I can't imagine how competative that was.
Coaches’ Clinic Presser 3/11/16: Jim, John, and Jack Harbaugh
[Isaiah Hole/ 247]
Just talk about what a day this is for the three of you to be together here at the clinic and then across the street tonight [AA Pioneer Hall of Fame induction ceremony]?
Jim: “It’s just like so many things that we’ve all done together through the years. It’s one more thing to be done, but I mean great memories of all the times we were doing stuff together. The three of us have done a lot together through the years.”
Jim: “We’ve done a lot of things with mom and Joani as well and our wives, but the three of us, we’ve done a lot of cool stuff together. You know, this is certainly one of those shining star days.”
You gave the coaches a lot to chew on. Is there one thing that you hope they take away from it more than anything else?
Jim: “My personal feeling is that during a clinic or even a talk or speech of some kind is try to give something that somebody can use, even if it’s just one or two or three things. And I think we did that. Think there was—they at least got one or two things.”
John: “They had a lot to choose from. They had a lot of options.”
Like a salad buffet, you take what you need and what works for you?
Jack: /laughs “I wish I’d had that line.”
Jim: “Talking to, listening to coach Tim Tyrrell talk, you know, we were all there and I took probably 20 really good coaching points and took furious notes. That’s what you want to get when you’re a listener to somebody at a clinic or a speech, that there’s something you get that you can use and incorporate into your own team and own coaching staff.”
Jack, I think you said something along the lines of you wished you could have coached with your two sons.
Jack: “Yeah, no question.”
What about them would you want to share with them on a staff?
Jack: “Well, as I sit back now without a coaching assignment-- and they are so good with Jackie and I, they bring us into their families’ lives, they bring us into their professional lives—but to just sit back at the back of a room and watch how they address their team or sit into a coaches meeting and watch how they address their coaches, the great trust that they have with their team and their coaches, I marvel. I say, ‘Why wouldn’t the lord put me on the earth earlier in my coaching career?’ Then I could have had an opportunity to experience that. I think I would have been better. I think my record would have been a lot better as a coach.”
Jim, you ever think about hiring him here?
“My dad? Oh yeah. We got him daily. Sometimes he’s over in Baltimore and sometimes he’s in Bloomington, but when we do get him we learn a lot and cherish it. I mean, he’s an honorary member of whatever staff I’ve ever been on. Same with John.”
John: “He’s full time. More than full time. He works for three coaches right now. He’s got three staffs.”
Jack: “It’s a blessing.”
[After THE JUMP: Twisted blue steel, Judge Judy, Mark Emmert, and the Super Bowl]
John, this is your second year coming here and doing this clinic. Why is it important for you to do it?
John: “Probably as much as anything, like Jim said, it’s the three of us getting to do something together, that’s probably the main thing. Then to have our coaches, to have the honor to bring our coaches out here to be a part of it— it’s really interesting, in the NFL you don’t get a chance to do too many clinics. Some of our guys will do clinics here and there. Dean Pees just did the Ohio High School Coaches Clinic. It’s a chance to give back to coaches and share.
“I remember going to clinics and taking notes, as Jim said, furiously and writing down as many things as I could and walking away feeling all pumped up and feeling you were twice the coach you were when you walked in there. Now to get a chance to do that now from the NFL perspective is kind of rare.
“But then for the three of us to just get together and hang out and do stuff and be together. We went fishing six or seven years ago up on Lake Huron. Great guy by the name of Charlie took us out. The clinic went better than the fishing, I can tell you that. We broke the guy’s boat, pulled down his—“
Jack: “Jim got seasick!”
John: “Jimmy got seasick.”
Jim: “We caught one fish the whole time.”
John: “Caught one fish the whole time, but it was a doozy. It was about that long [holds fingers maybe six inches apart]. Cut it all up and we ate it. We all got like a little piece of fish.”
Jack: “He never invited us back.”
John: “Never. I haven’t talked to him since.”
Jim: “We’re better coaches than fishermen, I think.”
Jack: “But one of the things for me today was to look up in the stands and see nineteen-hundred ambassadors for this great game of ours in football.”
Jim: “It was 2,000. It was over 2,000. It was well over 2,000.”
Jack: [/throws arm around Jim] “My promoter here. [/laughs] But to see that many ambassadors for our game, and our game’s under some stress right now with the concussion factor and some of these other things, but the feeling that I had walking off the stage, and I’m sure both of you felt it, is our game is in good hands. If these are our ambassadors, these are the ones promoting our [game], these are the ones working with the youngsters, the Pop Warners and the junior high school football players and high school football teams, our game is in good shape.”
