Eight days away from it being exactly four years, he’s officially back at the collegiate level.
Following months of speculation that began gaining significant traction a week and half ago, Michigan announced at a Tuesday afternoon press conference that Jim Harbaugh has been named as the football program’s next head coach. Harbaugh will replace Brady Hoke, who was fired shortly after the end of the 2014 regular season after four seasons with the Wolverines.
It was also announced that Harbaugh has signed a seven-year contract that will pay him the same amount he made with the 49ers last season: $5 million. Athletic director Jim Hackett also revealed that Harbaugh will make what was referred to as “deferred compensation” at the end of the 2015 season.
Harbaugh had spent the past four seasons with the San Francisco 49ers, leading the NFL club to three NFC championship games and one Super Bowl appearance. Prior to that, he spent four seasons as the head coach at Stanford.
In the four years prior to Harbaugh’s arrival, the Cardinal went 16-40. During Harbaugh’s time on The Farm, they went 29-21, including a final season of 12-1 that was capped off with an Orange Bowl win.
Harbaugh comes to the Wolverines with a deep history in and around the program.
The 51-year-old Harbaugh was, of course, a starting quarterback at UM in the eighties, capping off a stellar collegiate career by being named as the Big Ten Player of the Year and finishing third in the Heisman voting. Additionally, his father was an assistant on Bo Schembechler‘s staff in the seventies, and his sons went to school in Ann Arbor before moving on to Palo Alto.
“I’ve dreamed about coaching at Michigan. And now it’s time to live that dream,” Harbaugh said. “There have been times in my life I thought about it, dreamed about it. Now is the time to live it. …
“You have my pledge that I will carry forward the excellence of Michigan Football.”
With the hire, there are currently no head-coaching vacancies at the FBS level.