Bo would be proud of the brothers Harbaugh

Submitted by Leaders And Best on January 26th, 2013 at 2:23 PM

I am guessing a lot of these anecdotes are going to be coming out this week, but here is one from Coach McCartney's son about their time as coaches' kids in the Michigan football program:



January 26th, 2013 at 2:38 PM ^

Hell yea Bo would be proud! He would also put some of our fan base in there place after seeing some of the things some of you post about Jim.


January 26th, 2013 at 3:21 PM ^

Back when Mike Hart was the cover of the banner (or some point around that time) Harbaugh took (what many view to be) a jab at Bo, and Michigan Football's academic standards for football players.

Needless to say, it got ugly, and people are still bitter over it.  I personally didn't like the comments, but who am I to judge*. if Harbaugh were to say, win a few superbowls, and want to coach Michigan once Brady Hoke was done, I'd be up for it.

*Harbaugh knew Bo, Michigan coaches, and sacrificed a lot more than I have for Michigan athletics.


January 26th, 2013 at 2:52 PM ^

In all fairness Bo wasn't the coach when many of the posters on this blog were alive and even if they were alive they certainly weren't old enough to have followed Bo while he was actually coaching.  They certanly have heard stories and maybe grew up with their parents as fans of Bo, but it's not quite the same.  It's a different generation that grew up in different times.


January 26th, 2013 at 4:38 PM ^

He would only have played his fresh & soph years at Pioneer since he moved to Palo Alto when his father became defensive coordinator at Stanford in 1980.

I'm curious if he played varsity QB as a fresh or soph.  Pioneer has always been pretty competitive, so I wonder if he was able to make Varsity & play QB as a freshman.


January 26th, 2013 at 3:42 PM ^

I thought this might be good to share in this thread.

Here's an interesting short piece from from a former teammate of Jim and John from their days playing for the Ann Arbor Packers- (LINK)

The bit below made me chuckle admittedly. When the interviewee, David Thayer (now of Kalamazoo) discusses being initially the starting QB:

"It became clear from Jim and his non-verbal signals, which he hides them as well now as he did then, that he was not thrilled about not playing quarterback. Jim was there to play quarterback. I was there to just play.”


January 26th, 2013 at 3:39 PM ^

Nice little column there.  Interesting to hear McCartney's son's take on that old story. 

He says this about Jim's success: "I suspect that fearless mindset has something to do with it."

There is a lot to be said for putting yourself in a state of fearlessness.  It is tough to do for any length of time.  Its like the toughest animal in the woods (wolverines) ... you either have it or you dont.

John Harbaugh has always seemed like a very classy guy.   This will be fun Super Bowl in a large part due to this brother-brother matchup.  Some other good matchups would have been:

The Gameshow Bowl (Whats your Deal?) - Harbaugh vs. Pete Carroll

The Pansy Bowl (oh you slapped my hand too hard) Harbaugh vs. Schwartz

The Michigan Man Bowl - Harbaugh vs. Brady..

anyway the Pansy Bowl will never happen..we know that much.  Congrats to the Harbaughs.


January 26th, 2013 at 3:58 PM ^

What kills me about the Jim Harbaugh haters (or just those bothered by his words) is that he never said anything that wasn't factual. Michigan realized as time went on (what took ND 20 more years to figure out, bgw) that to stay in the game you have to allow certain things to slide for athletes. While Michigan is a top University on a global scale they started to allow more into what is known nationally as "the Kin program" where the players essentially can major in gym. Not all players do and most schools are far worse but back in the day most UM players had a legit major AND won games. Jim just proved you could still do it at Stanford (they also let players slide but on a lower percentage than most). Jim clearly feels that the Michigan he grew up under and in is no longer the same. However, I won't kid myself and pretend winning isn't A1 on Jim's list. I'm just pointing out that he didn't say anything factually incorrect and, imo, was a jab out of sadness and bitter feelings. The guy grew up and was one of the most storied QBs to play here and he gets turned down for a bust blue chip QB recruit (SL) for the Michigan QBs coach position. Also heard he reached out to interview during the HC search that landed us RR but was flat out denied an interview, even by phone. Jim is a bit wild, arrogant on the field and sideline but so was the guy he idolized (Bo). My opinion is: I love Lloyd Carr and what he stands for. Love the man. Yet, it cannot be denied that he came here far after guys like Jim and decided that guys like Jim were bad for the program. I'd go so far as to say that if Jim was brought in instead of SL, Michigan would have a lot more wins and hardware in the 2000's than we had. He probably would have even taken over after Carr. Leave later for the NFL or not, I'd go so far as to say we'd have a few National Titles if Jim was given a chance here and not completely shunned (for reasons I won't pretend to know). Jim is clearly bittersweet about Michigan as of today. Last heard him say "Go Blue" when interviewed on NFL Network by Rich Eisen and Rich ended it with saying that. Jim paused a second and almost sadly smiling quietly repeated it. That says everything I need to know about Jim and UM's relationship. My hope is and has been since I knew we wouldn't land him last search that he goes NFL, wins a few SBs, feels the itch to recruit and coach kids up again and comes back here as HC someday. Won't be anytime soon but someday. Guy is more like Bo than most realize. Bo wasn't a nice guy when it came to gameday. Bo was rightfully arrogant about Michigan, his team. I think Jim gets hated unjustly by those that don't realize that.


