Folks, this is a bombshell.
In a series of conversations in the past 24 hours, I have learned that Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh has made it known to the most prominent Michigan football boosters and administrators that he has sincere interest in making a move to the college ranks and that if there was a job opening at Michigan, he would accept the job if offered.
As we reported last week, Michigan reached to Harbaugh in November to gauge his interest in job if Hoke were let go.
Michigan AD Dave Brandon stated a month ago that Brady Hoke was the right man to lead Michigan football. Will that declaration hold true if perhaps the best coach in all of football (at least in the top 5 with Saban, Urban Meyer, Belichick and Jim Harbaugh) is waiting by the phone hoping you offer him a job?
Here is what we know:
On January 6th 2011, Michigan offered John Harbaugh the head coaching job. Harbaugh was contacted directly by Michigan AD Dave Brandon the day after John’s brother Jim turned down the Michigan job. John gave the offer very serious thought for 24 hours before turning down the Wolverines. At the time, he felt that the NFL was something he wanted to conquer before thinking about anything else.
At the time, Harbaugh told Brandon (paraphrasing): “I wish I could Dave, this really is a dream offer. It isn’t the right time for me. We have a great team and I want to win a title here. If you are ever looking again, don’t forget about me.”
Five days later, Michigan named Brady Hoke head coach. Hoke called Harbaugh and received permission to hire Ravens DC Greg Mattison to take the same role at Michigan.
Since then, things were quiet in the John Harbaugh camp until….
Mid-November: Harbaugh bonanza:
Completely independent booster groups at USC and Texas put together coaching candidate lists for each school in mid-November. Each group was tasked with building a stack ranking of every coach (regardless of availability) that could potentially take the job at their school. Two names that were eliminated right off the bat were Bill Belichick and Pete Carroll – seen as guys who wouldn’t move under any circumstances.
Surprisingly, both schools had the same name #1 on their list: John Harbaugh. During this time, it was leaked by several close to Harbaugh that USC was very unlikely, but that Texas and Michigan would be the only two jobs he would leave the Ravens for.
In late November, the leak of this news prompted prominent Michigan boosters (completely frustrated with Hoke) to inquire through back-channels about whether Harbaugh was really looking into a move to college. To Michigan’s surprise, those close to Harbaugh let it be known that he was ready to move on from the Ravens, but only for huge money and the right job – Michigan being one of the few.
And get this: It is a fact that Texas is preparing to make Harbaugh an offer to be the Longhorns head coach, as early as Tuesday. The offer is said to be 6 years, $50M.
The olive branch
The Ravens lost to the Bengals on Sunday, eliminating them from NFL playoff contention. Late Sunday night, two people close to Harbaugh made contact with the Michigan boosters who contacted Harbaugh six weeks ago.
The message was this: John wants to make a move and there are a lot of teams inquiring about him. If Michigan makes an offer, he will accept. But, it has to happen quickly – let Dave Brandon know.
That’s where we stand today, folks. It makes me sick to my stomach that for the third time in the last six years, one of the best coaches in football is practically begging to take the Michigan job, and the school will likely ignore the candidate and stick with a coach who went 3-5 in the Big Ten with the 2nd worst defense in school history. Is 7-6 what we want?
Listen folks…. if Michigan doesn’t make a move, Harbaugh could very likely coaching TEXAS next season. Think about that. A Harbaugh coaching Texas and Michigan turning him down. Time to take action.
Here is how we get Harbaugh:
1. Share this article all over Facebook and Twitter…. build awareness that Michigan can get John Harbaugh
3. Call University of Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman and leave a voice mail demanding excellence from the Wolverines football team – let her know John Harbaugh is your man: her # is 734-764-6270
4. Be heard with your pocketbook. If Michigan once again passes on a great coach, don’t pay for tickets next season when Hoke is leading us to a 6-6 campaign.
Go Blue. Always.