After back-to-back years of Big Ten titles, College Football Playoff appearances and wins over hated rival Ohio State, Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh has cemented himself as the top coach in the conference.
It should come as no surprise then to see his name being floated for NFL head coaching jobs for the second year in a row. As reported by Pete Thamel, Harbaugh is being looked at for head coach openings with the Denver Broncos, Indianapolis Colts and Carolina Panthers.
Michigan's Jim Harbaugh is expected to be linked to the Denver Broncos and Indianapolis Colts this offseason in addition to possibly the Carolina Panthers, Pete Thamel reports.https://t.co/3FSHcK60sm pic.twitter.com/KQAqVbdvjN
— 247Sports (@247Sports) January 2, 2023
Prior to the start of the 2021 season, many in Michigan’s fanbase were calling for Harbaugh to be fired. After six years without beating Ohio State and no Big Ten titles, let alone no CFP appearances, it looked like the Michigan alumnus returning home wouldn’t work out nearly as well as everyone thought it would.
But after taking a pay cut prior to the start of 2021, he’s since gone 25-3 with back-to-back conference titles, CFP appearances and wins over Ohio State. This is what has led to him being named in coaching searches once again.
Prior to his time at Michigan, Harbaugh spent four years in the NFL with the San Francisco 49ers. He went 44-19-1 overall with three NFC Championship Appearances, two division titles and a Super Bowl loss to his brother John and the Ravens. He was fired amid a power struggle with his general manager during a 8-8 season.
The Colts, Broncos and Panthers have all fired their head coaches in the midst of down seasons. The Colts and Broncos in particular were both expected to be Super Bowl contenders after off-season acquisitions of star quarterbacks Russell Wilson and Matt Ryan.
Last offseason, Harbaugh was linked to the opening with the Las Vegas Raiders who fired their head coach, Jon Gruden, mid season as well but due to racist emails exposed as opposed to underperforming like the current openings are due to.