaugh notably told Mitch Albom of the Detroit Free Press in February the NFL rumors wouldn't be a constant thing for the rest of his tenure.

"Sure, the Super Bowl is the greatest prize in our sport," he said. "But winning a national championship. That's pretty darn great. Let's do that.

"There was a pull to the NFL because I got that close to the Super Bowl, but this was the time (to try and return.) And this is the last time. Now let's go chase college football’s greatest prize."

Michigan is two wins away from that prize, but the NFL may still be calling. Rapoport pointed out his former team, the Indianapolis Colts, is one of those squads with a coaching opening as the offseason approaches.

Perhaps Harbaugh's pursuit of a Super Bowl title isn't over just yet.