Do you feel responsible to be those ambassadors and provide opportunities like this and try and preach the gospel of football to these guys?
John: “Right. The gospel, the good news of football. Yeah. It’s like, that’s the thing that I think sometimes we forget, and maybe it’s just indicative of our culture. I mean, any little tidbit of negativity gets turned over and diced and sliced and analyzed every way it can be. And in a lot of ways that’s good—we want to get better and improve, but there are so many great things about the great game of football.
“You know, we talk about it all the time and it was brought up today, there’s never been a guy that’s played high school football—a young man that’s ever played high school football-- then looks back on it and says, ‘Man, wish I hadn’t done that.’ You know, every single person that’s ever played the game is proud of being a football player, and that’s because of the lessons that it teaches you. I mean, you grow up and it takes a certain courage, it takes a certain discipline, it takes a certain camaraderie and teamwork and selflessness and caring about one another, and those are things that any high school young man—and football, you know, it’s the man’s sport, it’s the male version of that but women get it. My daughter plays lacrosse. There are a lot of ways for this to happen. We’re not saying football is the only way, but football’s a unique sport in and of its own.
“It teaches so many valuable lessons and I think so many men, as we grow up and we become older and we become fathers and husbands and all those things, we’re better at all those things for having played the game of football. And that’s the important thing to get across. And talking to football coaches, they know that! They know that. To encourage them and build them up a little bit in that way I think is really important because they’re leaders of young men in the front lines at high schools and junior high schools making a difference for our country [and] for society.
“And that is a part of it. It’s not everything, You know, we’re not making it out to be everything like some people want to criticize and say, but it’s a darn good thing. We need to hold on to every good thing we have right now.”
You all really emphasized the importance of including family in the game of football. You [John] mentioned having your daughter at the Super Bowl with you. What lessons have you imparted to her, whether it’s athletic or life lessons, that you learned through football?
John: “You know, it’s such a great question because as a parent how often do you have a chance to talk to your child and you tell them something and they go, ‘Oh, I got it. Thanks,’ and they take it with them and understand? It’s not really what you tell them. Maybe we learn later like the things that 25 years later the thing they hear their son or daughter say and it’s like, ‘Oh, they were listening.’ It’s what they see. It’s what they experience with you. So the idea [is] that you take your kids with you to be a part of what you do.
“I don’t care if it’s going to the grocery store. Grandpa Cipiti ran a nursery and he ran a gas station, right? And he took us two to pump gas—which we spilled gas all over the place, right, and he got mad at us and chewed us out, and we worked in the nursery and we cut down trees with the lawnmower, the little saplings, when we were supposed to ne cutting the grass. We made mistakes, but he took us with him everywhere he went, just like dad. He took us with us to—he would scout high school games in Iowa City and we met Jesse Owens. Jim’s told that story before. So if you’re just with your mom and dad, being a part and watching what they do, to me that’s what it is. And we’re football coaches, so why wouldn’t our kids be with us in our profession?”
Jack: “One time about five or six years ago, Bob Feller, some of you might remember the great pitcher with the-“
Jim: “Cleveland Indians.” [/grins]
Jack: “-Cleveland Indians, and he lived to be the ripe old age of 93, and I read they asked in the last months of his life what his father had done for him, and he made it so tight and concise. The three things his father did for him: number one, he played catch with him. And I thought back to the years here in Ann Arbor and in Bowling Green when these guys were growing up. I mean, you’re tired when you come home and you go out and you play ball and what you learn! How you doing in school? How you getting along with your mother? Why do you think your mother did that? The discussions that you had with a ball going back and forth, and then the other thing he said is he took me to games.
“He didn’t say he watched him in games, he was there yelling at the umpire or criticizing the manager. He talked about took him to the games. And I remember the rides to the games and home from the games. You know, turn the radio off. Nowadays, turn the phone off and just listen. And the things you hear and the discussions you have about football.
“Then the last thing, Jim and John both hammered away today with, as Bo would say, ‘numbing repetition’ was, ‘He believed in me. He told me daily how much he believed in me,’ and I think that sums up what this was all about. In our society now we have youngsters that are growing up and they don’t have a type of family where they hear that every day, so then a teacher has to do it or someone in the clergy has to do it or someone in the Scouts has to do it or a coach has to do it. Somebody has to tell that youngster every single day how much they believe in him before he can believe in himself, and hopefully we were able to share that message today a little bit.”
