Skip to content

Stanford throws money at Harbaugh, clings to his leg

Jim Harbaugh

Stanford athletic director Bob Bowlsby knows that Jim Harbaugh is kind of a big deal right now. As a result, he’s willing to fork over an even bigger deal of his own.

In an effort to keep the highly-sought Harbaugh in Palo Alto, Bowlsby has offered to increase  the current $1.25 million the coach receives every year.

“We have a proposal in front of Jim and he’s indicated he plans to accept it,” Bowlsby said. “He’s got this year and four more on his contract. I expect that he will be our coach in the foreseeable future.” Currently, Harbaugh has four years remaining on his contract.

Harbaugh has led one of the more significant program turnarounds in the last four years. When the former San Diego coach arrived at Stanford, he inherited a 1-11 team. Flip those numbers and add an Orange Bowl invite to the list and Harbaugh might as well be Bear Bryant to university presidents and athletic directors.

“Anytime we have people who are highly successful, there are going to be others who are going to be interested in securing their services,” Bowlsby said. “We need to be prepared to be preemptive and responsive.”

There’s been a wildly popular school of thought that Michigan AD David Brandon will can his blubbering coach Rich Rodriguez in the near future (because, you know, there’s no crying in football), leaving open the possibility for Harbaugh to return to Ann Arbor. On the contrary, though, Harbaugh has refused to speak about possibly leaving for Michigan — or any other job for that matter — and has insisted that Stanford is “an opportunity of a lifetime.”

As has been mentioned previously, Stanford’s … um … “fan base” has been a source of speculated frustration that might cause Harbaugh to leave The Farm. In their 50,000 seat stadium, the Cardinal have averaged 80-percent attendance this season, selling out only when they hosted USC.

Certainly, it’s fathomable that Harbaugh would leave for Michigan (assuming the job does, indeed, become available) because it’s his alma mater, but throwing out the notion that he’ll bolt solely based on game attendance seems a little far fetched. For all we know, Stanford has what Harbaugh wants in a program and, if they’re willing to compensate him well, that he’ll stay.

Permalink 28 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Big Ten Conference, Michigan State Spartans, Pac-12 Conference, Rumor Mill, Stanford Cardinal
28 Responses to “Stanford throws money at Harbaugh, clings to his leg”
  1. 8man says: Dec 6, 2010 2:54 PM

    Michigan is the better the job. And since Cali is going to fall into the Pacific, the safer job as well.

    C’mon, Jim. The Blue is calling….your mother needs you. Just keep an eye open for the Brinks truck with the Wolverine logo.

  2. burntorangehorn says: Dec 6, 2010 3:01 PM

    Better option: falling into oblivion, like the state of Michigan, or falling into the Pacific ocean, like the Bay Area?

  3. jaggedmark says: Dec 6, 2010 3:09 PM

    Lets see. Harbaugh not willing to talk about other jobs right now.

    And Mich AD not willing to talk about Rich Rod’s job until after bowl game.

    Both not talking. What a coincidence.

  4. blitz4848 says: Dec 6, 2010 3:32 PM

    No doubt Harbaugh will get more money at UM.
    Stanford’s idea of a substantial raise over the current $1.25 mil would be at most $2 mil per
    and that may be a real stretech considering the financial state Stanford’s athletice dept is in.

    It would be a cultural shock if he goes to UM as he will now have to get reading tutors so the players will know the play book. He should remember that from when he was there. The upside is now any good player can be recruited for Michigan even if he can’t write………

  5. barnesaintnoble says: Dec 6, 2010 4:01 PM

    I’m not saying Michigan has the same academic standards as Stanford, but I don’t think they are too far apart in terms of the admission criteria. Reading tutors? Not so fast my friend, kids can read at Michigan. You must have thought Michigan was in the SEC….

    I would take an economic depression OR falling into the Pacific over becoming New Mexico 2.

  6. jaggedmark says: Dec 6, 2010 4:32 PM

    blitz4848 You might want to recheck your Michigan admissions standards.

    Rich Rod has tried to get some academically challenged guys in there, but hasn’t been very successful in getting through admissions for academic reasons.

  7. WingT says: Dec 6, 2010 4:36 PM

    Here’s an interesting quote from Harbaugh back in 2007 regarding admissions.

