Jim Harbaugh — in the end, true to his word — will coach the Michigan football team in 2023.
“I love the relationships that I have at Michigan — coaches, staff, families, administration, President Santa Ono and especially the players and their families,” Harbaugh wrote in a statement. “My heart is at the University of Michigan. I once heard a wise man say, ‘Don’t try to out-happy, happy.’ Go Blue!”
Added University president Santa Ono: “I just got off the phone with Coach Harbaugh and Jim shared with me the great news that he is going to remain as the Head Coach of the Michigan Wolverines. That is fantastic news that I have communicated to our Athletic Director Warde Manuel.”
Per yearly tradition, Michigan’s season-ending loss induced a swirl of rumors tying Harbaugh to various NFL head coaching vacancies. He talked with the Carolina Panthers and conducted a virtual interview with the Denver Broncos; Saturday, the two sides were reported to have “some strong mutual interest.”
Harbaugh’s flirtation was eerily reminiscent of last offseason, when he pursued a return to the NFL, most notably with the Minnesota Vikings. In the end, the Vikings never extended an offer and Harbaugh remained put, promising Manuel that his actions would not be a yearly recurrence.
On Jan. 5, Harbaugh released a statement in which he maintained he’d be “enthusiastically coaching” the Wolverines in 2023. Now that declaration rings true.
Harbaugh has led Michigan to consecutive Big Ten Championships and back-to-back appearances in the College Football Playoff. Under his lead, the Wolverines seem poised to contend for a championship again in 2023, especially with junior running back Blake Corum officially returning for his senior season.