Jack, Jim and John, they played together one year at Pioneer, is that right?
Jack: “One year. Jim’s sophomore year and John’s senior year.”
What do you remember about that season?
Jack: “It’s not so much what I remember but what Jackie remembers. Jackie wrote a letter to them today, and, uh—[/chokes up]…I’m not gonna do that. I’m just gonna tell you about the letter and in one of the letters in the second paragraph she talks about Jim was a sophomore quarterback and John had injured his knee and missed some games early in the season and came back as a wide receiver. She thinks it was Ypsilanti, I think it was Huron-“
John: “It was Huron.”
Jack: “It was Huron. Thank you. Let’s keep that, uh- let’s not share that with anybody! [/laughs] She’s positive it was Ypsilanti! But the game, in the middle of the first, it’s cold out there at Holloway Field, cold and wet and damp, and Jim threw a pass and John went down and caught a post route for about 15-20 yards and over the PA, ‘That pass was thrown from Harbaugh to Harbaugh for 15 yards’ and Jackie looked and I swear she had tears running down her face, and she shared that in the letter with them today as a memory of her two boys competing in football at Pioneer High School.”
John, do you remember that?
John: “Yeah. I remember getting hurt and missing the first ten games of the season and Jim came in as the quarterback as a sophomore and he was killing it, playing great, and then finally getting a chance to play the last few weeks and catch a couple passes, it was pretty cool.
“We used to play this game called Chicken. We’d line up about as far apart as we could and zing balls at each other until finally somebody cracked!”
Who usually cracked?
John: “I think I won the most; I think he’d say the opposite. You kind of remember your wins more than your losses. We were always bruised. We always were bruised.”
You referenced the headlines that your brother’s been in a lot and said it’s often because other people didn’t think about it. Have you been sort of amused? Do you get amused reading all this stuff?
John: “Oh yeah, I love it. I mean, it’s fun. I’ve got Michigan Football, it’s my number one thing. I pull up Michigan Football and there’s something new every day. It’s just been great entertainment and I’m proud of Jim for what he’s been doing. I’ve had a chance to do a couple little clinics or talks and people ask about him and I’m in a good place where I can say what I think about him. I’m just proud of him and can’t believe how foolish some of the things that are said are said.
“I mean, the president of the NCAA is just, in my opinion, has just been completely—he probably regrets a lot of what he said, let’s put it that way. When you look at this whole thing, it’s like there’s a lot of things to be worried about in this world and this country and if you’re going to take a moral position on something, you’re going to take a stand for what’s right, I don’t think it’s spring break. I don’t think it’s guys going out and having fun. I don’t think it’s all the money that’s being made on college athletics at this level being spent on players and their experience. I just don’t think that’s something we should be morally against, you know?
“To me, when people had a chance to think about it they kind of said, ‘You know what? This is probably okay. This is a pretty cool thing to do, a program like this at this kind of a level.’ I think Jim’s just handled it brilliantly because he’s basically said the truth. He’s said what he thinks and he’s won out in the end, so it’s been fun to watch. It’s supposed to be fun, right? Is it not supposed to be fun? It’s sports.”
Speaking of that, Jim, you’ve used Twitter and social media to great effect. Would you recommend that to most coaches? It can be a little troublesome if you don’t handle it correctly.
Jim: “Uh, I think…troublesome?”
You know, if you say the wrong thing on Twitter people may take it the wrong way or something.
Jim: “A couple coaches have gotten in trouble. Well, a couple of other coaches.”
Saying stuff and putting their foot in their mouth, basically.
John: “Are we referring to any coaches in particular?”
Jim: “I guess the tip there would be just think out what you’re going to say or tweet or write, just like you would if you were writing an article or saying something that people are going to hear. I’m trying to be part of the solution, not the problem. So that’s another goal, to be positive with it. And the things I get back from it? I get back humor. I get back information. It’s a good tool to communicate with, so I’ve found it to be very positive.”
So you were pushing for Judge Judy the other day. You giving any Presidential endorsements?
Jim: “No, I just think I’m just sticking with the Supreme Court right now. I think this country would be a much better place with Judith Sheindlin on the Supreme Court. That’s my feeling.”
Jack: “Have you gotten any feedback from Judy?”
Jim: “I got a nice email from her, yes.”
Is that a serious thing?
Jack: “She accepted the nomination or she’s interested in following up on that?”
