Jim Harbaugh enters the 2020 season with the shortest contract of any Power 5 head coach. Entering his sixth year leading his alma mater, Harbaugh is still on the original contract he signed when leaving San Francisco for Ann Arbor in late December of 2014.
That deal, which was set to pay him north of $7.7 million before taking a 10 percent pandemic pay cut, promised him $52.1 million over the life of the 7-year deal. The only amendment since then came in the form of $2 million in life insurance payments, agreed to back in 2016.
And, unless the coach is playing an elaborate game of possum, the contract will remain that way for the foreseeable future.
“Just other fish, bigger fish to fry,” Harbaugh told the Detroit Free Presson Monday.
The contract situation comes amid a period of friction with U-M president Mark Schlissel. The men went months without speaking as the Big Ten's football season hung in the balance, though they've remained cordial in public.
Michigan AD Warde Manuel has said he wants Harbaugh to retire a Wolverine.
Harbaugh is 47-18 as Michigan's head coach. His tenure, while representing a definitive upgrade from the Rich Rodriguez and Brady Hoke eras, has been marred by an inability to cash in at the end of the season. The Wolverines are 0-5 against Ohio State and 1-4 in bowl games with no Big Ten West Division titles. The 2019 team went 9-3 and finished No. 18 in the AP poll.
Michigan opens the 2020 campaign at Minnesota on Saturday (7:30 p.m. ET, ABC).
As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.