Jim and John Harbaugh and Mgo members: A Love Story

Submitted by NateVolk on January 21st, 2013 at 10:12 AM

......because for Michigan fans, the good with these guys far outweighs the bad.


Only rules: no buts, ifs, or equivocations. Everybody knows about the unfortunate comment or two, the peacocking behavior, and the career path choices.  This is for admiration and stories we might not have heard only.  Michigan days, pro days, college coaching days, or pro coaching days. 

Jim was probably one of my 3 favorite Michigan players in over 30 years as a fan. He was so different because he could win games with his arm and Bo was evolving in his approach and letting him do it.  Cocky but tough/skilled enough to back it up. A pure winner.

On top of that, the 07 win at USC as a 40 point underdog was the greatest one game coaching job I have ever seen on any level. That USC team planted more defensive players in the NFL draft then there are starting positions.



January 21st, 2013 at 10:48 AM ^

He didn't say you couldn't create another thread for un-nice things.  You could start a contest for which thread gets the most responses...

My favorite thing about Jim Harbaugh was that he wore the #4.  Always loved that about him...

Just kidding...I would say that, like another poster earlier said, I always appreciated his toughness as a Michigan player.  A QB's toughness is always a little different to me than with other position players.  Jim may have not been the most polished QB, but I did like his hard-nosed style.


January 21st, 2013 at 10:38 AM ^

Jim Harbaugh is best known at Michigan for the '86 guarantee game against Ohio State, but it was Jamie Morris that bailed him out (and the OSU kicker).  

He was the hero in '85 against Ohio State when he stood in and delivered the game-sealing bomb to Koelsar, then got leveled.  Loudest I ever heard the stadium on that play.


Lucky Socks

January 21st, 2013 at 10:42 AM ^

I like Jim just fine.  He's a little bit of a prick and like everyone knows, he said some things.  But ultimately he's a damn good coach, and graduated and played for Michigan.  I'll bet that he still considers himself a Michigan guy.


January 21st, 2013 at 10:42 AM ^

Bo's fingerprints are all over this game... in the era of the zone read option, spread formation, "pace" and "hurry up," Bo's coaching is in the head of the guy running that offense.  I heard that the wall of the 49ers' cafeteria has the words "THE TEAM, THE TEAM, THE TEAM" on it.  The hard-hitting nature of his defense and his blockers, etc.  It's like Harbaugh/West took the ideas of RR and Kelly and Ault (who invented the Pistol -- and had Kaepernick run it) and melded them with Bo's philosophies.

And Harbaugh/East's teams have been right out of Bo's books, including the first half last night.  It was like, at halftime, they realized they are living in a QB-driven league, and told Flacco to go out there and win the game for them (and he did).

Jim and John talked about being kids in AA, going to the football practices and stuff with their dad, playing in Bo's office.  That's what formed their views of football and coaching.

So... its the Bo Bowl, not the Bro Bowl.


January 21st, 2013 at 10:43 AM ^

While we are happy with Hoke who seems to be a lifer at UM assuming he wins enough, a Harbaugh - Meyer rivalry would have been great.  Jim would have shit on him just like he crapped on Carrol once his system was in place at Stanford.  Jim is an asshole but a hell of a coach.  Meyer would have run away due to "health" reasons just like he did when Saban took over the SEC.

True Blue Grit

January 21st, 2013 at 1:35 PM ^

Michigan.  And Brandon knew that.  Harbaugh has shown a consistent need to shoot his mouth off and not care who he's pissing off.   The HC at Michigan needs to be able to please a lot of constituencies (alumni, students, fans, donors, board of regents, etc.)  all the time.  Harbaugh is in the right situation for him.  He can pretty much be a dick whenever he wants to and get away with it - as long as he wins.  Look at the tantrum he threw last night when the call didn't go his way.  The 49ers owner laughed it off when asked, and I'm sure it was much funnier since the team won the game.  But either way, Harbaugh is still a tremendous pro coach and I hope he wins the SB.   


January 21st, 2013 at 11:00 AM ^

"I used to stare down at the field when I was stenciling those numbers. I so very badly wanted to go to Stanford and play for the Cardinal," Harbaugh said Tuesday. "That wasn't meant to be. I never played a football game at Stanford. But it's a great honor and privilege to be back here now. This was my number one choice all along."


Oddly enough, this certainly wasn't what Jim was saying when he was playing for Bo:

"People ask me how I happened to come to Michigan," Harbaugh said in an interview at the Industry Hills & Sheraton resort, where the team is staying. "I say, 'When Bo called, that was it. I couldn't say no to Bo.' "


I think Harbaugh is one of the top five coaches in football, college and pro, but he's shown an inclination to say very different things to different audiences, depending on what his PR goals are.