Jim: “I;m going to keep that [between us]. She’s kind of like me, she likes fun. I know she’d be great.”
It’d be a big pay cut for her, wouldn’t it? Doesn’t she make like $10 million a year?
Jim: “I think for her country, you know, if urged to do so, if there was a public outcry for it and the President nominates her then I’d say we have a chance.”
Have you guys picked up anything from the coaches you’ve brought in? Frank Beamer [yesterday’s keynote speaker] and last night I think it was Art Briles and Mike Martz has been here. Do you pick their brains for things you can use during the season?
Jim: “Oh, multiple. Every conversation there’s been, uh, I’ve found something to make myself a better coach, as John said. Sometimes you feel like twice as good a coach with the number of things. But yeah, with every single one. Because, you know, coach Tyrrell’s clinic this morning was A++. Mike Martz, I’ve gotten a dozen tremendous coaching points from. Art Briles, as I mentioned on stage, took multiple things from his talk. Same with Frank Beamer and his leture, and Bob Head as well, and John Harbaugh and Jack Harbaugh. You wish you could be in two places at once.
“Fortunately enough for me, I’m videotaping it and I’ll be able to get to watch it all. And that’d be a good vision for this clinic, too, would be to publish it all. Publish all the videos, as many or all of the clinic talks as you can, and even subscribe it and put it into book form. I think that’s a way we can get better and make it even better as we go forward.”
John, I was just thinking since tonight’s the induction, when did you know that your little brother—and not by a lot of years—was a pretty good athlete?
John: “Immediately. Maybe as soon as I can remember. He was always—the thing about Jim was the competitiveness; he was always big. It’s funny, because I was born, then he caught up. Usually I had a growth spurt at some point in time, then he would catch up and pass until he finally got to be 6’3, he got to be strapping twisted blue steel there at 6’3. But I tell the story sometimes—”
Jim: “Could somebody actually transcribe that?”
Jack: “Make sure you get that in there!”
Jim “Make sure you put that part in the story! If my wife could read that..”
John: “We were on vacation, okay? I was like 26 or 27, Jim’s been in the NFL for three or four years, and we took a family vacation to…where? In Florida.”
Jim: “Yeah. Amelia Island.”
John: “Amelia Island, he takes us to Amelia Island. Little did I know that there was a reason that he brought us there, okay? We get out on the beach, and maybe the last fight, maybe I got the upper hand. I’m not saying I did, Jim, but maybe something was bothering him or whatever. So we get into a wrestling match on the beach and next thing I know it’s poomph! Takes me down, and we’re in the water now, under the water. I’m like okay, he took me down, I’ll pop back up. We’re having fun, right? I’m still under the water…and I’m still under the water…and I kind of get this feeling of like I don’t think he’s going to let me up. I’m thinking is this the moment? Is this what it’s all come to? Has he finally snapped? Has he finally gone over the edge? Is this going to be the end? He kind of let me up and looked at me like, 'Does that settle it once and for all?' That’s the last time things got physical.”
Jack: “Can you imagine the headlines the next day? 'John Harbaugh succumbs to brother’s drowning!'”
John: “Yeah, that’d be the way I’d go down right there. Since then we haven’t wrestled at all. You remember that?”
Jim: “I do. I’m just waiting for it, waiting for it…”
John: “For what?”
Jim: “It’s about to come.”
Jim: “Well, every time you tell that story you really get into it, it’s very theatrical, it’s very self-deprecating, you know, because I’ve got you under the water, this is the end, thought this was the final confrontation—“
Jim: “But every time that story’s ever been told it leads to—”
John: “That’s not true.”
Jim: “—somehow the Super Bowl. Now you look like the guy who’s very self-deprecating. I was waiting for it. Waiting for it.”
[/Jack’s laughing uproariously]
John: “Did I bring that up?”
Jim: “I was waiting. At the Super Bowl, you had me under the water. You did.”
John: “Thank you. I appreciate that. Very self-deprecating of you.”
Jack: “That’s the word of the day.”
John, Teryl Austin’s going to talk later today. Have you talked to him at all about taking the leap from coordinator to head coach? What has to happen for him to make that leap?
John: “Yeah, I don’t think there’s any big conversation. He’s ready for it in my mind. It just takes somebody where it’s a fit and one of the owners feels like he’s the guy for the job. It’s gonna happen, it’s just a matter of time. To me, you want the job when the job wants you. When they feel like he’s the guy and he’s the fit, that’s the one he wants. I don’t think he wants one where he’s got to force his way in. But he’s with Jim Caldwell. I know he loves coaching with Jim Caldwell, coaching the Lions and being a defensive coordinator. I’m pretty sure he’s pretty happy with what he’s doing and when the day comes he’ll be a head coach.”
