November 7th, 2014 at 8:50 AM ^

referring to UM procuring DB's resignation.  That's putting it very interestingly....  But I don't think the idea is very silly, I think its actually genius.  Regardless of if he takes the job, having a high profile grad's input on the new AD is a good move and sends a strong message to JH that the school values his opinion.    GENIUS, I tell ya....   


November 7th, 2014 at 8:51 AM ^

I would. Why not? Especial once the list is narrowed. The money factor is absolutely correct in this article.

But man, this whole Michigan community, even beyond the blog, has me worried.

What's going to happen if JH isn't the guy? I think we all, (all doesn't equal 100%) need to step back and understand that there's a reason people use the eggs in a basket saying.

We'd obviously love JH, and he's choice 1... But I hope everyone is leaving space in their hearts for a fall back plan should Jim not be willing or even able to return here.

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November 7th, 2014 at 9:34 AM ^

is there really a fall back position?  I think Michigan is at a crossroads, either go all in or stand pat.  If it is to be Harbaugh and all in, the question to be presented to him isn't whether or not he's interested, but what it would take for him to return to Ann Arbor.

As for the AD question, I wouldn't want him selecting from a small group.  If the AD question is part of the deal I'd invite his input to reduce the list to a handful of prospects.  That way his comfort level with regard to the AD is addressed without allowing him to be a king maker.


November 7th, 2014 at 10:49 AM ^

Said all in or stand pat and then presented Harbaugh as a hypothetical as he's the subject of this thread.  But all in could mean any A lister coach and standing pat could mean Hoke or it could mean accepting a B lister and hoping for the best.  

It's been more than 50 years since Michigan got an A lister coach, and no, RR doesn't count as an A lister, at least at that time.  He in fact was at least the fourth choice and was behind Greg Shiano.  Desperate times calling for desperate measures, Michigan must hire the absolute best possible, I believe Prez Schissel said something about going after excellence.  He was talking about the AD, but I imagine he meant that in all endeavors.  Michigan has got to bring in a Harbaugh level coach to return Michigan to winning ways and as importantly, credibility.

If Michigan isn't willing to do that I'm afraid Michigan football will remain irrelevant beyond the foreseeable future.

Mr Miggle

November 7th, 2014 at 11:47 AM ^

with your sentiment, but it's hard to interpret standing pat as anything but retaining Hoke.

I think your characterization of the RR hire is off base though. He was one of the hottest coaching prospects in the country at the time. He wasn't available when we started our search, at least he wasn't considered to be. I don't think anyone knows whether we would have preferred him over Schiano, or anyone else. He was paid like an a-list coach. That's something Michigan had never been willing to do before.

Mich OC

November 7th, 2014 at 7:25 PM ^

RR was absolutely an A list hire at the time. Obviously it didn't work out in hindsight, but when he was hired at Michigan he was easily a top 10 coach in the country.

The fact that we went for Schiano first doesn't mean RR was any less of a coach. It probably just means our AD pursued coaches in the wrong order.


November 7th, 2014 at 8:56 AM ^

If you take out all the caveats, this article isn't suggesting anything all that radical. In any company, if you're looking at hiring a manager, you have the people she'd be managing interview with her. If they don't like the prospect, better to know before the hire than find out that there's friction later.

In this case, it's a question of timing. Having JH give input makes sense if the AD is hired after we're at least in significant talks with JH. Which might be a reason to delay hiring a permanent AD.


November 7th, 2014 at 10:26 AM ^

You don't let students pick their teachers, but you see how a teacher does in a real classroom. Theoretically, and assuming things go well, you don't necessarily let JH "pick" the AD, but you do have him give imput and note if he has a strong negative reaction to one. It's not giving him the choice, but getting additional, relevant information. If I'm hiring a manager, I want to pick one who will get along with a wide variety of people, including the current employees.

Everyone Murders

November 7th, 2014 at 9:05 AM ^

I would like to see Harbaugh (or Harbaugh, or Mullen, or ...), Beilein, Berenson and Hutch have the ability to provide input regarding the AD.  Ultimately it should be Schlissel's decision, but having those four on a steering committee would make good sense for many reasons.


November 7th, 2014 at 9:02 AM ^

I think Bacon's comments have really contributed to it.  Stuff like "If Brandon is removed I see one of the Harbaughs or Miles as the next coach" blah blah, or after Brandon was fired I think he said something like 80% it is one of those 3 etc.

Granted he is a friend of Jim's, but many people are taking what even he has labeled as "a guess" as gospel.


November 7th, 2014 at 10:08 AM ^

Harbaugh was a Freshman at Pioneer before finishing HS in Palo Alto.  So they didn't go to HS together and unless the Harbaughs moved across town, they probably didn't go to the same middle school.  Their paths might have crossed at UofM, they were both freshmen in 1982.  However while Bacon was a History major, Harbaugh famously was not.  I don't know if Bacon was with the Michigan Daily, but that might have been the best chance to cross paths.


November 7th, 2014 at 10:39 AM ^

Tappan sends kids to both schools (Huron and Pioneer) or at least they did before the creation of Skyline. I'm not sure how it is all divided now. Scarlett (Go Roadrunners!!) also sent kids to both schools (as well as Ypsi). Lost my middle school sweetheart to Pioneer :(

That does not mean that JUB and Harbaugh are/were friends but it also doesn't mean that Harbaugh had to move residences to know JUB.

Not that anyone really cares about the specifics, just saying.

Magnum P.I.

November 7th, 2014 at 9:03 AM ^

I absolutely agree with this course of action. As the article states, the head football coach position is likely more important for the overall health of the athletic department than the AD himself. The market bears this out, as football coaches are paid a lot more than their bosses. The organizational chart says ADs are above football coaches, but I'm sure the real power equation is reversed in a lot of cases. Not formally, but in practice (and many people accuse Brandon of hiring Hoke to avoid just this scenario). 

I would further argue that there is less variation in AD ability than there is in football coach ability. By this, I mean that there are probably a dozen guys out there right now that we could realistically hire for AD who would all perform more or less equallly well in that role. Bates, Long, the Oklahoma guy. We probably wouldn't even notice the difference. With football coaches, on the other hand, there are clear standouts--namely, Harbaughs. 

We're less likely to strike out on an AD than a football coach. A good football coach will have incredible sway anyway. Give him a voice now. Get a Harbaugh.

I've got a fever, and the only prescription is a Harbaugh.


November 7th, 2014 at 9:16 AM ^

Gee was the president of the university and an academic. Also, getting a prospective coach's input is not the same as not so jokingly suggesting that the coach has the ability to fire his boss.


November 7th, 2014 at 9:08 AM ^

I actually thought the most persuasive part of this article was the following:

"After all, Harbaugh could reportedly leave San Francisco because of friction with the team general manager Trent Baalke, so putting him at ease that he would not have the same issues in Ann Arbor would be a substantial benefit."

This is important for two reasons.  First, it shows that Harbaugh would leave a perfect fit--which San Fran is NFL-wise for him, regardless of success, because of management.  Second, if he's willing to leave because of management, he may be willing to commit based on it as well. 

With the caveat that the list is narrowed, I think asking him for input isn't all that bad of an idea.  The issue is that he's not the coach here yet.  So the conversation wouldn't just be "who should we go with?"  Instead, it would be "would you come here if we went with X over Y?"  There is a very different dynamic between those two questions.