January 26th, 2013 at 5:49 PM ^

I post by phone (andoid app). Sorry for the lack of format as even when I used to make paragraphs it still just bunched it up. I've apologized many times for that, haha. No offense taken and I understand how hard it must be to read. They come off as rants when I'm just naturally unable to make a point quickly. haha.

snarling wolverine

January 26th, 2013 at 5:36 PM ^

The idea that ND just suddenly discovered that it needed to lower its admissions standards for athletes is complete nonsense.  They've been doing it forever, too.  Tony Rice, the starting QB of their 1988 national champion team, was a Prop 48 casualty (meaning his HS GPA was below 2.0 and/or his SAT was below 700).



January 26th, 2013 at 5:52 PM ^

Of course there are exceptions but I really was referencing the famous quote by an old ND player I cannot think of now. He essentially said that to stay competitive in these times (around the late 90s at the time, IIRC) you have to lower your standards across the board for players. Even Ivy leage schools do this but he took a lot of heat despite being right, IMO. Nice reply, though. Informative as I didn't know that exact case.


January 26th, 2013 at 6:14 PM ^

I was talking about general timeline and not necessarily playing time (for Jim) and coaching (for Carr). Not an expert but I think Carr was still a HS coach or at Illinois when the Harbaughs were first around UM. However, too lazy to wiki so feel free to check me on that. As for your reply, like the rest it is welcome and a decent one. Sorry you desire more from my opinion and admittedly off the top of my head timelines, etc.


January 26th, 2013 at 7:46 PM ^

is the fact that Harbaugh was a teammate of Stefan Humphries, 2 time Academic All-American to go with a football All-American award.

For those of you who might not know the name, Humphries went on to become a member of the '85 Super Bowl Bears "Shuffling Crew". He narrowly missed being selected for a Rhodes Scholarship. After finishing his residency at the Mayo Clinic, Dr. Humphries practices in Washington State. I've never heard Humphries complain about the way he was steered at Michigan.


January 26th, 2013 at 9:35 PM ^

I love Jim, even with all his antics & imperfections.  What he said made sense to me- the university did have lower academic standards for athletes w/r/t to entry test scores and grades.  And why wouldn't the Athletic Dept steer the athletes to take classes & have majors that they would be successful in?   

My experience though was a little different.  I was a TA in Chemistry when Jim Harbaugh started at Michigan and was (according to him) steered away from majoring in History.  That same year I had a football student-athlete in one of my classes who did very poorly.  I can't remember if he failed, but I do remember him phoning me at home late one night when the semester ended asking me if there was anything he could do to raise his grade.  There wasn't and I don't think he was even close to get a bump, e.g. like on the cusp.  I think he told me he needed a C or else it would be a major problem.  At that point it was too late to do better in my class, but afterwards, if he was able to stay in the program, his coaches or counselors hopefully steered him away from taking classes that would set him up to fail.


January 26th, 2013 at 5:28 PM ^

I agree with you totally.  As revered as Bo was/is when it came to football he had his dramatic tantrums on the sidelines too.  Even if he was doing all the right things to win Big Ten championships, he seemed like an emotional pressure cooker ready to explode.  I can see a lot of Bo in Jim's coaching drama.

On the other hand Lloyd seemed more down to earth & calming.  I can see that he might not have wanted someone like Jim, with all the ego & unpredictability to join his team.  I really liked Scot Loeffler & thought he did a really good job as QB coach, but in retrospect.... we'll never know if Jim would have been a better choice.  Jim is a great head coach, but what about his one-on-one coaching skills?

To win more games it may have been right to bring Jim on-board as soon as he was ready to coach full time.  But I think his personal life was pretty unstable back then & who knows if the AA lifestyle would have matured him any faster.  A DUI as a UM coach might have ended his coaching appointment all too soon, especially in light of Moeller being let go.  

Realistically, with his current wife who wants to stay in Cali & a new baby, I can't see Jim ever coming back to AA for a coaching position... unless his wife runs off with the gardner and he falls in love with an AA woman over the internet...not likely.


January 26th, 2013 at 11:45 PM ^

I've been a 49ers fan just as long as I've rooted for Michigan, so I've paid pretty close attention to Harbaugh for the last couple years.  I can't speculate about how he would have performed as UM's qb coach had he been hired instead of SL, but comparing Alex Smith's numbers '05-'10 vs. '11-'12 indicates Jim does a pretty good job working 1 on 1 with qb's... Not to mention spotting, convincing front office to trade up to draft, and developing Kaepernick.