What were your emotions watching the end of that basketball game, Michigan winning and your brother-in-law or son-in-law losing?
Jim: “Healthy, honest, fair competition.”
John: “I was disappointed. I was hoping that they’d win, you know. Tom’s done an unbelievable job, right? I mean, an amazing job. Big Ten Coach of the Year, and as an Indiana fan, for my brother-in-law and sister I can’t wait for next Thursday. But congrats to Michigan, great win for Michigan. Cracks the door open for another Big Ten team. I’m a Big Ten fan, too, just like—obviously Jim roots for Michigan, too. They got a chance now to make it into the tournament, so that’ll be great for Michigan.”
James Light also had a write up of the Harbaugh family panel, and it has a segment on why Harbaugh is bringing in HS coaches for salaried positions instead of GAs, which is pretty interesting. May have been taken from a different segment and added to the family panel post.
James Light is great. His write-up is about the keynote they did on the main stage. This took place after and was only open to media, but you can see from some of the lines of questioning that the two are interrelated.
He's not using this job to just do something for himself. Almost everything he does is to benefit others (give a showcase to lesser-seen players, hire high school coaches, give his team a free trip to Florida). While he does get the 'crootin benefits, the real genius is that he's also just doing something cool with his position.
He's also a good ambassador for the game of football itself. He gets that it is ubder fire and he wants to help it survive and grow. He transcends just a mere parochial football coach.
Harbaugh's off-field strategies and tactics are every bit as intriguing and fun to watch as the games themselves. Can it be any more clear he's working a long-term plan?
I love that in the retelling it's "Did Jim finally snap??"
As if that's expected and not too abnormal had it happened.
This was a fun read. Liked how Jim answered the Michigan - Indiana game question. And John's answer as well . . . gotta stand with family. Jim's comments on Judge Judy were good as well. What a great time to be a Michigan fan.
For the Harbaugh Family.
Legendary Frank Beamer retires at Virginia Tech and then shows up at M.
He is another class act.
This is awesome. Is it on video?
Sent from MGoBlog HD for iPhone & iPad
But why did Joanie marry TOM CREAN?!?! cuts Me right to the core!
in mysterious ways.
" So we get into a wrestling match on the beach and next thing I know it’s poomph! Takes me down, and we’re in the water now, under the water. I’m like okay, he took me down, I’ll pop back up. We’re having fun, right? I’m still under the water…and I’m still under the water…and I kind of get this feeling of like I don’t think he’s going to let me up. I’m thinking is this the moment? Is this what it’s all come to? Has he finally snapped? Has he finally gone over the edge? Is this going to be the end? He kind of let me up and looked at me like, 'Does that settle it once and for all?' That’s the last time things got physical."
highlight, and even John H. thinks it: "Has he finally snapped?"
The fishing story, the drowning. Jim Harbaugh obviously upset about the super bowl still (Oakland is in play?!), strapping twisted blue steel!
Judge Judy is unbearable and unclever. Apart from "talking tough" in a scripted TV show, she is a mediocre legal mind with a voice like nails on a blackboard. And she constantly pitches to the lowest common denominator (with ratings in mind, no doubt).
I support Jim Harbaugh on all matters football, and most other matters. But Judge Judy on the SCOTUS? The better place for Judge Judy is on a Marry One, Murder One, Screw One quiz.
Francis. It's all good fun.
I can take Coach Harbaugh's off-the-cuff quip about Judge Judy as seriously as I want to. And I think this quip is deadly serious.
They really seem to be a great family. I'm so glad they're ours. Great stuff
The Power of Harbaugh Compells You
Am I the only one thinking that Tim Tyrrell will be the next hs coach Harbaugh brings up? Of all the coaches that spoke, Harbaugh discussed him twice, without any questions about Tyrrell specifically. That's gotta say something.
Man is this family fun to read about. A really good write up, a increidbly funny back and forth between the three of them when sharing stories. Even getting in a little support for their brother in law and John laughing at how dumb the NCAA president seemed over Jim taking the team to Florida.
I can so imagine dad in the background just laughing his ass off at how it two sons go at each other.
[/Jack’s laughing uproariously]
This family lives and breaths football.... hands down.
So glad to have Jim Harbaugh as our HC.