Just as the NCAA men’s basketball tournament was tipping off on Thursday, Indiana announced it had fired head basketball coach Tom Crean. Such a move was largely expected given the way this past season played out and now Indiana will have a new football and basketball coach in 2017. The Crean dismissal has been a bit of a discussion point while the tournament has been going on, and among those sounding off on the head coaching change in Bloomington is… Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh.
At first you may think that seems kind of odd that a football coach at one Big Ten school would have any reason to discuss a basketball coach at another Big Ten school being dismissed, but Crean is Harbaugh’s brother-in-law, so Harbaugh has a personal reason to be critical of the Indiana decision. In a story for Sports Illustrated by Michael Rosenberg, Harbaugh compared his personal experience with the San Francisco 49ers with what he sees his brother-in-law going through this week at Indiana.
Jim Harbaugh looks at Crean’s Indiana tenure and says, “much like my situation in San Francisco, the people that are doing the micromanaging … when it comes to building a ball team, what they know could not blow up a small balloon. In my case, an owner and a general manager. In his case, an administration. They are so similar in that way. And he still wins two Big Ten championships outright.”
If this quote tells us anything, it is that the head coach of the Wolverines still has some bitter feelings for his old bosses with the 49ers. Harbaugh took the 49ers to a Super Bowl and nearly captured a Super Bowl championship, but he was topped by the Baltimore Ravens, coached by his brother John Harbaugh. The other Harbaugh brother had some choice words to say about Indiana’s situation as well, telling Crean the day he was let go will prove to be the best day of his career.
One might suggest Jim Harbaugh and the 49ers parting ways ended up being the best day of his career. Now, Harbaugh is the highest-paid coach in college football and coaching his alma mater back to national relevance as he enters his third year on the sideline. Crean will certainly land a new job somewhere, but he may not be the next highest-paid coach in the sport.
Helmet sticker to The Comeback.
Over this past summer Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh created a stir throughout the south with his satellite camp tour. Harbaugh had some fun with it by extending an open invitation to every football coach in the country to come and work at a football camp in Ann Arbor. Next March Harbaugh will be amping things up a bit with the help of his family.
Dubbed “The Greatest Coaching Clinic of All-Time” Michigan and Harbaugh will welcome John Harbaugh and the coaching staff of the Baltimore Ravens to Ann arbor for a coaching clinic. In addition to the Harbaugh brothers, the coaching clinic will also feature eight of the nation’s most successful high school coaches and two special guests yet to be named. Those attending the clinic will also be given a chance to observe a spring football practice for the Wolverines as well as a strength and conditioning demonstration.
That is a nice little sales pitch for the Michigan program, and Harbaugh should absolutely continue to use his brother to his advantage like this at every given opportunity. Anything that helps strengthen the Michigan brand alongside the NFL is a strong recruiting tool.
Over the past few years it seems anytime there was a high-profile coaching vacancy available, Jon Gruden had his name pop up from fans or media. Gruden has a Super Bowl ring and he has had a number of good coaching jobs in his career, starting with his role as a graduate assistant at Tennessee to his time with the San Francisco 49ers, Green Bay Packers, Philadelphia Eagles, Oakland Raiders and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He won a Super Bowl ring as head coach in his final stop. Will Gruden one day return to coaching? Perhaps, although he has a pretty nice gig going right now as an analyst for ESPN’s Monday Night Football and his own annual quarterback profile series leading up to the NFL Draft.
If there is one job that could lure Gruden away from the TV booth and cameras, maybe, just maybe, it could be the University of Michigan.
It is believed Michigan is likely heading to a coaching search at the end of the season, although Brady Hoke remains the head coach of the Wolverines and AD Dave Brandon has not indicated a change is needed at this time. Michigan enters this weekend’s night game against Penn State riding a three-game losing streak and is looking to avoid a dreadful 0-3 start in Big Ten play with games against Michigan State and Ohio State still to be played. The names swirling around as Michigan’s next head coach are Jim Harbaugh and John Harbaugh, but if you dig deep into the archives of Dayton football, perhaps the answer is sitting right in front of Michigan.
Take a look at this bio of former Dayton quarterback Jon Gruden, from a 1984 media guide dug up and shared by Dayton student Dan Whitaker…
Gruden is much more geared to be an NFL head coach, as opposed to running a college program. If he does one day leave the TV booth to return to the sidelines, it would be much more likely to happen with an NFL franchise. Michigan may actually have a better chance of getting Harbaugh from the 49ers. Maybe the 49ers would make a call to Gruden?
Maybe the Cleveland Browns tried to acquire Jim Harbaugh or maybe they didn’t. One thing is for sure. One Harbaugh is going to be immortalized in the state of Ohio for years to come.
Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh will be honored by Miami University, the Cradle of Coaches, with a statue outside Yager Stadium. A full-body bronze statue of the former Miami coach and Super Bowl champion coach will be unveiled on April 19.
According to a release sent out by the university, Harbaugh will be depicted coaching the Ravens on the sidelines from the 2013 Super Bowl, a victory over the San Francisco 49ers and his brother and former Stanford head coach, Jim. The statue will be the latest addition to Miami’s Cradle of Coaches Plaza.
Some other caches immortalized in statue form by Miami include Ara Parseghian and Paul Brown, so Harbaugh’s bronze image will be in some good company. Each statue in the collection honors a Miami graduate who has gone on to earn national recognition as a coach of the year at the college or pro level or have been inducted in to either the College Football Hall of Fame or Pro Football Hall of Fame. Harbaugh is a long way from entering a hall of fame, but winning the Super Bowl qualified him for the honor organized by the university. A mural inside the stadium honoring Harbaugh will also be added.
Harbaugh did not coach at Miami but he did play defensive back. His father, Jack, was an assistant under Bo Schembechler at Michigan. Schembechler is one of the other coaches already honored with a statue at Miami.