The University of Michigan won the lottery by landing their former star QB Jim Harbaugh as head coach.
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The University of Michigan has officially introduced Jim Harbaugh as the head coach of the Wolverines football program.
The former head coach of the San Francisco 49ers was officially introduced as Michigan’s new coach on Tuesday afternoon, two days after he coached his final game with the San Francisco 49ers. Michigan interim athletic director Jim Hackett, himself a former Wolverines football player, said “our guy came home.”
Harbaugh takes over a program that has lost at least five games in six of the past seven seasons and at least four games eight times in the past 10 seasons. In addition, Michigan was 5-7 this season and missed the postseason, the third time in seven seasons the Wolverines were bowl-less. Before the current seven-season stretch, Michigan hadn’t missed a bowl since 1975.
Hackett said Harbaugh signed a seven-year deal with “the same salary he had with the 49ers,” reportedly about $5 million per season. Hackett said that next year, he would work out an “appropriate” deferred compensation arrangement for Harbaugh.
Harbaugh’s first major college job was at Stanford. He was hired in December 2006 after three seasons at FCS program San Diego and took over a Cardinal program that had won just 16 games in the previous five seasons combined. While he was there he developed QB Andrew Luck into one of the best college football QBs ever.
Harbaugh then left to coach the 49ers, who were coming off eight consecutive non-winning seasons, a stretch that included just one .500 finish. Harbaugh promptly guided the 49ers to a 13-3 mark in 2011 and a spot in the NFC championship game. San Francisco went 11-4-1 in 2012 and lost in the Super Bowl to the Baltimore Ravens, coached by Jim’s brother John. The 49ers went 12-4 last season and again lost in the NFC championship game. They stumbled to an 8-8 mark this season, and he parted ways with the team shortly after Sunday’s regular-season finale.
Harbaugh played at Michigan from 1983-86; he shared starting quarterback duties in ’84, then was a fulltime starter in ’85 and ’86. Michigan won a combined 21 games in 1985-86, finishing second in the nation in ’85 and eighth in ’86. He was a first-round pick of the Chicago Bears in 1987 and played 15 seasons in the NFL, earning a Pro Bowl selection in 1995 and being inducted into the Indianapolis Colts Ring of Honor in 2005.