January 21st, 2013 at 10:59 AM ^

Finally some sanity here praising Harbaugh...    years here people have been knocking him, that hes a 'prick' or whatever, and have sided with Carr....

well,  we NEED a prick in the AD dept, either as AD or coach... like Bo... like Harbaugh... its enough of an edge to get past the cheating of OSU....regarding the 'nice guy' Hoke, who I actually like, well, I prefer to have a 'prick'.... and there has been alot of badmouthing of Harbaugh here, and its really pissed me off over the years......  maybe when alot of the clowns whove been badmouthing Harbaugh, will realize, that Carr spurned him as QB coach, for Loeffler,  and ever since then, the program has been on a downward trajectory. Tressel then began to kick our ass regularly, cheating or not,  and we haven't been winning any titles.    I prefer the prick and Big Ten titles.


January 21st, 2013 at 11:08 AM ^

But most people didn't really consider Bo a prick.

He could be gruff, and short with the media, but he charmed the hell out of a lot of people too, depending on the situation. I'm don't really hate Harbaugh, but you'd never see Bo doing things like the "what's your deal" or Lions debacle that gives Harbaugh his rep. And you'd never see him say something bad about his old school. Michigan or Miami. Frankly, the fact that Harbaugh waited till Bo was dead to say anything like that says all you need to know about how much Bo would have liked Harbaugh's "prick statements."

If he was here, we'd win a lot, and he'd be our Spurrier. Says the things you'd hate in another coach, but backs it up so you love it. I think at base he wouldn't cut corners and cheat, so we'd forgive the less classy stuff, because we'd like the winning more. But he's where he wanted to be, and is succeeding big time at it. So he's probably going to be there awhile. He might be the next young Bill Belichick, and if his QB isn't a one year wonder, could be winning there a long time. He moved on, we moved on, no hard feelings.

Glen Masons Hot Wife

January 21st, 2013 at 11:39 AM ^

God forbid somebody say they rather would have had harbaugh in here than hoke.

If you prefer hoke as coach, you are probably lying to yourself, or value having a likeable guy over an asshole that wins.

Bo was an asshole. Maybe not to the extent harbaugh was, but i dont see anyone shitting on him. Harbaugh wears his heart on his sleeve and sometimes runs his mouth too much. But id take the good with the bad there.

A little birdie told me that harbaugh was locked in to coach at M when his wife, deep into pregnancy with twins at the time said hell no. Im not one to be mr. Family man myself, but i can understand his predicament.

It is painful to see all these 49er lovers worshipping him out here after that lucky sperm club shmo jed york had him fall into his lap... nonetheless i am happy for jim.

Wish him the best. Go blue.

big john lives on 67

January 21st, 2013 at 11:59 AM ^

Bo was the antithesis of asshole.  Bottome line.  If you cannot tell the difference between Jim Harbaugh and Bo, then you need to do a lot more studying.

As for Hoke, he is not a better coach than JH, that is true.  But a far better man, instead.  For Michigan right now, he is the better coach.  JH and his ego would have bolted before getting the job done anyway.


Glen Masons Hot Wife

January 21st, 2013 at 3:03 PM ^

You could make the argument bo was a better person yes... and i already said harbaugh was more of an asshole.

I love bo and what he stood for but stop felating him. He had his moments. And yes i have heard more than enough of how unpopular harbaugh is with his players. Wouldnt be the first time a successful coach was a dick with his players... and even the popular ones arent loved by everybody. Just the way it works in a locker room with 60-110 guys.... not everyone is going to be all-aboard in love with the decision makers.

Be happy with the guy we have in charge. Together you can continue to worship bo. But sorry, no way you could know that it would have blown up or blown over with harbaugh

big john lives on 67

January 21st, 2013 at 5:40 PM ^

I am not the all-knowing expert, nor claim to be.

On the contrary, it is a very simple concept to understand.  You do not really need to know much:

1) The man who has the opportunity to throw his obviously flawed mentor under the bus for his own gain, yet does not is NOT the asshole.

2) The man who waits for his mentor to die and then throws him under the bus for his own gain, and does so with a blatantly incorrect statement IS the asshole.

To clear up another possible stumbling block, being tough on your players, challenging them constantly to be their best, yelling at officials who mess up, calling out the idiot brass of the Big Ten who are ripping off your players, and running up the score on shady programs all do not make you an asshole.



