Jim Harbaugh will be the next head coach at Michigan. With word trickling out of so many places it’s hard to know where to give credit (although this feels like a good place to start), but it’s all but official now. The hire is expected to be formally announced on Monday, with an introductory press conference slated for Tuesday.
A large part of hiring coaches is projecting and predicting. How does a coach’s success in one job with one organization translate into a different job at a new organization? You can research and interview as much as you want, but at some point you have to hold your nose and dive in. It’s hard to be totally sure.
Not this time.
There are few known commodities in the coaching business, but this is one of them. Michigan is getting a coach that went 29-6 in three years at private, non-scholarship San Diego, transformed Stanford from the worst program in the Pac-12 to a team that went 20-6 over his past two seasons – and set the foundation in place to win two straight Pac-12 titles – and then morphed the San Francisco 49ers from a 6-10 team the year prior to his arrival to a club that made three straight appearances in the NFC Championship, and came within an eyelash of winning the Super Bowl two seasons ago.
Harbaugh made his name as both an identifier of talent – his quarterback targets for the class of 2008 were Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III – and a talent developer. His predecessor in Ann Arbor, Brady Hoke, succeeded at the first, but never got over the hump at the latter part of the job. Harbaugh won’t have that same problem.
With the news barreling from “nearly official” to “officially official”, the focus now shifts toward the staff Harbaugh will build around him at Michigan. It should be a good one.
As always, stay tuned to the The Scoop for the latest.