U of M president says Jim Harbaugh will remain head coach of Michigan football team

Santa Ono says Harbaugh will ‘remain head coach of Michigan Wolverines’

Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh smiles after defeating Purdue in the Big Ten championship NCAA college football game, early Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022, in Indianapolis. Michigan won, 43-22. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy) (Michael Conroy, Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – University of Michigan President Santa Ono said Jim Harbaugh will remain the head coach of the Michigan football team.

“I just got off the phone with Coach Harbaugh, and Jim shared with me the great news that he is going to remain as the head coach of the Michigan Wolverines,” Ono tweeted at 4:50 p.m. Monday (Jan. 16). “That is fantastic news that I have communicated to our Athletic Director Warde Manuel. #GoBlue!”

Harbaugh confirmed his status with the program.

“I love the relationships that I have at Michigan - coaches, staff, families, administration, President Santa Ono, and especially the players and their families. My heart is at the University of Michigan. I once heard a wise man say, ‘Don’t try to out-happy, happy.’ Go Blue!”

NFL rumors continued to swirl around Harbaugh even after he issued a statement Jan. 5 saying he “expects” to be coaching Michigan in 2023. Those rumors are nothing new, as Harbaugh has been at the center of pro speculation every offseason since he took the Michigan job back in December 2014.

READ: 6 key Michigan football players announce return for 2023 season

Harbaugh seriously considered leaving for the first time last January, interviewing with the Minnesota Vikings before ultimately returning to Ann Arbor for his eighth season.

At the time, Harbaugh told Michigan athletic director Warde Manual that he would be with the Wolverines “for as long as you’ll have me,” but that didn’t stop more rumors from surfacing after the team’s loss to TCU in this year’s playoff semifinal.

Since his return, Harbaugh has revived the Michigan program from a prior state of irrelevance. When Harbaugh arrived, Michigan was coming off its third losing season in seven years under Rich Rodriguez and Brady Hoke.

Since 2015, Harbaugh’s first season, Michigan is 74-25 with two Big Ten titles, two wins over Ohio State, and two College Football Playoff appearances.

The only real turbulence in the Harbaugh-Michigan relationship came after the COVID-shortened 2020 season, when the Wolverines finished 2-4. At the time, Harbaugh was 0-5 against Ohio State and hadn’t been quite able to get over the hump in big games.

That all changed the last two seasons, as Michigan won the conference back-to-back and went a combined 25-3.

This year, Harbaugh led Michigan to its first ever 13-win season. The magical run ended with a 51-45 loss to TCU in the Fiesta Bowl semifinal.

During his first stint as an NFL head coach, Harbaugh led the San Francisco 49ers to a 44-19 record across four seasons from 2011-2014. He won the NFC West twice, went to the Super Bowl once, and lost in the NFC Championship Game twice.

About the Author:

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.