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Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh has been named the college football coach of the year by the Associated Press, the publication announced on Friday. 

“It’s a tremendous reflection on the entire staff, players,” Harbaugh, the first Michigan coach to win the award, told the AP. “Everybody shares in it. A rising tide lifts all ships.” 

Just one year ago, Harbaugh’s future in Ann Arbor appeared tenuous. The Wolverines finished a dismal 2020 season 2-4, stirring speculation that the program would cut ties with the coach. 

But, Harbaugh ultimately received a contract extension in January, taking a paycut to remain in the role. In the offseason, he implemented a culture change and brought aboard a revamped, youthful coaching staff. 

Now, on the backs of a stunning 12-1 season, Harbaugh has re-entrenched Michigan in college football’s upper-echelon. He’s led the Wolverines to a victory over Ohio State — their first win in The Game since 2011 — and a Big Ten Championship, the program’s first conference championship since 2004. 

Harbaugh and the two-seeded Wolverines will next take the field on New Year’s Eve against three-seeded Georgia in the Orange Bowl, which will be the program’s first ever berth in the College Football Playoff. 

Harbaugh received 22 of 53 first-place votes and received 103 total points, placing him 15 points ahead of Cincinnati’s Luke Fickell.