Jim Harbaugh was let go by the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday and two days later he will be introduced as the new head coach of the University of Michigan. Many rumors and reports circulated earlier in the process that the Wolverines were offering Harbaugh close to $8 million per year to switch jobs.
However, the Detroit Free Press is reporting that university officials are saying the figure is closer to $5 million per year, plus incentives.
That would put him closer to what he was making with the 49ers, and far below Nick Saban who leads all coaches in college football at $7 million.
The report doesn’t indicate the value of those incentives or just how many, but many coaches have bonuses for things like 10-win seasons, division championships, conference titles, New Years Six bowl game appearances and of course national championships written in to their contracts. Those type of bonuses have varying values, but some have included upwards of $500,000 to $1 million for national titles.
Considering the hope that Harbaugh brings Michigan back to the top of the college football world, you can expect those incentives to be of a lot of value.
Harbaugh has taken every program or team he’s been a head coach of to the brink of the promised land. At the University of San Diego, Harbaugh took a dormant program and won two conference titles in the three years he was there. At Stanford, Harbaugh took the program to bowl games in the final two seasons and nearly won a Pac-10 championship before heading to the NFL.
While with the 49ers, Harbaugh took the team to back-to-back NFC West division championships in his first two years and took them to the to playoffs in each of the first three years. He reached the NFC Championship game twice and lost the only Super Bowl he appeared in.
Michigan is hoping that he can finally finish a title run while back in the Maize ‘N Blue. His pay-scale certainly indicates those lofty expectations.