CC: Interesting article! This could be the tell all by tues morning!

Submitted by Brandon_L on January 1st, 2011 at 10:19 PM
The 49ers' initial plan is to make a full-court press to woo Harbaugh once Stanford plays in the Orange Bowl on Monday. Baalke, who has handled most of the team's GM duties since May, returned from Florida a few days after Stanford arrived for its bowl game. Read more:…… click it! go ahead click it. open the trunk.



January 2nd, 2011 at 10:42 AM ^

I'd have agreed with you until Rodriguez was hired, but the Michigan fanbase has shown it's low tolerance for the football team struggling.

What happens if Harbaugh comes in and we endure another painful 2 years of transition, player attrition, losing to rivals, finishing below .500 and missing bowl games?  Do you think the fan reaction will be different just because Jim played for Bo in the 80's?


January 1st, 2011 at 11:26 PM ^

And who says Michigan is such a great job?  It apparently wasn't when a number of people were supposedly offered the job and declined.  Plus, the whole country knows that RichRod never got the full support of the fan base and alumini - who's to say any other coach would, either?

Dallas Wolverine

January 1st, 2011 at 10:42 PM ^

I am so fucking hurt by today I can't think straight! I just want some sanity! I know it will be a couple of days and I don't think I have enough blood pressure medecine. Sorry guys I am freaked out and I do like RR?



January 1st, 2011 at 10:42 PM ^

Maybe this would be better suited for its own thread, but I'm curious as to why Harbaugh would want to coach the 49ers?

Go to your alma mater and coach at a level that you've had success with, or leave for a league that might not even have a season next year with the collective bargaining agreement talks looming, coaching in a terrible stadium (the team might very well move to LA because it's that bad), and coaching in a league where the vast majority of NCAA crossover coaches flame out spectacularly. 

The difference in money isn't that great (ex: Pete Carroll's wikipedia page - $4.5 million in 2007 with USC, now has a $33 million, 5 year deal with Seahawks).  Either way you're spending all your free time coaching anyway, so it's not like an extra couple million is going to make any lick of difference - not to mention the NFL premium isn't going to mean much if no NFL team wants you 5 years from now (see flameout above).


January 1st, 2011 at 11:38 PM ^

NFL coaches want control but a very small number like Pete Carroll get to have that absolute control of their program.

Harbaugh would not have either draft or roster control in San Francisco and let's be clear here...they've been total crap with consistently poor drafts under the leadership of the York family and their hand picked GM's.

Further, the current talent level in San Francisco is brutal...this is not like John Harbaugh coming into a situation with a proven GM in Ozzie Newsome and a reasonable level of NFL talent.

The only place Harbaugh gets big money, control and the juice of the Big House (versus the interestingly small crowds at Stanford) and opportunity to play the tUofOSU annually is in Ann Arbor.

Is it better to be small potatoes with a great bathroom at Stanford? or perhaps head coach with no control in the NFL or run your program at Michigan?


January 1st, 2011 at 11:49 PM ^

I agree, however the allure of the NFL can be overpowering. Total control or not, sometimes the only thing that matters is that fact that you can say you are an NFL coach (I don't know if this matters to Harbaugh at all, but it certainly is a possibility, as is the opposite point).

I disagree with the fact that SF doesn't have adequate talent. They have a top-flight RB (Gore), WR (Crabtree), LB (Willis), TE (Davis), KR/PR (Ginn), CB (Clements) and DT (Justin Smith), plus a number of solid NFLers (Lawson, Morgan, Spikes, etc.). They are a QB and a HC away from mattering. Remember, many people picked them to win the NFC West this year. They are a far cry from the hopelessness that is the Carolina Panthers.


January 1st, 2011 at 11:55 PM ^

Look at how Mangini was controlled over the past year in Cleveland by Holmgren when the latter was retained as president. Mangini lost roster control (many would say this a good thing) and draft control (the same) and is just another NFL coach. I can't imagine Harbaugh wanting that.

Based on your logic Cleveland is a Head coach away from greatness.


January 2nd, 2011 at 12:14 AM ^

Ehh, the coaches that deserve total control usually get it (Belicheck, Parcells etc.). Not at all saying Harbaugh deserves total control, but he may want the opportunity to see if he can earn it. Or he may not, It's all speculation at this point lol.


