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5 Things to Know About Jim Harbaugh


The Los Angeles Chargers Wednesday agreed to terms with Jim Harbaugh as head coach.

Here are five things to know about Harbaugh:

1. He's a winner

The new Chargers Head Coach recently led Michigan to a College Football National Championship and the university's first outright title since 1947 in a win over Washington. The title ended the longest drought between outright titles in the AP Poll era.

It was a dominant year for Harbaugh's Wolverines as Michigan finished the regular season with a perfect 15-0 record. They became the sixth team in history to finish 15-0 or better, and finished the season atop the AP Poll, their highest spot since 1997.

Michigan's defense was first in the country in scoring, allowing just 10.40 points a game this past season.
The Wolverines were also the nation's top total defense (247.0). Michigan also allowed the second-fewest passing yards (157.0) and fifth-fewest rushing yards per game (90.0) — the only school to rank in the top five in both.

2. A Michigan Man

Harbaugh's tenure at his alma mater as head coach saw a turnaround — and plenty of wins — for the program.

Harbaugh was an All-American quarterback Michigan from 1982 to 1986. He was hired by Michigan in 2015 and went 10-3 in his first season, the school's first 10-win season since 2011.

Harbaugh did nothing but win since arriving, going 89-25 (.781) in his 114 games as the head coach in Ann Arbor.
He also led the Wolverines to six seasons of at least 10 wins and three straight Big Ten Conference titles in addition to the three straight College Football Playoff berths.

Michigan produced three of the five most-productive offensive seasons in school history under Harbaugh and also had a Top-12 national defense in seven out of the nine seasons.

Harbaugh developed a strong recruiting pipeline, too, as 10 of his players earned consensus All-America honors during his time at the school. He had 28 players earn All-Big Ten honors on offense, defense and special teams in 2023.

Take a look at the top photos of Jim Harbaugh during his playing days as a Charger.

3. Experienced NFL Head Coach

Harbaugh’s coaching journey has brought him back to where it all started — the AFC West.

Following his NFL playing career, Harbaugh spent the 2002 and 2003 seasons as the Raiders quarterbacks coach.

He was then the head coach at the University of San Diego (2004-2006) and the head coach at Stanford (2007-2010) before jumping to the NFL as the 49ers Head Coach in 2011.

Harbaugh tallied a 49-22-1 record with the 49ers (including the playoffs) and led San Francisco to the NFC Championship in each of his first three seasons. He became the first coach in NFL history to reach a conference championship game in their first three seasons as head coach.

Harbaugh was the 2011 NFL Coach of the Year after turning around a franchise that hadn't had a winning season or a playoff appearance since 2002. The 49ers went 13-3 in his first season.

The highlight of Harbaugh's tenure with the 49ers came during the 2012 season as San Francisco reached Super Bowl XLVII.

San Francisco went 11-4-1 and won a second-straight NFC West title despite a midseason quarterback change from starter Alex Smith to backup Colin Kaepernick midseason.

The 49ers went 12-4 in 2013 and reached a third straight NFC title game. Harbaugh compiled a 5-3 playoff record with the 49ers.

4. A 1st-round pick

Harbaugh starred at Michigan before embarking on a 15-year NFL career at quarterback.

He was selected the No. 26 overall pick by the Bears in the 1987 NFL Draft and spent seven seasons in Chicago. Harbaugh played in 89 games, with 65 starts for Chicago.

Harbaugh later moved onto Indianapolis, where his career reached new heights as a player.

His best season came in 1995 as he set career highs in completion percentage (63.7 percent) and touchdown passes (17) while leading the Colts to the AFC Championship.

The quarterback was voted to the Pro Bowl, won the Comeback Player of the Year and also finished fourth in the MVP voting. He was later inducted into the Colts Ring of Honor in 2005.

Harbaugh spent a year with the Ravens before spending the last two seasons of his career with the team he will now coach in the Chargers. He made 17 starts for the Bolts in 1999 and 2000.

5. An iconic football family

Football runs deep in the Harbaugh family.

Harbaugh's father, Jack, was a longtime football coach at the collegiate level with stops at Bowling Green, Iowa and Michigan among others.

Jack Harbaugh also spent five seasons Western Michigan's head coach at Western Michigan before he led Western Kentucky's football program from 1989 to 2002.

The Hilltoppers would finish 91-68 under Jack Harbaugh, who led the school to its first and only NCAA Division I-AA Championship (now known as the FCS). The program won two conference titles with four playoff appearances with Jack Harbaugh in charge.

Jack Harbaugh would join his son Jim as an assistant at Stanford and most recently at Michigan in 2023.

Harbaugh's brother, John, is currently in his 16th season as the Ravens Head Coach. The brothers have squared off three total times, including in Super Bowl XLVII.

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