Harbaugh and Tom Crean

Submitted by StephenRKass on November 10th, 2015 at 3:36 PM

This Friday, Jim Harbaugh will in all likelihood catch the non-conference game in Bloomington between Indiana and Eastern Illinois. Harbaugh's sister Joani is married to Indiana basketball coach Tom Crean. Jim and Tom are in regular contact, whether talking or texting.

I've never been a fan of Tom Crean. I haven't liked the way he operates, and really like Beilein much more. I'm glad that Beilein is Michigan's coach. Having said that, I'm wondering if I've been too harsh on Crean. I wonder if he is competitive just like Jim Harbaugh, doing the same kinds of things Jim Harbaugh does. Do I give a pass to Harbaugh for Crean like behavior because Harbaugh is our coach? Or, does Harbaugh really not like Crean, but he befriends him because Crean is married to Jim's sister? Or is it the case that Harbaugh and I just really disagree on this matter.

Maybe some of you more familiar with Harbaugh and with Crean can comment intelligently on their relationship. Because this is one area where on the face of things, I disagree with Coach Harbaugh.

EDIT:  negged myself. A stupid thread and stupid question. Of course you are always going to hate your rivals, and the coaches of your rivals. Still, I learned a little bit about Crean in the thread below. And the reality is that sometimes, coaches get along with rival coaches from other schools, even if they want their own school to always win. Think Bo and Woody.



November 10th, 2015 at 3:39 PM ^

doohickey and Harbaugh could like him. I have several friends--especially old friends--who are enormous pains in the a**, as my wife is often happy to point out.

The Mad Hatter

November 10th, 2015 at 3:41 PM ^

Even if Jim hated him, he would pretend to like him in public.  

Who knows, maybe Tom is a really great husband and father?  It's possible for a person to be a POS at work and a great guy out of the office.  I see it all the time.  Sometimes in the mirror.

Surveillance Doe

November 10th, 2015 at 3:42 PM ^

Do you have sisters--or siblings--who are married? My guess is that Coach didn't pick Crean or choose to bring him into the family. And his (dis)approval of Crean, to whatever extent it even matters, is likely more based on Crean's treatment of Joanie and their kids, if they have any, than on anything that happens within IU's basketball program.


November 10th, 2015 at 3:52 PM ^

That's purely speculative.  Crean's public persona is not always pretty, but we typically see him in a coaching environment.  Competitive people sometime do things that piss you off, particularly when you are on the other side of the box score.

Take Harbaugh, for instance.  We think a lot of what he does is neat, because he's our guy, even when he gets almost certifiably crazy on the sidelines, because he's our nutcase. We love his fire and spirt.  We also get to see the other sides of Harbaugh which can be really cool and generous and decent and very family-centric.

I'd bet some of those Rutgers fans don't exactly see Jimmy quite the same way we do, particularly after the two point conversion when we were up a bunch.

Bottom line - it's sometimes hard to judge.


November 10th, 2015 at 3:43 PM ^

I have a hard time understanding the cognitive dissonance people seem to have in resolving any inconsistency in their sports fandom.  I'm sure there are many things Jim Harbaugh does that you would not like, and I'm sure you disagree with him on many things.  That's just common sense -- you and Jim Harbaugh are not the same person.  There's nothing wrong with it.  You can still be a Michigan football fan.

It's totally fine that you think Tom Crean is a dick, you like Jim Harbaugh, and Jim Harbaugh likes Tom Crean.  What is so bad about that such that you're reevaluating what you think about Tom Crean based on what Harbaugh thinks about him?


November 10th, 2015 at 3:52 PM ^

On the face of things, (guys leaving the IU team, overrecruiting), I don't much care for Crean. I really don't like the incident between him and Jeff Meyer after a game a couple years ago. What Harbaugh thinks about him is really irrelevant to me.

But, I was still curious. It often is the case that you really strongly dislike a coach or a player on a team . . . unless he is playing for your team. Some mgousers, for example, have mentioned that they wouldn't have cared for Lewan, except that he played for Michigan. Some coaches are just jerks, and some are great guys. Jim Beilein would be a great guy wherever he coached. Jerry Kill was almost universally praised. Conversely, Calipari and Pitino in basketball and Pete Carroll in football are guys I don't think I'd like wherever they played. The report on Beckman, the former coach at Illinois, sound terrible. Not a good guy.

I suppose the bigger question would be, who are good guys in coaching, and who are jerks? And where does Crean fall, apart from his being our rival's coach?


November 10th, 2015 at 4:25 PM ^

This may be hard some people to believe but there are people who think Harbaugh is a huge phony douchebag and cannot stand his antics.  Clearly these people are stupid but they exist.  Maybe they are just haters hatin on a winner, and perhaps if he we'e their coach they'd love him. They are out there and I hope they aren't in charge of things.


November 10th, 2015 at 6:27 PM ^

LJ has it right about fandom and the fact that nobody would agree with everything Harbaugh does and thinks.  

I have been saying this for years: If two people agree on everything, one is kissing the other's ass.