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Jim Harbaugh Says He'll Return as Michigan HC in 2023 Despite NFL Rumors

Erin WalshDecember 5, 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

With Michigan back in the College Football Playoff, there have been questions about head coach Jim Harbaugh's future with the team as NFL clubs could come knocking at his door this offseason.

However, Harbaugh shut down rumors of a potential departure from Michigan on Sunday, telling reporters that he would return to the Wolverines in 2023, via ESPN's Tom VanHaaren:

"That time of the year type of speculation, but I think no man knows the future. But I think that people that think we've done a good job and are pleased with the job that we've done here at Michigan, they're going to be very happy to learn that we will be back enthusiastically coaching the Wolverines in 2023. And for those people that don't approve of the job we've done or would rather see somebody else coaching here, I think they'll be most likely disappointed to learn we'll be back coaching the Wolverines and in 2023."

Harbaugh's comments come after NFL Network's Tom Pelissero and Ian Rapoport reported that "multiple NFL teams have been doing background work recently" on the Michigan head coach.

Pelissero and Rapoport wrote:

"One NFL source plugged into the situation said they believe Harbaugh would consider a return to the NFL, and a source with another team that could be running a head-coaching search said they believe Harbaugh would discuss an opening if asked and weigh the right situation."

Harbaugh has been head coach of the Michigan Wolverines since 2015. In his eight years at the helm, he is 75-24 and has now led the team to back-to-back appearances in the College Football Playoff.

Last season, Michigan finished 12-2, falling to Georgia in the CFP semifinals. This year, the Wolverines are 13-0 and set to face the TCU Horned Frogs in the CFP semifinals on Dec. 31.

Harbaugh's college success isn't the only reason why he's drawing interest from NFL teams. He previously coached the San Francisco 49ers from 2011 to 2014, going 44-19-1 and leading the team to the NFC Championship Game three times and an appearance in the Super Bowl.

The 58-year-old flirted with an NFL return after the 2021 season, interviewing for the Minnesota Vikings' head coaching vacancy, though they never offered him the job instead hiring Kevin O'Connell.

Harbaugh is under contract with Michigan through 2026 after agreeing to a five-year, $36.7 million contract with the Wolverines in February.