University of Michigan Coach Jim Harbaugh’s name comes up just about any time another top job comes open in the NFL.
Not because he’s campaigning to get back there, but because he coached the San Francisco 49ers to a 44-19-1 record with three NFC Championship game appearances and one visit to the Super Bowl. That kind of record, not to mention a 20-5 mark in two seasons at Michigan, will get you into any conversation about head coaching positions.
So when rumors started circulating that Harbaugh was the leading candidate for the LA Rams job after Jeff Fisher was fired earlier this month, those rumors picked up steam. And Harbaugh got steaming mad.
He blamed “enemy” coaches for spreading the lies: “They like to tell that to the recruits, to their families, try to manipulate them into going to some other school besides Michigan.”
Ironically, when the rumors reached a fever pitch, Harbaugh was in North Texas recruiting four-star offensive lineman Chuck Filiaga. In addition to visiting the home of the 6-foot-7, 340-pound senior from American Samoa, Harbaugh attended practice at Aledo High School, where Filiaga and the Bearcats were closing in on a state championship.
He talked to them about the “six seconds of rage” that football demands, and he shared a parable about how fate is in their hands.
It was a rare glimpse into the kind of motivational speech Harbaugh will likely give to his Wolverines as they prepare to face Florida State on Friday in the Orange Bowl. And it’s among the reasons the rumors about him returning to the NFL have not subsided.
Harbaugh’s visit to Aledo was featured in a recent episode of Titletown, TX., a Star-Telegram original web series that chronicled the Bearcats’ road to State.