    Jim Harbaugh is the choice of many Michigan fans and writers alike. One topic Harbaugh will be questioned about is his May 2007 comment about UM’s academics and sports — the one topic guaranteed to raise the Wolverine Nation ire quotient to 11: “Michigan is a good school and I got a good education there, but the athletic department has ways to get borderline guys in, and when they’re in, they steer them to courses in sports communications. They’re adulated when they’re playing, but when they get out, the people who adulated them won’t hire them,” Harbaugh told San Francisco Examiner columnist (and longtime Bay Area sports writing fixture) Glenn Dickey.

  8. blitz4848 says: Dec 6, 2010 4:36 PM

    @barnesaintnoble says:
    I’m not saying Michigan has the same academic standards as Stanford,but
    **********************************
    According to the NCAA 2010 Academic progress Report for NCAA football Michigan ranks 9th in the Big 10 with a score of 936.
    Even though you might find this hard to swallow that 936 score of the Big Blue would also rank them 9th in the SEC.
    That’s why they aren’t in the SEC–they would be on the bottom in academics as well as football!

  9. WingT says: Dec 6, 2010 4:39 PM

    I think Harbaugh will stay at Stanford until a job in the SEC opens up.

    If he’s gonna move he will want to move up not down, lol :)

  10. tedstheman says: Dec 6, 2010 4:47 PM

    if there is any news about Harbaugh going anywhere, the only site to have the correct scoop will be The National Football Post. Why? Because Harbaugh’s agent (Jack Bechta) is the owner and founder of the post that’s why!

  11. blitz4848 says: Dec 6, 2010 4:53 PM

    All kidding aside, I think Harbaugh is going to the Pros. San Diego, San Fran, Minnesota and Denver will all be open for sure and there could be others. His brother is in the Pros and I think he would like the challenge—if those offers don’t come his way then he may indeed wait and coach in the almost Pro SEC……..

  12. edgy says: Dec 6, 2010 4:55 PM

    On the other hand, I don’t suppose anyone has heard that Stanford has quite a few wealthy alumni that could put the power of their purse behind the job like T Boone did for Okie State? Heck, even with the divorce settlement, Tiger Woods could fund the coaching staff for a few hundred years by himself. :)

  13. bobulated says: Dec 6, 2010 5:00 PM

    The pros probably appeal to Harbaugh more as well. I live in the Bay Area and actually know a few guys who played at Stanford under Coach Walsh. The average player’s mindset at Stanford is much different than at a football factory like Michigan. Where it could be argued that some Big10 and SEC schools use athletes it’s the opposite at Stanford. These guys are using their athletic scholarship as a means to get a world class education much more so than many typical football players. The level of maturity and professionalism within the program on the players part is very high as they get an education at Stanford that only a few other big time football programs can even pretend to offer. I’m not busting on Michigan’s standards but academically and reputation wise it’s just not close.

  14. edgy says: Dec 6, 2010 5:18 PM

    A lot of people used the excuse that academic standards were killing Stanford but that’s never been true. Stanford has won more than 54% of their games and that’s better than Oregon, Missouri, Cal, Arizona, Maryland, Iowa, North Carolina State, South Carolina, Oklahoma State and several other schools that supposedly have lower academic standards. Walsh and Harbaugh have proven that you can win with guys who are supposedly “too smart” to play football but their biggest problem is the fact that they can’t keep their coaches around. Give them a coach that stays and the fans realize that he means it, the fans will fill it the stadium and they’ll get more athletes to come to the school. Too many fans and players are worried about Harbaugh leaving.

  15. polegojim says: Dec 6, 2010 5:35 PM

    Michigan haters are nothing more than a bad inside joke of jealousy.

    Esp you SECers who are taking shots… SEC finally puts a together few years of success in a row and you act like you’ve always been there…NOT. Enjoy your shots now, and your crow later.

    That said – congrats to ‘genuine’ good sports from the SEC, great 6 year run.

    Auburn will be National Champs

  16. polegojim says: Dec 6, 2010 5:51 PM

    Welcome Home Soon Jim

    Sincerely,

    Michigan Fanbase . . . the winningest college football program fanbase in history.

