Skip to main content

Jim Harbaugh is college football's first $9 million man

An addendum to Jim Harbaugh's contract installed earlier this summer has turned the Michigan head coach into college football's first $9 million man.

As first reported by USA Today and the Detroit Free Press, Michigan and Harbaugh added a clause to his $5 million annual contract that calls for Michigan to pay $4 million this year for a life insurance policy Harbaugh owns. The first $2 million premium was paid on June 3, the date of the agreement, and an additional $2 million will be due each Dec. 6 through the end of the coach's contract in 2021.

From USA Today

Because Harbaugh owns the policy, he can take withdrawals or loans from the policy.

The university will get its money back, without interest, when Harbaugh dies. There are other scenarios under which U-M would get its money back: If the policy is surrendered or cancelled prior to Harbaugh's death or the money would come from Harbaugh if he exercises his option to terminate the entire insurance arrangement in the event that his employment contract is terminated.

Harbaugh gets to determine the beneficiary of the policy.

The university gets its money back from the death benefit. But the Harbaugh-designated beneficiary – his wife, his kids, a trust, etc. – gets the excess. Based on Harbaugh's age (52), his health and the premium payments the total death benefit could be at least $20 million.

READ: Why Jim Harbaugh is now the Donald Trump of college football.

Essentially, Harbaugh will leave behind a nice chunk of change -- in addition to whatever millions from his coaching and playing salaries are left over -- for his heirs while Michigan gets its money back in the end as well.

Like the limited master partnership Arizona arranged for Rich Rodriguez two years ago, it's another way for schools to enrich their coaches without emptying their coffers.

As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.