Harbaugh turns down Bills HC offer

Submitted by stankoniaks on January 18th, 2010 at 3:03 AM

Espn and CBS both reported earlier that Harbaugh turned down the Bills for an offer for their head coaching position.

So if you're keeping track, Harbaugh turns down overtures from ND and USC, and says no to the Bills, even though it was long assumed that Harbaugh wanted to eventually coach in the NFL.

Either he's holding out for a future vacancy at Michigan (which he has no control over), or he's really trying to turn Stanford into a formidable program.

Comments

Michigan_Mike

January 18th, 2010 at 3:15 AM ^

I think Harbaugh really does want the Michigan job. Like it or not he is a Michigan man. He may occasionally put his foot in his mouth, but he's a good guy and he's one of our own. Don't tell me if you were in the same situation you wouldn't be holding out for the Michigan job too?

If I were in his position I'd never even listen to ND or USC. I'm a Michigan man and I'm sure that's how he feels as well. As for turning down the Bills he might not want to coach in the pros.

mejunglechop

January 18th, 2010 at 3:44 AM ^

I haven't heard anyone reputable say he was offered either the USC or Notre Dame jobs. My understanding is the USC job search went Riley-Del Rio-Kiffin. The Notre Dame one went Lombardi-Belichick-Kelly. Irish feel free to pipe in if this is wrong.

StMirhza

January 18th, 2010 at 3:41 AM ^

I'm not sure his decision to stick with Stanford is necessarily a sign he will only leave for the Michigan job. It's very easy to move from the pros back into college--in fact, one could say that this move (assuming he was actually offered, rather than this simply being one of the thousand or so rumors spun at this point in the year) means he's very serious about building something at Stanford. Either way, his past Michigan comments notwithstanding, I think he's a good coach. I'm a big fan of RR but if the tinfoil hat-wearing members of our contingency are correct and the new AD is out to get him (or if RR fails to improve this season) I'd be happy to see Harbaugh as our next coach.

DoubleMs

January 18th, 2010 at 3:49 AM ^

The Bills are kind of a dead-end job. They are more of a fixer-upper than everyone not named St. Louis or the Lions, really. Can't blame him for not wanting that... Plus, perhaps the GM sucks.

TheLastHarbaugh

January 18th, 2010 at 4:13 AM ^

I believe with every single fiber of my being that Harbaugh is waiting on the Michigan job to open up. Regardless of what he has said in the past, he loves Michigan and values the Michigan job above all others, NFL or otherwise. Although I hope he never has the opportunity to be the head coach (b/c RR has this job on lock down for the next ten+ years) I'm still glad to know Harbaugh is and always will be a Michigan man. He was one of, if not THE greatest quarterback to ever play for the Wolverines and I wish him luck in all of his endeavors.

littlebrownjug

January 18th, 2010 at 5:38 AM ^

He happens to coach Andrew Luck, who had a wonderful freshman season at quarterback. To be perfectly honest, I think he is the best prospect in the country at QB now (including those players about to be drafted), and it would not surprise me if Harbaugh wants to stay around Stanford to ride this kids' coattails. On top of that, Jim is doing a good job recruiting other players there, and building a consistent winner at Stanford would raise his stock as a head coach. Third, I think that he sees the success that his brother, John, experienced at Baltimore, and at some level I think that he realizes that most good things take time. His brother was a wonderful assistant for Philadelphia for a number of years, and it is clear that he was very picky about his first NFL head coaching job. Why coach the Bills or Raiders, when you could pad your resume, win along the way and end up with an offer from a more stable and winning organization?

Tater

January 18th, 2010 at 6:46 AM ^

Compared to Stanford/Palo Alto, Buffalo is a cesspool. Actually, compared to anyplace, Buffalo is a cesspool. The winters in Buffalo are some of the worst in the country. If you were making over a million a year and had your choice between Palo Alto and Buffalo, where would you want to live? Harbaugh may very well be waiting for UM to open up, but maybe this is just a lifestyle choice.

I agree with "Michigan Mike;" if Harbaugh is waiting for the UM job to open up, I hope he has to wait a long time.

bluebyyou

January 18th, 2010 at 9:27 AM ^

Compared to almost any place, Palo Alto ranks high on the list. Winters in Buffalo or in Palo Alto.....hard choice.

I think we all agree that the best course for Michigan is for RichRod to succeed, but if not, Harbaugh, I suspect, is ready willing and able. Les Miles' name still comes up should things not work out, but Les is going to be 57 this year, Harbaugh will be 47 (same age as RichRod).

gobluesasquatch

January 18th, 2010 at 3:34 PM ^

I know plenty of people from all over this country with degrees from more prestigious institutions could say the same, but geesh ... thanks for embarrassing yourself, LSU, Michigan, and other football players in general.

Having said that, I laughed loudly and thought, "I'm so glad he stayed with his damn strong team."

LongLiveBo

January 18th, 2010 at 8:08 AM ^

I don't think he is waiting for the Michigan job to open. I think he just doesn't want these other jobs. If the M job does open it doesn't matter where JH is working at the time. Unless maybe he thinks he won't be an attractive candidate if he is in the middle of rebuilding something like the Bills. Damn, I guess I have no idea but, this is like my opinion, man.

maizenbluenc

January 18th, 2010 at 8:11 AM ^

IMO Jim has made some pretty public statements about athletics and academics. His point seems to be that athletes should be allowed (and encouraged) to choose a major in a subject they are interested in, rather than steered to a common study path. So I think he's in the process of proving his point: a school can be competitive AND have higher academic standards for student athletes. He's just not done proving it yet.

