Jim Harbaugh’s return to Michigan as the program’s head coach was only a mild surprise in the moment and that had a lot to do with the fact that he was coming back to lead his alma mater. The enigmatic head coach produced real success at the NFL level but, at the end of his tenure with the San Francisco 49ers, there were rifts between Harbaugh and the front office and, in retrospect, it is easy to see how his personality would grate at the professional level.
Of course, the NFL’s loss was Michigan’s gain and, while not everyone is pleased with his early performance in Ann Arbor, the future appears to be bright for the Wolverines in 2018 and beyond. Still, there are lists upon lists projecting Harbaugh as a potential candidate to return to the NFL and, with that in mind, he was prompted about the buzz this week.
His response was typical of Jim Harbaugh.
While it isn’t exactly clear what he means here, Harbaugh is definitely indicating that the rumor mill isn’t something he enjoys. Because of his professional ties and relatively young age, Harbaugh remains an interesting NFL candidate, but 2018 looks to be “the year” for Michigan given the trajectory of the roster and, of course, the tie of one’s alma mater can’t be overstated.
Harbaugh may not retire at Michigan, but it does seem unlikely that he’ll jump back to the league immediately and this is probably his unique way of declaring that.