Michigan Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh has a new nickname.
Postgame pressers can often be as entertaining as the game itself, particularly after a victory. After the No. 2 Michigan Wolverines beat Rutgers 31-7, reporters learned during the postgame press conference that head coach Jim Harbaugh has a nickname.
Harbaugh, who returned to the sidelines for the first time this season following a three-game school-imposed suspension for NCAA recruiting violations, is known as 'Cool Jim' to his players. Michigan running back Blake Corum referred to it during the presser in reference to the victory.
"Oh, he was just happy as heck. Just, as he says, 'Cool Guy Jim!'," Corum said.
Not to be outdone, Harbaugh had a ready response when asked about the nickname.
"'Cool Jim!'. That's what most people refer to me as, 'Cool Jim!'," Harbaugh said.
In true Harbaugh fashion, he cut the presser short, placing the microphone near defensive back Mike Sainristil, who returned an interception 71 yards for a touchdown to give the Wolverines a commanding 17-point lead with 4:31 left in the third quarter. The pick came two plays after a penalty flag was waived off against the Wolverines.
Harbaugh may not have felt like joking after his team came out of the gate slowly. Michigan didn't take the lead until late in the second quarter, when quarterback J.J. McCarthy threw an 18-yard touchdown pass to Semaj Morgan that broke a 7-7 tie. Sainristil's big play turned the game around and put Harbaugh in a better frame of mind.
One thing is obvious; Harbaugh's players have his back. Evidence of this came in the season opening win against East Carolina. As the offense lined up for a play on its second drive of the game, all 11 players paid tribute to their suspended coach by standing in a line and holding up four fingers before going back to their respective positions. The gesture was a nod to Harbaugh's No. 4 he wore during his days as a Michigan quarterback.
Harbaugh's return marked his 100th game as Michigan head coach. Needless to say, his players were happy to have him back.
Coach calls us difference-makers, but I feel like he's a difference-maker," Sainristil told reporters after the game. "Having him, having his energy back in the locker room, it just felt great. His presence means a lot to us, just, the pregame speech he gives us always gives us that extra motivation."
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