  17. barnesaintnoble says: Dec 6, 2010 6:20 PM

    The Michigan APR isn’t adjusted for the 40+ players that left the program, transferred and went professional after Lloyd Carr retired. The aggregate number is skewed, almost penalizing the school for a coaching transition. And I mean , c’mon, this is the NCAA. They probably keep perfect track of sports statistics and their revenue streams, but I wouldn’t have faith in anything they do in relation to academics.
    Here is a good read – http://rivals.yahoo.com/ncaa/basketball/blog/the_dagger/post/The-NCAA-s-Academic-Progress-Report-is-flawed-an?urn=ncaab-161888

  18. drexelvol says: Dec 6, 2010 8:40 PM

    ““He’s got this year and four more on his contract. I expect that he will be our coach in the foreseeable future.” Currently, Harbaugh has four years remaining on his contract.”

    Thanks for clarifying, Ben. I wasn’t sure if he had four years left after I read that Bowsbly said he had four years left.

  19. stymie66 says: Dec 6, 2010 10:52 PM

    According to QS World University Rankings (http://www.topuniversities.com/university-rankings/world-university-rankings/2010/results)…

    UM is the 15th ranked best university in the world; Stanford is ranked 13th. I’d say both institutions are elite academically.

    UM sells out their 110,000+ seat stadium year after year; UM has a far deeper football legacy than Stanford; Harbaugh went to UM; the UM name will guarantee far better recruits compared to Stanford. Plus who wouldn’t want to be the one at the helm to return UM to glory? And you know, deep in your heart, UM will return to glory? If you doubt this, you’re simply not very close to college football.

  20. polegojim says: Dec 7, 2010 12:39 AM

    Stymie – I enforced a long moment of silence upon myself after reading your excellent post!

    AMEN…. and GO BLUE!

  21. blitz4848 says: Dec 7, 2010 9:13 AM

    @ polegojim

    It appears this report was generated by the Big Blue faculty assoc—-that gives it credibility for sure…….lmao
    Rumor has it the Buckeyes feel UM should concentrate on being better academically since obviously you “suck” at football. One Buckeye fan blogged that Michigan would be better off in the MAC playing all the directional Michigan schools……..might not be a bad idea…..roflmao

  22. travisbicklewon says: Dec 7, 2010 11:26 AM

    Delusional retards dominate the internet. I love the comment here on how Harbaugh “would want to move up and therefore would wait for an SEC coaching opening”…..he he he, that’s what I mean by delusional…these people think the cesspool that is the SEC is good. Besides there is a job opening at Vanderbilt which as far as I know is in the SEC. Additionally, commentors who’ve never lived in the Bay Area and Palo Alto specifically just have no clue. The weather is better, the people are smarter and there’s the buzz of progress and human growth that just seems to permeate everything. It’s a competitive culture not suited for folks who want to kick back on cruise control and collect unemployment checks (read Michigan). Harbaugh is smart and will pull at least the 8 years at Stanford which by then will have become an established powerhouse in football.

  23. Ben Kercheval says: Dec 7, 2010 11:29 AM

    @travisbicklewon

    I think I saw on South Park that people in the bay area love the smell of their own farts. Your thoughts?

  24. travisbicklewon says: Dec 7, 2010 11:43 AM

    I’m certain that my farts smell a hell of a lot better than the collective stench wafting from the perpetually downtrodden and soon to be moth balled state that is Michigan. Sorry pal, no matter how you paint it Michigan sucks. Harbaugh knows it. He’s got greatness within reach. Why walk away from a nearly completed work of art for what is just another football factory school that uses its young men players then kicks them to the curb once their eligibility is up? Harbaugh seems to relish in accomplishing so much against the odds. The fan base will build as a result of Card success and fart sniffers like Ben Kercheval from Michigan will just have to stand there and wish they’d had more foresight.

  25. blitz4848 says: Dec 7, 2010 12:25 PM

    @travisbicklewon

    “If” Harbaugh stays in the Bay area it will be coaching the 49ers—He would feel even better with the success he could have rebuilding the storied 49er franchise. If not the Bay are then he will be in San Diego, Denver or Minnesota. The pros will take center stage for him over college as it has his brother.

