Even though the college coaching carousel has stopped spinning for the time being, the NFL could soon see a bunch of coaches hit the market as the season wraps up.
Various jobs are widely speculated to attract new coaches: Chicago, Jacksonville, and Las Vegas, among others. Many of the same names are likely to be thrown out and considered. But there is a coach, who has been out of the league for several years, who could see his name appear on the radars.
As The Athletic’s Bruce Feldman first reported, Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh, fresh from a post in the college football playoffs, could be ready to leave his alma mater and return to the NFL, where he coached the 49ers. to a spot in the Super Bowl.
Sources on both the NFL and Michigan sides tell The Athletic that Jim Harbaugh might be tempted to leave the Wolverines to return to the NFL: https://t.co/BvGNjBZmdv
– Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) January 4, 2022
The Wolverines are coming off their best season in Harbaugh’s tenure. They went 12-2 with a college football playoff spot as well as a Big Ten title and ultimately earned an ever-elusive win over Ohio State.
Still, despite that success, and despite the fact that this may just be the beginning of Michigan’s resurgence under Harbaugh, he’s rumored to consider going to the NFL. Sporting News analyzes the contractual implications of that move:
Jim Harbaugh contract details
Harbaugh is currently under contract with the Wolverines. until 2025 after signing an extension in January 2021. At the time, Michigan Athletic Director Warde Manuel said he was “willing to be patient” and that the contract was a long-term play.
Harbaugh’s contract included a reduction in salary and he became more incentive-driven, pulling him out of the top rung of Big Ten coaches at base salary. Harbaugh earned $ 4 million in base salary in 2021, according to the Detroit Free Press, which will gradually increase if you see the duration of your contract until 2025:
- 2022: $ 4,101,850
- 2023: $ 4,206,756
- 2024: $ 4,314,808
- 2025: $ 4,426,102
Harbaugh didn’t seem concerned about that, professing “it’s just money.” Turns out, neither Manuel nor Wolverine fans had to wait long for the restructured contract to pay dividends. Here are the breakdowns of the Harbaugh incentives, in descending order in terms of value. He reached three benchmarks – the Big Ten East division championship, the Big Ten championship and a place in the college football playoffs – to earn an additional $ 2 million in incentives on top of his base salary of $ 4 million.
- CFP Championship: $ 1 million
- Big Ten Championship: $ 1 million
- CFP semifinal term: $ 500,000
- Big Ten East Championship: $ 500,000
- New Years Day 6 bunk: $ 200,000
- Incentives related to APR: $ 150,000
- National Coach of the Year: $ 75,000
- Big Ten Coach of the Year: $ 50,000
Most notably, Harbaugh donated his $ 2 million in incentives to Michigan to help employees affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Regardless, if he did indeed go to the NFL, he would not get a significant purchase. It started at $ 2 million in 2021 and is reduced to $ 1.5 million in 2022. To be continued decreasing by $ 500,000 each year through 2025.
Jim Harbaugh record in Michigan
Harbaugh has certainly won at Michigan, even if he didn’t win the biggest games. He was 49-22 going into this season, with two appearances in the 6 New Years bowls and four times ranked in the top 25 to end the season.
He is now 61-24 with a much padded résumé thanks to victories over Ohio State, a Big Ten title and a playoff berth. It’s his third stint as a college coach, with previous stops at San Diego and Stanford, where he led the Cardinal to a No. 4 spot in the rankings and a 12-1 record in his final season.
This was also the fourth time in Harbaugh’s return to Ann Arbor that the Wolverines have won more than 10 games.