Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh Discusses Impact of a CFP Championship Win amid NFL Rumors

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Joined: Nov 2016

Sean M. Haffey/Getty ImagesA return to the NFL may soon be in Jim Harbaugh’s future, but the Michigan coach remains intently focused on bringing a title to his alma mater ahead of Monday’s national championship game.

“It would mean so much for our players, for them to know what it’s like to be champions,” Harbaugh told reporters Sunday. “Just be simply referred to as national champions.

“And for their parents to have their son be a champion, a national champion; for their grandparents to have a grandson; for their brothers and sisters to have a brother who is a [national champion].”

Harbaugh, who attended Michigan from 1982-1986, said beating Washington would also give his family a sense of pride in his accomplishment.

“What it would mean to me, for my kids to know their dad is a national champion and for my parents and my brother and my sister,” Harbaugh said. “That’s the overwhelming thing, just that so many people would be able to enjoy that, be a part of that.

“For my wife, for her husband to be a national champion. For me, not so much, but for everybody else, yeah, that would be huge.”

Harbaugh has been a success at every stop in his coaching career. He began by turning FCS program San Diego into a juggernaut in three seasons, led Stanford to an Orange Bowl trophy in 2010 and then instantly vaulted the San Francisco 49ers to success in the NFL, reaching Super Bowl XLVII, where he lost to his brother, John, and the Baltimore Ravens.

Personality conflicts ended Harbaugh’s time in the NFL and led him back to his alma mater, where he’s led a sustained run of success. The Wolverines have reached the College Football Playoff in three straight seasons and will be playing in their first title game Monday night. Harbaugh is the first coach in three decades to lead Michigan to three straight conference championships.

That said, the 2023 season has been fraught with controversy. Harbaugh was suspended first three games of the year for recruiting violations during the COVID-19 dead period and another three games amid a sign-stealing scandal.

Those frustrations have led to speculation Harbaugh might again try his hand at coaching in the NFL. He’s interviewed for the Minnesota Vikings and Denver Broncos vacancies in recent offseasons but ultimately remained at Michigan. The Las Vegas Raiders and Los Angeles Chargers are among the teams that could pursue Harbaugh if he again expresses NFL interest.

For now, though, Harbaugh seems committed to the task at hand.


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