Jim Harbaugh has never stayed anyplace for very long. As a quarterback in the NFL he played for the Indianapolis Colts, the Chicago Bears and the San Diego Chargers. As a head coach he has moved from San Diego State to Stanford before driving a few miles to Santa Clara to take control of the San Francisco 49ers. Now, with the wealthy Texas Longhorns rumored to have their eye on Harbaugh, will “Captain Comeback” revitalize another program?
Harbaugh’s mind is completely unknown. Yes, analysis abounds, with projections of him staying and leaving — but more of him staying. When asked about the Texas gig, Jim Harbaugh replied “Are you trying to be funny?” It would make little sense for him to leave a thriving NFL program he built to go back down to the collegiate level, have to deal with boosters, recruiting, and that nuisance known as the NCAA. Harbaugh turned down the Michigan Wolverines, his alma mater, to stay in the Bay Area, and he reportedly turned down USC without a second thought. Texas, though, could be opening up the coffers. Even a share of the Longhorn Network is rumored to be in a potential coaching package. He could likely make $10 million a year no problem. Don’t forget, he turned down a contract extension this past offseason.
Then there is the whole point about how Harbaugh never stays in one place for very long. San Francisco, assuming he does stay, will become his longest-tenured coaching position. Using this to project a move for the Harbaugh family is flawed, however, as he did not have to move his wife and kids when he took the 49ers’ coaching position. He already was in Palo Alto. He did not move, he just switched jobs. Trying to move his family now would be a tremendous hassle, especially with young kids.
And about that contract — or lack thereof — who is to say that Jim Harbaugh did not want to win a Super Bowl first and raise his income by a million and a half a year? That would make complete sense, especially with a team that very well could win the Super Bowl this year or the next, or the next, you get the point.
Ultimately, do not look for Harbaugh to move. If he does, I would be shocked. I might actually cry too. He is the kind of coach and guy that you love to have on your side. I understand how opposing fans and players might think he is crazy, but he is our kind of crazy, and I, for one, don’t want him moving anywhere. Of course, my vote doesn’t actually matter. The only one that does probably belongs to Mrs. Harbaugh. Let’s hope she likes her kids’ school.