    You obviously have no sense of humor and don’t read into the sarcasm in many of the posts—big difference—and there are stupid, ignorant and misinformed people but not sure the internet is dominated by delusional retards like you suggest.

    You also said “He’s got greatness within reach. Why walk away from a nearly completed work of art”–to that I say artists like to be appreciated and 40,000 fans per game is a big time high school game crowd in Texas and Florida.
    Palo Alto will never sell out every game and 80% attendance is almost as good as it gets—hell it used to be 50% was acceptable there so it has improved but not enough to keep top notch coaches long term!

  26. edgy says: Dec 7, 2010 1:22 PM

    blitz, the fact that they DON’T keep their coaches long term is what has hurt the school. If just one coach were to make a long term commitment, so would the fans and the recruits. Just the talk about him going to Michigan is enough for some recruits to begin looking around for plan B, even if he stays for this year because they *know* that he’s going to leave for Michigan any day or so that’s what the Internet experts have been telling them for months and months.

    Also, unlike Florida, Stanford’s fans aren’t that excited about watching a team beat up on little children. I realize that three times as many people showed up for Florida to watch them beat up on Miami (The Other Miami) than did for Stanford’s game against Sacramento State but that just means that they’re three times as smart about spending their money wisely out in Palo Alto. Given their really unattractive home schedule this year, I’m not surprised that they didn’t have as many big games. They had a better schedule last year and had two 50,000+ crowds and a couple over 41,000. Not great but better than this year. The move to the “North” isn’t going to help them because only Cal and Oregon figure to bring in 40,000+ from that region. They will get ND back next year so that should be a big crowd, as will Cal.

  27. mlupton1 says: Dec 9, 2010 11:27 AM

    Blitz4848 you are on crack, your academic ranking of schools in the SEC vs. the Big Ten are so off base, it was really a waist of time for you to even comment, unless you were trying to be funny or something. Regardless, here is the actually ranking system WORLD WIDE for all Universities. Only 2 schools even ranked in the SEC (and not impressively well either).

    Cheers….

    “blitz4848 says: Dec 6, 2010 4:36 PM

    @barnesaintnoble says:
    I’m not saying Michigan has the same academic standards as Stanford,but
    **********************************
    According to the NCAA 2010 Academic progress Report for NCAA football Michigan ranks 9th in the Big 10 with a score of 936.
    Even though you might find this hard to swallow that 936 score of the Big Blue would also rank them 9th in the SEC.
    That’s why they aren’t in the SEC–they would be on the bottom in academics as well as football!”

    ************************************
    Academic Ranking of World Universities

    BIG TEN
    Wisconsin #22
    Michigan #22
    Illinois #25
    Minnesota #28
    Northwestern #29
    Penn State #43
    Ohio State #59
    Purdue #69
    Michigan State #86
    Indiana #90
    Iowa #112
    ********************************
    SEC
    Vanderbilt #53
    Florida #68
    South Carolina NOT RANKED
    Georgia NOT RANKED
    Tennessee NOT RANKED
    Kentucky NOT RANKED
    Auburn NOT RANKED
    Arkansas NOT RANKED
    LSU NOT RANKED
    Alabama NOT RANKED
    Mississippi State NOT RANKED
    Mississippi NOT RANKED

  28. haydenhawk says: Jan 3, 2011 4:02 PM

    @travisbicklewon
    “The weather is better, the people are smarter and there’s the buzz of progress and human growth that just seems to permeate everything. It’s a competitive culture not suited for folks who want to kick back on cruise control and collect unemployment checks (read Michigan). Harbaugh is smart and will pull at least the 8 years at Stanford which by then will have become an established powerhouse in football.”

    I just came accross these comments, I can’t stop laughing.
    Michigan has issues, no doubt. However, NOBODY from the state of California can point fingers about “unemployment checks”. California is the most bankrupt state in the country. Maybe you and those “smart people” should find a way to get rid of Nancy Pelosi and fix your own budget. You are broke because the entire state sucks on the system!!! :) Don’t you have to be in a Union to work in that state?
    Also you said Harbaugh is smart – he went to Michigan. OH, and Bowlsby (who you got from Iowa to fix your mess) hired him!!

    Seriously get out of CA before you drown with the state. I think the US Govt may cut their losses and find a way to get it in the ocean.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!