It looks like the Jim Harbaugh era is coming to an end in Ann Arbor.
The night before his scheduled interview with the Minnesota Vikings for their vacant head coaching position, Harbaugh reportedly already plans to take the job.
TheWolverine.com reports that Harbaugh wasn’t in his office today, and sources have told the site that the coach said some of his goodbyes Monday.
— Chris Balas (@Balas_Wolverine) February 1, 2022
TheWolverine.com reports that Michigan’s players and assistant coaches are currently in “wait and see” mode, although Harbaugh plans to take at least some of his assistants with him to Minneapolis. Additionally, a source from inside Schembechler Hall said that Michigan’s team “will be notified of everything on Thursday.”
The report also says that sources have confirmed Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel is already eyeing up current Carolina Panthers coach and former Penn State player Matt Rhule to replace Harbaugh. Rhule has struggled to a 10-23 record over two seasons in the NFL, but has had success in the college ranks, most recently improving Baylor from a one-win team to an 11-win team in just three seasons.
Losing Harbaugh would be a big blow to a Michigan program that had just reclaimed its place as one of America’s best. The Wolverines had one of their best seasons in recent memory in 2021, going 12-2, beating Ohio State, winning the Big Ten and making it to the College Football Playoff.
If this is it for Harbaugh at Michigan, he’ll finish with a 61-24 overall record. If he’s indeed coming back to the NFL, he’ll look to build on his success from his first stint, where he took the San Francisco 49ers to three NFC Championship Games and a Super Bowl between 2011-14.