It’s a new year, and with it comes fresh Jim Harbaugh rumors. There’s plenty of buzz that indicates Harbaugh could possibly leave his head coaching position at the University of Michigan and head to the NFL.
According to multiple reports, Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper has talked to Harbaugh about the team’s head coaching position, which is currently open. The Panthers got rid of head coach Matt Rhule early in the season and have played with interim coach Steve Wilks. They have a 6-10 record entering Week 18.
The Panthers are expected to conduct interviews for the important position after Sunday’s regular season finale. The team won’t be in the playoffs this year, so they’ll get to work right after the regular season ends.
According to a new report in The Athletic, multiple sources say that Harbaugh is likely to leave Michigan if an NFL franchise offered him a head coach job. Harbaugh’s contract buyout is a whopping $3 million this year until Jan. 11, at which point it goes down to $750,000.
Harbaugh was also reportedly contacted by the Denver Broncos on Sunday, following the Wolverines’ loss in the Fiesta Bowl to TCU. The Broncos said farewell to their head coach this season.
Harbaugh, 59, previously had great success in the NFL, coaching the San Francisco 49ers in 2011-14. With that team, he was 44-19-1, working with quarterbacks Alex Smith and Colin Kaepernick.
Meanwhile, Harbaugh is 74-25 at the University Michigan in eight seasons. The past two seasons have brought two wins over rivals Ohio State, two Big Ten championships and two appearances, but losses, in the College Football Playoff semifinals.
Last year, Harbaugh interviewed with the Minnesota Vikings, even snagging an in-person interview on national signing day in February. The Vikings didn’t offer him the head coaching job, and Harbaugh then claimed he didn’t want to leave Michigan, anyway. Will that stance remain in 2023? If he’s offered an NFL coaching job, we think not.