Jim Harbaugh named Big Ten Coach of the Year after Michigan football’s undefeated regular season

Harbaugh earns award from both fellow coaches, media

Head Football Coach Jim Harbaugh and Linebacker Michael Barrett #23 of the Michigan Wolverines celebrate before speaking to press after a college football game against the Ohio State Buckeyes at Ohio Stadium on November 26, 2022 in Columbus, Ohio. (Aaron J. Thornton, 2022 Getty Images)

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Jim Harbaugh has been named Big Ten Coach of the Year after leading the Michigan football team to an undefeated regular season and East Division title.

The Wolverines are heading back to Indianapolis for a second-straight Big Ten Championship Game, and that was enough to earn Harbaugh the conference Coach of the Year award from both the media and his fellow coaches.

READ: 13 Michigan football players earn All-Big Ten defensive, special teams honors

Michigan is 12-0 for just the fourth time in program history and has a chance to win its 13th game for the first time ever when it meets Purdue in the conference title game.

After making their first appearance in the College Football Playoff in 2021, Michigan will make a second-straight trip this year, regardless of Saturday’s outcome.

Harbaugh avenged last year’s only regular season loss by leading Michigan to a 29-7 win over Michigan State at the Big House. The team went on the road to take down No. 2 Ohio State this weekend, outscoring the Buckeyes 28-3 in the second half for a 22-point blowout win.

Michigan also dominated fellow top-10-ranked Penn State back in October, rushing for 418 yards en route to a 41-17 victory.

The Wolverines had to replace both coordinators this year after Mike MacDonald returned to the Baltimore Ravens and Josh Gattis left for Miami. Harbaugh hired Jesse Minter to take over the defense and promoted Sherrone Moore and Matt Weiss to co-offensive coordinator positions.

Heisman Trophy finalist Aidan Hutchinson and fellow defensive lineman David Ojabo both went to the NFL, as did first-round defensive back Daxton Hill. Hassan Haskins graduated after cementing his Michigan legacy with five touchdowns against Ohio State, and Michigan also switched quarterbacks early in the season.

Harbaugh’s team overcame all of those obstacles and finished with an even better record than last year. The Wolverines lead the nation with a scoring differential of plus-27.2 and rank top 10 in both scoring offense and scoring defense.

After falling to Georgia 34-11 in the playoff semifinal game last December, Harbaugh and the Wolverines are hoping for a stronger showing this time around.

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Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.