January 21st, 2013 at 3:51 PM ^

Bo not a prick?   Of course he was... One NEEDS to be, in that arena.   And Im glad we had him.     Lets not forget when he went to the Tigers, and the trainwreck, including firing Ernie Harwell.....  (whooops)

I feel a bit like Jack Nicholson in the film A Few Good Men, and just want to scream aloud to so many here...  "You have NO idea what it takes," etc....    to defeat cheating Buckeyes..... yeah...really....  OSU cheats...  so to beat them, there has to be an edge, like Bo had, say, with the Borens.  The father wouldn't dare send his kids to OSU while Bo alive, because Bo was a "prick".


January 21st, 2013 at 7:50 PM ^

Is not accurate in this case.

And if firing a guy when your owner says fire him and offering him a farewell tour makes one a prick, I have a feeling you only understand what you see in the mirror.

I'm guessing you think John Beilein is a prick too. Tony Dungy. That asshole Chuck Daly. Lots of people succeed without being a douchebag. You should try it sometime.


January 21st, 2013 at 4:40 PM ^

I believe that overall, Hoke is the more "natural" fit for everything the Michigan fan base, AD and PR folks would want in the HC role.  And overall, I'm happy with what he's done so far.  But with Ohio's hiring of Meyer last year, I do feel that JH would have given Michigan the necessary "IT" factor to go head to head with Meyer for the elite 5 star recruits. 

Hoke may well succeed over time against Meyer, but he doesn't yet have the instant credibility on the national scene that Meyer has from his days at Florida.  Had Ohio hired someone of a lower profile (e.g. Tressel, Bruce, Cooper, Carr, Moeller, etc), I'd have absolutely no concerns about Hoke going head to head with the guy. 

But for kids playing or getting ready to play college ball right now, there are a handful of coaching names who jump right out at them as being the "best of the best."  Saban, Meyer and JH (even though he's now in the NFL) are all likely on that list.  Hopefully Hoke will get there at some point over the next 3-4 years, but he's probably not on it yet.

big john lives on 67

January 21st, 2013 at 5:49 PM ^

I agree that Harbaugh is the better coach when compared to Hoke.  I was not enamored with Hoke when hired, but admit he has won me over.

However, for Michigan at this time, I think Hoke is the better man.  The last thing we need is another transition at this time.  I just could not see Harbaugh settling down for a long tenure at Michigan.  His ego would have quickly pushed him toward the pros.  Plus, I think Hoke is much closer to the Bo mindset than Harbaugh.


True Blue Grit

January 21st, 2013 at 1:50 PM ^

"we NEED a prick in the AD dept, either as AD or coach... like Bo"

That's probably one of the stupidest, most illogical comments I've seen on this blog in a long time.  Michigan needs to stand for class, ethics, integrity, and honestly among other positive attributes.  And having a coach or AD who is a "prick" as you put it, undermines everything that this university stands for.  We never have and never will need a "prick" to be a success on or off the field. 

Hank Scorpio

January 21st, 2013 at 11:16 AM ^

Quick John Harbaugh / Ravens story...

My stepdad was the equipment manager for the Ravens since they moved here in '96 (with with the Browns for 12 years before that.) Last year my sister passed away after a year's battle with cancer - Coach Harbaugh, Ray Rice, OJ Brigance, Dick Cass, Harry Swayne, Matt Stover, Kyle Richardson, and a slew of other front office personnel came to the viewing & funeral a day prior to having to fly to New England for the AFC Championship game. They were there to comfort us and let us know that they were playing (and praying) for her & for the family.

My stepdad never really got along all that well with Harbaugh prior, as he had run things significantly different than Billick used to... but his attendance and sincerety in our time of need spoke loud volumes to me.

He will always be a good man in my book.

yossarians tree

January 21st, 2013 at 11:23 AM ^

My buddy took a swing at him in South Quad when we were freshmen in 1982. He was a dick then and he's a dick now but I would have him as my quarterback or my coach in two seconds.

steve wooderson

January 21st, 2013 at 11:41 AM ^

Every person that denigrates Harbaugh and pretends Hoke is a better coach is a retard.


Harbaugh is a coaching force of nature, and only an insecure dullard like Lloyd Carr passes on him for an unaccomplished grad assistant-type like Scot Loeffler.  Carr was threatened by Harbaugh's accomplishments, charisma and intelligence, and preferred to surround himself with mediocre coaches.


You don't agree?  Then how is it in 15 years that he put all of two in head coaching jobs---Mike Debord and Brady Hoke?   Hardly the stuff of Bill Snyder or Bob Stoops.


Bret Bielema put out more head coaches in half the time.


Carr's refusal to hire Harbaugh cost us mightily.   By the time Michigan finally came around to hire him, Harbaugh's understandable irritation had led him in other directions than Ann Arbor.


Carr was and is a punk.