It looks like Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh might be headed back to the NFL.
In other news, it must be January.
Coaching Rumors Swirl
Speculation is rampant that Harbaugh could be leaving Ann Arbor to return to the league. Reports are indicating that he has spoken with the Carolina Panthers about their head coaching vacancy. John U. Bacon, someone extremely close to the program, reported that if Harbaugh receives concrete interest from an NFL team, leaving Michigan could become a reality very quick. In addition to the Panthers, the Broncos and the Colts have also been linked to Harbaugh in recent rumors.
NFL Aspirations for Jim Harbaugh
It’s clear that Harbaugh has not been able to shake his desire for an NFL comeback. He interviewed with the Vikings on National Signing Day in 2022 and has consistently been linked to NFL jobs in recent years. In early December, Harbaugh stated that he would “be back enthusiastically coaching the Wolverines in 2023.” However, the rumors have persisted.
Attractive Opportunities in the NFL?
There are certainly some head coaching opportunities in the NFL to consider right now. How attractive are they is the $64,000 question. The Carolina Panthers fired head coach Matt Rhule in October after a 1-4 start to the season. Rhule had been with the team for almost three seasons, but posted a disappointing 11-27 record. Currently, the Panthers are 6-10 with one game left in the season.
Meanwhile, the Denver Broncos are reportedly “doing homework” on Jim Harbaugh as they conduct their own coaching search, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero. The Broncos have a strong defense and a new owner willing to spend money, however, the question marks surrounding Russell Wilson are staggering.
Success at Michigan for Jim Harbaugh
Despite the constant rumors, Harbaugh has enjoyed a successful tenure at Michigan. The Wolverines went undefeated during the regular season in 2022 and made it to the College Football Playoff, where they lost to TCU in the Fiesta Bowl. The program has seen a renaissance since the 2020 season, when a 2-4 record in the pandemic-shortened season made it seem like Harbaugh might be on the way out.
As of now, it’s difficult to say what the future holds for Harbaugh and Michigan. While he has stated that he will be back with the Wolverines in 2023, the constant rumors about his potential NFL return make it difficult to feel confident about his commitment to the program.
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