Finally. FINALLY. The coaching search is over for the University of Michigan, and it couldn’t have gone any better.
Jim Harbaugh will be Michigan‘s next head coach, as reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter. There will be a press conference on Tuesday.
Harbaugh is taking over for Brady Hoke after he was fired by interim athletic director Jim Hackett. Harbaugh brings fire, intensity, but most importantly, a winning way.
Harbaugh has been a winner at every level that he’s coached, and he arguably had more success in the NFL than he did in college. He had been to three consecutive NFC championship games, a streak that ended this season, and made a Super Bowl appearance in 2012.
As a former Wolverine himself, Harbaugh will be looked at to ultimately revive Michigan football and rejuvenate the fan base. After several years of mediocrity, that is a tall order, but I have a feeling the former gunslinger knows what he’s getting into.
This is huge news, especially after a few questionable hires in previous openings. Recruits, coaches and current players all around the Big Ten and the rest of the country have their eyes glued to these reports—I can guarantee that. Players who have said, “Thanks, but no thanks,” may look again—same deal with coaches or players looking to transfer.
Now, I know that Harbaugh can bring a lot of passion to the sidelines, but aside from his sideline antics, is there a more fitting hire than him? His father, Jack, has been a staple in the Michigan program. Ann Arbor was a town that made him a man and gave him the opportunity to peruse the coaching career he has enjoyed so far. Harbaugh owed next-to-nothing to Michigan — although you’d think differently if you’ve read some tweets—but he chose to come back. That speaks volumes to the kind of man he is, and I truly believe Michigan landed the best hire possible.
People will be upset about not hiring Les Miles, and deservedly so, but Miles would have been a quick fix, rather than a mainstay. Miles is in his 60’s now, and I cannot imagine him coaching for decades to come. Harbaugh brings that. It’s a comforting thought that Michigan will have its head coach for longer than a recruiting cycle, presumably.
Who Harbaugh brings on staff is still to be determined, but don’t be surprised if D.J. Durkin ends up as Michigan’s defensive coordinator. Rumblings have linked interest between the two schools, and Durkin has been on Harbaugh’s staff in previous coaching stints.
I would also like to take the time and tip my hat to Jeff Moss of Detroit Sports Rag. He was very vocal about the hiring before it was official, and he caught a lot of flack for it.