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Michigan's Jim Harbaugh Reportedly Eyeing Return to NFL as Head Coach

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistDecember 6, 2020

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh stands on the sideline during the first quarter of the team's NCAA college football game against Wisconsin in Ann Arbor, Mich., Saturday, Nov. 14, 2020. (AP Photo/Tony Ding)
Tony Ding/Associated Press

Jim Harbaugh's tenure at Michigan may soon be over.

Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk reported Harbaugh is eyeing a potential return to the NFL with the temperature on his seat rising in Ann Arbor.

The 56-year-old is in his sixth season at his alma mater, with the pressure increasing as he fails to return the Wolverines to national championship-level prominence. Michigan is currently 2-4 in the COVID-shortened 2020 season, putting the program in danger of missing a bowl game for the first time since he took over in 2015. 

Harbaugh previously spent four seasons with the San Francisco 49ers, going 44-19-1 and leading the team to three playoff berths. The demanding coach's tenure at Michigan is the first time he has lasted more than four years at a job. He previously coached three years at San Diego and four at Stanford.

The end of Harbaugh's only NFL job came as a result of a power struggle with then-general manager Trent Baalke. The 49ers ultimately chose to stick with Baalke, a move that quickly backfired when Jim Tomsula and Chip Kelly led the team to a 7-25 mark in the first two seasons after Harbaugh's dismissal.

It's unclear what jobs Harbaugh could target, but his next destination will require a front office capable of handling his intense style. That said, after what has largely been an unsuccessful tenure at Michigan, Harbaugh may not be able to be as demanding as his previous stops. 

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