Many analysts, reporters and affiliates with the NFL thought Jim Harbaugh would not leave the league to move back into the college football world. They thought he would not enjoy recruiting and had unfinished business after losing to his brother, John Harbaugh, in the Super Bowl with San Francisco. He surprised many when he accepted the coaching job with Michigan and has not stopped since being one of the most talked about coaches in college. We have also not seen one coach turn more heads in football and push the envelope more than Jim Harbaugh. We knew he was different, wearing Khakis and promoting whole milk and eating steak, but did not expect some of the paths he has taken along the way to where we are today.
Since landing in Ann Arbor in December 2014, the only time he has tripped in his job so far is when he walked in his first news conference and almost fell walking over a cable cord. He took over his struggling alma matter, and after his first year, is in a position to get Michigan back to national dominance very soon. He has turned teams around quickly before in college and NFL, but his list of unpredictability continues to make headlines while gaining momentum and causing controversy. The first that stirred the pot was last year when he created a nine location satellite camp tour around the county called “Summer Swarm.” Many thought this was genius and felt it was creative by getting out of Michigan, while others were totally against it and may not see it again, if the NCAA enforces any new regulations about the summer period.
His competitive and hard working personality is a given from
his past, but we also have seen over the last year how he connects with alumni, fans, high school football players and their families on the recruiting trail in a huge business that college football is today. He recently helped raise over $100k for the Chad Carr Foundation on National Signing Day and a recent signing appearance. He attended a presidential speech, played at Pebble Beach in a pro-am golf tournament, attended a wrestling event, attended a Michigan swimming competition talking to the team before it, threw out the first pitch at a Tigers game, climbed a tree while playing catch with a recruits brother, attended high school class with recruits, all while gaining the attention of many, but changing the culture of Michigan in the right direction.
He also is the most followed college football coach with over 382,000 followers on Twitter creating new ways to connect with fans and followers but giving us a side we do not see with many other coaches in college, or any sport. Each time he tweets or attends an event, he gets talked about, because people are interested and intrigued. Here was his first Tweet on January 2 when he started getting to work in Ann Arbor.
Doors are open at Schembechler Hall. Look forward to getting knee-to-knee with the current team. Players, stop by and say hi!
— Coach Harbaugh (@CoachJim4UM) January 2, 2015
Here are just a few of his tweets:
Promoted high school football and lessons of the sport through a June clinic called “ExposureU”
— Coach Harbaugh (@CoachJim4UM) May 1, 2015
Thanked G-Easy for the hat
— Coach Harbaugh (@CoachJim4UM) March 31, 2015
Announced the partnership with Jumpman
Thanks MJ! It will be an Honor to share our sideline with you. https://t.co/ZCDIXvhD0m
— Coach Harbaugh (@CoachJim4UM) August 13, 2015
Posted a picture when rapper Big Sean was at The Big House after a game
— Coach Harbaugh (@CoachJim4UM) November 8, 2015
Posted picture from a neighbor of recruit Quinn Nordin when going to spend the night and day at high school.
— Coach Harbaugh (@CoachJim4UM) January 15, 2016
Connected with lil Wayne and posted a picture of his signed jersey.
— Coach Harbaugh (@CoachJim4UM) June 20, 2015
Commented about the SEC and ACC worries about his Spring Break plans
Question of the day: Does anyone find whining to be attractive? Just curious.
— Coach Harbaugh (@CoachJim4UM) February 10, 2016
Announced a March clinic
— Coach Harbaugh (@CoachJim4UM) February 17, 2016
Invited high school coaches in Florida to spring break practice
— Coach Harbaugh (@CoachJim4UM) February 24, 2016
His idea about spring break has created the ACC and SEC commissioner to express their opinions asking the NCAA to work on blocking this in the future. They know what he is capable of doing as a coach and many have taken notice. High school players know how his staff can develop them to prepare for the next level while offering everything the Michigan brand offers.
The winningest team in college football has been mediocre for the past 10 years, but the future will be a different story with Jim Harbaugh. He has already created a new culture with an attitude that is he will outwork them all and be united, no matter who tries to stop him.