ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Rumors have swirled around Jim Harbaugh since he took over as head football coach at Michigan in 2015, but the university is reportedly trying to squash them.
According to football analyst Brady Quinn, Michigan is working on a "lifetime contract" for Harbaugh. Quinn told this to Jonas Knox on Fox Sports Radio, according to Mike Sullivan of 97.1 The Ticket.
"I talked to someone who's kind of an insider within that program, and we had a long, drawn out conversation," Quinn reportedly said. "What he told me was they're working on a lifetime contract. I swear to you, that was his words."
It didn't take Harbaugh long to turn around a Michigan program that floundered under Rich Rodriguez and Brady Hoke. After missing a bowl game for the third time in seven seasons in 2014, Michigan hired Harbaugh and won 10 games in back-to-back years.
Though the Wolverines have taken a step back in 2017 due to a massive roster overhaul, it appears the school has no doubt Harbaugh is the best man for the job.
Quinn said the insider wouldn't go into specifics.
"I kind of pressed him on it and said, 'Really? A lifetime deal? What would that even look like?'" Quinn said. "He couldn't give me particulars, but he said that's one of the things that they are talking about. That's how confident -- that's how good they feel about Jim Harbaugh and how glad they are to have him there. So maybe that's something that Harbaugh wants."
Harbaugh is one of the best football minds in the nation and became an excellent recruiter the moment he took over in Ann Arbor. His first two full classes ranked in the top 10 nationally, and there's no sign of a drop-off in the future.
Harbaugh has also brought some of the top assistant coaches in the country to Michigan, including Maryland head coach D.J. Durkin, who was his defensive coordinator in 2015, and interim UCLA head coach Jedd Fisch, who was the passing game coordinator in 2015 and 2016.
When Durkin left, Harbaugh hired Don Brown, who masterminded the No. 1 defense at Boston College. Michigan's defense has only improved since.
Michigan hasn't won the Big Ten East Division in Harbaugh's first three years, but the team came within a couple plays of competing for a playoff spot each of his first two seasons. For a program that was struggling to get to six wins just four years ago, that's a major turnaround.
If Michigan offers Harbaugh a "lifetime contract," most college football fans will agree it has the right man for the job.