The current Michigan football coach compared his departure from San Francisco to Crean's removal at Indiana, per Michael Rosenberg of Sports Illustrated:
Much like my situation in San Francisco, the people that are doing the micromanaging...when it comes to building a ball team, what they know could not blow up a small balloon. In my case, an owner and a general manager. In his case, an administration. They are so similar in that way. And he still wins two Big Ten championships outright.
Crean was fired Thursday after nine seasons at Indiana, per Jeff Goodman of ESPN.
The Hoosiers finished a disappointing 2016-17 season with an 18-16 record, but Crean had brought the program back from scandals under Kelvin Sampson and won two regular-season titles, one of which came last season.
Indiana went to the Sweet 16 three times under Crean, and he totaled a 166-135 record in his tenure.
Similarly, the 49ers were just 8-8 in Harbaugh's last season, but he was 44-19-1 in four seasons with one Super Bowl appearance. The franchise didn't have a winning season in eight years before his arrival and are just 7-25 in two years since.