Cleveland does have NFL talent, and probably has a QB for the future. A better coach could've got them to .500 with their current roster. I believe Holmgreen takes over next year FWIW. I didn't suggest that a new HC would take a bottom feeder to the playoffs, but I did imply that a better coach (whether that is/was Harbaugh or not) would've taken the 49ers to the playoffs, especially in the NFC West.


January 2nd, 2011 at 10:28 AM ^

"Stability" is NOT what Harbaugh will get.

He'll get the same short tempered, spoiled, Nortre Dame-wannabe fanbase that Rich Rodriguez has gotten.

If he he wins a bunch of games he'll be loved (whether or not he's a dick personally).

If he loses (or makes mistakes and improves too slowly) he'll be hated.  

Right or wrong, this is our reality.  


January 1st, 2011 at 11:28 PM ^

Ego.  To prove that he can coach at the highest level, and not be a flameout like other college coaches.  The prime examples to me are Saban and Spurrier - why would they have left LSU and Florida, respectively, for the NFL?  To see if they could succeed at the top of their profession.


January 2nd, 2011 at 12:09 AM ^

NFW !!!!! I have lived in the Bay Area since graduation from UM 1983. There is NO WAY the 49rs go to LA. They still sell out the stadium and are the Bay favorites. The Raiders, now that's possible. Al is a dog's rear, the stadium sucks and can't sell out, and Al did it once already when the team WAS popular and selling out. I'm not sure LA wants him but the NFL wants them there and that's what matters. How this affects RR/JH I don't know. I would think JH would take a UM job before a 49rs job, but failure in the pros does not mean you won't be hired elsewhere ( as a matter of fact being fired from the Raiders is a GREAT career move ). Seems failure in college is not tolerated well.

Go Blue Eyes

January 1st, 2011 at 10:59 PM ^

I don't think Harbaugh is going to get low balled by SF when Seattle is paying Pete Carroll almost $7,000,000 per year to coach - a coach Harbaugh beat twice - and he would be coaching in the same division as Carroll. 

Harbaugh seems like a pretty smart guy and is probably not going to jump at RR's $2.5 million salary to coach Michigan when he can probably ask for (and get) $5,000,000+ per year.  He doesn't have Carroll's coaching pedigree but he does have 14 years playing in the league. 

Do the math: 5 years at $5 million = $25,000,000.  6 Years at Michigan (RR's years on his contract) at $3.0 million = $18,000,000.  Where would you go?

Bill in Birmingham

January 2nd, 2011 at 9:54 AM ^

Fair enough, but it is rare for a person not to be mightily influenced by a salary that is twice the alternative. Since Harbaugh was one of my all time favorite players, I followed his career pretty closely. He has an enormous ego (which served us well with him as our quarterback). I'm not sure that the NFL is not his goal. I feel sure Ann Arbor would be his first college choice, but I think he has wanted to be an NFL coach all along.

Dallas Wolverine

January 1st, 2011 at 10:59 PM ^

Every once in a while I have a bad moment I am just drunk and very hurt by today much like I was after Penn ST. I know better times are ahead for all of us. Also my oldest son lives in Miss and I sent him all new Mich gear for Christmas, he was not happy as we all are.


January 1st, 2011 at 11:28 PM ^

Given that Harbaugh just had a child with his current wife (other 3 children, including a son who attends Oregon State were with first wife), he may not be as much of a lock to come to Michigan as people assume. 


January 2nd, 2011 at 12:14 AM ^

Only a difference to basketball coaches  ("happy wife, happy life" anybody ? ). Football coaches are famous for moving as the opportunity presents.True, I would never move back to AA after living here. That is not how players and coaches live.


January 2nd, 2011 at 1:26 AM ^

game? If he stays the offense will surely get better. But if we use the available data, the defense and special teams will continue to be horrid. That results in 5-7 to 7-5 seasons. I don't think anyone will be happy with that.

There is the concern opver the performance vs good defenses. It simply has not performed particularly well. While it has not been entirely shutdown, it also has not done what offenses are supposed to do--put up enough points to win games. One can say that youth is a factor and that maybe true. But the fact remains that no team has ever dominated the Big Ten running a spread. Purdue, Minnesota, MSU, Illinois, and Northwestern were schools who ran the spread before Michigan. Purdue and NU won the Big Ten, but those were one year wonders and not long term trends. Neither achieved consistent elite status within the conference.