That said, I also believe he's waiting for a better opportunity / situation in the NFL. As for Michigan - he's still blue - but the situation here is not right now, and would be a huge risk.

Blue Ninja

January 18th, 2010 at 8:40 AM ^

The mans not dumb, he's just turning down jobs that are in reality no win jobs for him or high risk at best. The USC job would be one full of pitfalls especially with looming NCAA sanctions. The ND we all know is a high risk high reward job. The Buffalo Bills are one of the the worst jobs in the NFL. I wouldn't say he is being picky but he is being selective plus showing some loyalty to the school that took a chance on him when he had virtually no experience.

The question must be asked though. What is his highest desire? Is it to coach at UM or does he really want to coach in the NFL more than anything? My fear is that in the future were he somehow to get the UM job would he end up leaving UM to take the NFL job that he greatly desires?

jblaze

January 18th, 2010 at 9:50 AM ^

any NFL job is not automatically better than any college job.

Buffalo has a tough road ahead (Jets, Pats, Dolphins) all are strong teams, that will only get better, and Buffalo is a dump.

Since he is in a good spot now (just got a new contract, is getting multiple offers, should have a better season next year...) he should wait until he gets another offer that he really wants (whether it is Michigan or some other team).

psychomatt

January 18th, 2010 at 10:01 AM ^

The landscape is littered with coaches who have had one or two great years and then fall off. The key here is that Harbaugh turned down all of these offers. He better keep winning. If he doesn't, bye bye offers. And Tony Gerhardt is headed to the NFL. That says two things. One, he is the best player they had. Two, he is gone.

jb5O4

January 18th, 2010 at 10:14 AM ^

I think I remember reading that Stanford was always his dream place. He wanted to go there to play ball. I'm not sure if he didn't get in or wasn't offered a scholarship, but I believe Stanford is his dream job. I love Michigan and will always be a Michigan man. But if I ever had a chance to go there for grad school I would.

Noahdb

January 18th, 2010 at 11:10 AM ^

I was unimpressed with Palo Alto the last time I was there. Granted, it's not Buffalo. Of course, you don't have to live in Buffalo after the season is over. John Fox, for instance, doesn't live in Charlotte once the season's over...he does all of his off-season duties from south Florida.

The Bills should go after the DC for the Vikings. Leslie Frazier is his name, I think? They aren't going to get one of the big names currently out of coaching and Frazier's the star of the assistant crop.

jb5O4

January 18th, 2010 at 12:05 PM ^

A friend of mine from Michigan is a grad student at Stanford now. She said their's is nice but our campus is alot better. Just from the buildings to the layout to the incorporation of the city into the campus.

PurpleStuff

January 18th, 2010 at 1:52 PM ^

People are avoiding the Bills job like the plague. Schottenheimer's (spelling?) son who is the OC for the Jets declined to even be interviewed. I think this says more about what is going on there than anything else.

Also, there is no evidence that USC even talked to Harbaugh and Kelly was almost certainly ND's first choice by far. Harbaugh didn't turn down either of those jobs.

Brodie

January 19th, 2010 at 12:12 AM ^

The Bills are not the typical NFL job. Let's do a checklist:

1. Losing organization for the past decade without a lot of hope for improvement.

2. A 91 year old owner with a reputation for being the cheapest guy in the league.

3. A GM who never played football and was hired away from the marketing department of a AAA baseball team.

4. Remember the 91 year old owner? His estate will sell the team when he finally kicks the bucket. And who knows where that ends up... the team could just as easily be in LA or Toronto in 2 years as it could be in Buffalo. (Note: I think this is unlikely... Gosliano, who owns the Sabres, is allegedly committed to keeping the team there)

Weather is the most overblown thing in these sorts of discussions. I sincerely doubt there are many coaches who are saying "I'd rather make less money and be warm than be a multimillionaire in the snow!"... and let's not act like Harbaugh is Captain California. The guy grew up in Michigan in a time when 15 degrees wasn't considered all that cold... I doubt Buffalo is that daunting to him.

Brodie

January 19th, 2010 at 12:13 AM ^

The Bills are not the typical NFL job. Let's do a checklist:

1. Losing organization for the past decade without a lot of hope for improvement.

2. A 91 year old owner with a reputation for being the cheapest guy in the league.

3. A GM who never played football and was hired away from the marketing department of a AAA baseball team.

4. Remember the 91 year old owner? His estate will sell the team when he finally kicks the bucket. And who knows where that ends up... the team could just as easily be in LA or Toronto in 2 years as it could be in Buffalo. (Note: I think this is unlikely... Gosliano, who owns the Sabres, is allegedly committed to keeping the team there)

Weather is the most overblown thing in these sorts of discussions. I sincerely doubt there are many coaches who are saying "I'd rather make less money and be warm than be a multimillionaire in the snow!"... and let's not act like Harbaugh is Captain California. The guy grew up in Michigan in a time when 15 degrees wasn't considered all that cold... I doubt Buffalo is that daunting to him.