Jim Hackett Laid His Card, And Thus Michigan Conquered

Posted on Posted in Michigan Football

Now we’re just waiting on official word from Jim Harbaugh and/or the University of Michigan. This thing is locked up. So as this coaching search winds down through its final hours and minutes and seconds, let’s not forget who orchestrated this whole thing.

Jim Hackett—the man, the myth, the legend.

This coaching search began on Dec. 2 when former Wolverines head coach Brady Hoke was fired by Hackett (who is still under the interim title), and it was very clearly stated that Hackett would be the all-on AD throughout the search for a new coach.

Hackett then brought on the respected search firm Korn Ferry to do the head hunting and screen potential candidates. Though specific numbers have not been disclosed, it was made known that the firm would be receiving between $80,000 and $250,000, depending on the work required.

Hackett laid his card, looked up at the rest of the sorry players, lowered his sunglasses a bit and gave a soft grin.

The general feeling in the very beginning of this voyage was that three candidates sat high atop the list: Jim Harbaugh, John Harbaugh and Les Miles.

For weeks we paid very close attention to betting odds, and along the way a civil war was engaged between NFL (national) writers and Michigan (local) writers. If the reports weren’t completely contradicting each other, it was because we were still waiting on the national media to actually report it. But that’s beside the point; we’re talking about Mr. Hackett.

It did not take long to realize that Michigan was left with one home run target: Jim Harbaugh. And the stars aligned very perfectly. San Francisco 49ers management all but publicly said they want Harbaugh out ASAP, and it became very clear very quickly that it would be happening one way or another.

Michigan had one decisive advantage over NFL teams this entire time; it didn’t have to wait for the NFL season’s end to play hardball with Harbaugh. So the report that just about broke Michigan Twitter was largely seen as a very bold and strategic move on Hackett’s end. Offering a six-year, $48 million contract was the golden card to be played.

Hackett laid his card, looked up at the rest of the sorry players, lowered his sunglasses a bit and gave a soft grin.

Maybe the best part of all this is how I’m imagining Hackett going through his day-to-day life.

He probably takes a dramatic pause before deciding what he wants to order at a restaurant.

“Are we ready to order here?”

After a pause, he looks up, not at the waitress, but at the empty space in front of him. He sighs, as if to indicate he has finally eliminated one of the finalists for his lunch choice. “I would like the mandarin chicken,” he says, still facing the emptiness ahead.

Hackett laid his card, looked up at the rest of the sorry players, lowered his sunglasses a bit and gave a soft grin.

Here we are, so close to the end of this incredible journey. Don’t forget: There were days when some looked at other teams hiring coaches and concluded that Michigan (Hackett, in particular) came into this search without a game plan. That was, uh, pretty inaccurate.

Jim Harbaugh and Michigan are set to marry, and who knows where this special relationship will go.

For seven years the Michigan faithful have dealt with mediocrity and uncertainty. “Fallen from the graces” were the words used to describe the Wolverines. The path to success is far from conquered, but it lies plainly ahead.

Why is that?

Well…

Hackett laid his card, looked up at the rest of the sorry players, lowered his sunglasses a bit and gave a soft grin.

Tyler Fenwick is the managing editor of The Big House Report. Follow him on Twitter @Ty_Fenwick.

Tyler Fenwick
Managing Editor at The Big House Report
I am an aspiring journalist studying at IUPUI. I am the third (and youngest) manager of The Big House Report, and it's my responsibility to make sure it runs more smoothly today than it did yesterday.