At this point, it no longer matters that the man was treated shabbily by alums and the media. As maddening as that was and is, the decision to retain or fire him depends solely on what he has achieved on the field. In that respect, he has failed miserably. 15-22. 6-18. 0-6 vs MSU and OSU. Three of the worst defenses in Michigan history. The worst bowl defeat in Michigan history.

In that regard, there is no defending the man. Those who think he should be back because  they think the defense just needs "to improve a little" are doing so because they have become so enamored with the offense that they have explicitly chosen to ignore the trends on the defensive side of the ball. They cannot point to progress on defense or special teams. Instead, they insist that improvement is coming because the players will simply be better because of maturation. That UM has failed to field a respectable defense even with a roster of "mature" players under Rodriguez is either  ignored because it is an inconvenient fact or explained away as being the fault of the DC. Nevermind that it was Rodriguez who hired the DC's and who insisted that both Shafer and Robinson work with his own assistants instead of permitting them to pick their own staff.

At the end of the day, the fault for the failure lies right at the feet of Rich Rodriguez.He was the man who made the decisions. He was the "decider" and thus he shall be subjected to the same level of scrutiny that all people in similiar positions are. It is true that he was treated poorly here, but he did not help his cause by his teams'  poor performance on the field.

Rich Rodriguez could not control what others said or wrote of him, but he could control how Michigan performed on the field. It is the on-the-field performance that  will rightly determine his fate. What that fate is only David Brandon knows, but 52-14 thrashings at the hands of teams like Mississippi State do not augur well for his continuation as head coach at the University of Michigan. 


January 2nd, 2011 at 11:53 AM ^

As a RR supporter, I agree with most of what you wrote. 

At the end of the day, the fault for the failure lies right at the feet of Rich Rodriguez.He was the man who made the decisions. He was the "decider" and thus he shall be subjected to the same level of scrutiny that all people in similiar positions are. It is true that he was treated poorly here, but he did not help his cause by his teams'  poor performance on the field.

Even as a RR supporter, I had written that I had slowly become indifferent with who the HC would be.  I trust DB would make the best decision.  The line from Sal, I hope it's ok to call you Sal, is right.  RR is responsible for the entire team.  I always thought that if we kept RR, he should make the determination on GERG,.  You shouldn't force him to fire anyone.  He is not Ron Zook. 

I still trust DB and will support whoever will be the coach.  And if RR is not here, I will still support him wherever he goes, unless he is coaching against us.


January 2nd, 2011 at 1:07 AM ^

 I was, and still am, a big RR supporter. At this point though, for his sake, I think he needs to move on. He was never fully accepted as UM's head coach, and as such never received the full support he should have been given. I hope that he has much success wherever he goes, and will remember the gift of Denard for 2010. At this point, DB needs to go after Harbaugh with everything he can, including higher salary allowances for the assistants. I believe nearly the entire UM fanbase will support JH, including those hardcore RR supporters like myself.


03 Blue 07

January 2nd, 2011 at 4:54 AM ^

I agree with you. It sucks, frankly, to me, that there was a vocal minority from the get-go who were anti- RR. I was/am pro-RR, but I now think it's best for all parties if we part ways. But it really bothers me that this group of people who from the beginning essentially put their personal feelings ahead of rooting for the success of U of M and its coach. . . have, in a way, won. Grr. Obviously, at this point, results are results, and no, of course fans don't play the game. But man, it just sucks to think that our fanbase was, in retrospect, no different from, say, Notre Dame's in a lot of ways. (Although I'd never admit that to a Domer. And we don't have the whole "ordained by God" thing going on either, thankfully).

James Burrill Angell

January 2nd, 2011 at 7:29 AM ^

I don't see anything really per se new about this article. Yeah Harbaugh is likely the 49ers top choice and they will pursue him until such a time as Harbaugh says he's going in a different direction. I don't think there's anything here that says which way he's going though.


January 2nd, 2011 at 9:33 AM ^

I'll be watching them all.

NFL Countdown. (Adam Schefter)

NFL Total Access (Rich Eisen)

FOX NFL Sunday

NFL Today

Tijuana Football Fantastico



Denver just hired John Elway as Denver GM and R.E. just screamed “keep your hands off Harbaugh” on NFL GameDay morning.  



January 2nd, 2011 at 9:39 AM ^

Looks like the Broncos will look to talk to Harbaugh, as well: ESPN.

If nothing else, as the number of possibilities for Harbaugh grows, it's harder to see it being a quick decision (which is unfortunate for Michigan).