It appears that Jim Hackett has gotten the man he wanted all along. Multiple outlets and respected sources are reporting San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh will take the Michigan head coaching job.
I just got off the phone with more sources tonight. It's done. Jim Harbaugh is coming to Michigan – and his friends are flying in Monday.
— John U. Bacon (@Johnubacon) December 28, 2014
Earlier reports indicated that Michigan was offering Harbaugh a six-year contract worth upwards of $48 million in total compensation to jump back in to the college game after three years at the head of he 49ers.
Michigan will get a head coach who took Stanford from an also-ran to an annual contender, going 29-21 and ending his time in Palo Alto with a 12-1 season in 2010. That season ended with a 40-12 Stanford win over Virginia Tech in the Orange Bowl.
Harbaugh has long been rumored to have a major interest in returning to the school where he played quarterback under the legendary Bo Schembechler. However, there have also been strong rumors of major interest from other NFL teams, and with the professional season ongoing talks have had to be put on the back-burner.
Jason Cole’s report (highlighted at the top of this article) states that Hackett and a contingent of officials from Michigan are already in the Bay Area to speak with Harbaugh after the end of the 49ers season on Sunday.
Hiring Harbaugh not only brings back a favored son, it brings with it some of the name cache that has been missing from the program in the past few years.
It also sets up two of the biggest names in head coaching on opposite sides of the most bitter rivalry in the Big Ten. Yes, fans will get to see Jim Harbaugh vs. Urban Meyer as Michigan and Ohio State get together in future years.
That is sure to add spice to the rivalry, and it will give Michigan the name that could help bring the program back towards the top of the Big Ten and national heaps.