Jim Harbaugh to donate bonuses to athletic department employees impacted by pandemic pay cuts

Jim Harbaugh (Amber Ainsworth/WDIV)

ANN ARBOR – Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh has said he will give any bonus money he earns this season back to staffers in the Michigan Athletics department who took pay cuts due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Harbaugh made the announcement while appearing on the “Inside Michigan Football” radio show on Monday evening. He told the host Jon Jansen that he and his wife, Sarah, made the decision on Sunday to pay a portion of his earnings forward to those impacted financially within the athletic department.

“We decided that any bonus money that I am to receive through this season will be redirected to reimburse UM athletic department employees who have stayed while taking a voluntary or mandatory pay reduction during the last 18 months during the pandemic,” he said on the show.

He said his wife and kids have become close with many staffers and they would be happy to help anyone who works for the department whether they be a head coach or work in the ticket department.

Made on the eve of Giving Tuesday, the announcement comes at perhaps the highest point in Harbaugh’s career after he secured the Wolverines’ first win against the Ohio State Buckeyes in 10 years.

According to The Detroit News, Harbaugh earned $500,000 in bonuses for the victory over Ohio State, which snagged Michigan the Big Ten East title. With a Big Ten title at stake on Saturday when Michigan faces off against Iowa, a Wolverine victory would bring in another $1 million for Harbaugh.

With a base salary of roughly $4 million, Harbaugh could earn up to $3.475 million in bonuses this season.

About the Author:

Meredith has worked for WDIV since August 2017 and was voted one of Washtenaw County's best journalists in 2019 by eCurrent's readers. She covers the community of Ann Arbor and has a Master's degree in International Broadcast Journalism from City University London, UK.