It’s been seven years since Lloyd Carr roamed the sidelines in Ann Arbor as the head coach of Michigan Wolverines. Carr remains the consummate “Michigan man”, and his opinion still carries some weight.
Even though Carr doesn’t have a say in the Wolverines’ current coaching search, he still has a preference.
“Everyone has an opinion, and I am no different,” Carr told The Detroit News’ Angelique Chengelis. “If I had a choice, I would choose Jim Harbaugh. But it will be Jim Hackett‘s decision, and that is as it should be.”
Carr’s comment wasn’t off-the-cuff, according to Chengelis:
And no one should think Carr just suddenly decided Harbaugh’s a great choice. He’s been on that train for a while.
— angelique (@chengelis) December 5, 2014
Harbaugh, who currently serves as the San Francisco 49ers head coach, is the popular choice to become Michigan’s next head coach. However, his availability remains uncertain.
FOX Sports Jay Glazer (H/T FOX 17’s Dan Phillips) reported the 49ers will attempt to trade their head coach this offseason. This could prove to be problematic for Harbaugh. It’s not known whether he has an out in his current contract, which has one-year remaining, to pursue a collegiate opening.
If the 49ers decide they would rather receive compensation from another franchise instead of just letting Harbaugh leave to coach his alma mater, Michigan will have to consider other options.
The entire process could take time as another former Michigan quarterback, Brian Griese, said during an interview with Scott Van Pelt on ESPN Radio.
“I think the decision at Michigan is going to be a little bit more deliberate,” Griese, an ESPN college football analyst, said. “Jim Hackett, the [interim] athletic director, is going to go through a more funneled process and whittle the candidates down. Because of the fact he doesn’t have a whole lot of experience or any experience in intercollegiate athletics in conducting a search for a new coach it’s not going to be a [Florida athletic director] Jeremy Foley hop on a plane and sign somebody.”
Harbaugh may be the candidate everyone, including Carr, prefers, but Michigan’s coaching search is going to experience some twists and turns before a coach is eventually named.