As NFL coaching rumors begin to pick up with the end of the 2021 regular season nearing, one name continues to surface: Jim Harbaugh.
The Michigan coach, fresh off leading the Wolverines to the College Football Playoff, has told the family of one potential recruit that he will entertain offers from NFL teams, 247Sports reported.
“He was up front with us about that,” Larry Clemons, father of four-star wide receiver Darrius Clemons, told the recruiting service. “I had Coach Harbaugh speak to my pastor. They had a good conversation. Our pastor asked him about that, and that’s just that’s the [reply] that he gave him.”
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NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, meanwhile, reported Saturday that Harbaugh has come up in NFL coaching searches and that the Raiders in particular have shown interest in hiring him. Rapoport noted that Harbaugh is believed to also have interest in Las Vegas.
“[The Raiders] are also set to do a real search, not an anointing like they did last time with Jon Gruden, so we’ll see where the search takes them,” Rapoport said. “But at the least, there is enough interest on both sides to make us think this is at least somewhat real, though as one source, who is very well-informed of this, told me (Friday night), Harbaugh loves to be courted.”
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Harbaugh is coming off his best season since taking over as Michigan’s head coach in 2015. The Wolverines beat rival Ohio State for the first time since 2011 and claimed the outright Big Ten championship for the first time since 2003. Before the season, Harbaugh signed a four-year extension that will pay him less than his previous deal but secured his future in Ann Arbor through at least 2025.
Harbaugh spent just four years as a head coach in the NFL but found plenty of success during that time. He was at the helm of the 49ers from 2011 through 2014, going 44-19-1. He took San Francisco to the Super Bowl following the 2012 season before losing to his brother John and the Ravens. His .695 winning percentage is the fifth-highest all time, according to Pro Football Reference.
Harbaugh’s first full-time coaching position was with the Raiders from 2002-03 as the team’s quarterbacks coach. A former NFL quarterback, Harbaugh spent the first seven years of his pro career playing for the Bears, another team that is expected to be looking for a new coach this offseason.
JON GRUDEN EMAILS, EXPLAINED: Raiders coach resigns following release of damning messages
Gruden resigned as Las Vegas coach midseason after leaked emails showed him using racist, sexist and homophobic language. The emails were collected by the NFL as part of the league’s workplace misconduct investigation of the Washington Football Team.
Gruden was replaced on an interim basis by Rich Bisaccia, who has gone 6-5. Should the Raiders beat the Chargers on “Sunday Night Football,” Las Vegas would reach the playoffs for the first time since 2016 and only the second time since 2002, when it lost to Gruden’s Buccaneers in Super Bowl 37.