The Lancer

University of Michigan brings on new football coach

Antonia Ruthenberg ‘15

Section Editor

The former All-American quarterback who guaranteed a victory over Ohio State and led the Wolverines to the 1987 Rose Bowl is returning to The Big House in Ann Arbor nearly 20 years later.

Jim Harbaugh was the first and overwhelming choice from the moment Brady Hoke was fired from his position as the football coach at the University of Michigan on December 2nd. Harbaugh’s resume, connections, and personal passion for the game gave him a boost for the head coach position.

Harbaugh has taken every moment of his career seriously; including college, professional, and coaching at both college and NFL levels. Starting at Michigan for 1983-1986, his quarterback career lept off the right foot. His pure love for the maize and blue seems to be the reason he has been drawn back.

Playing for Chicago, Baltimore, San Diego, and Detroit has given him the necessary and exceptional playing experience to make his coaching career one to take notes about. He started coaching in 2004 at San Diego, continuing on to Stanford, San Francisco 49’ers, and now landing back at home in Michigan for the 2015 season.

Harbaugh’s past players, both college and pro, spoke about him as a disciplinarian willing to bring down an iron fist to teach a boy to be a man. An insistent coach, even at practice, he is the type to make it a drawn up competition to get his boys to work. Not one play or move a player makes is wasted or viewed as insignificant.

But Harbaugh’s coaching skills come at a high price.

As the rumored contract terms released on December 30th, the numbers were astonishing. And while the rumors of a $48 million dollar contract turned out to be false, the actual deal still proved to be a sweet one.

The contract stated seven years, $5 million annually with 10 percent increases after years three and five, including incentive payments for performance related to Big Ten championships, bowl appearances, coaching rewards, bonuses, and team academic performance.

His contract was previously reported as to make him the highest paid coach in college football. With a signed deal, essentially, he will be starting with the same starting salary he had in his final season with the 49’ers.

The hope for Harbaugh and his newfound, old team is to recreate accountability and trust in his players and be a leader for them all. What they have as a team is skill and power to press on and win some more. With some luck, Jim Harbaugh might be the piece that will finish the puzzle for the Wolverines.

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