Regner: Don’t count Harbaugh out for Michigan job

Will Jim Harbaugh part ways with the 49ers and become Michigan's next football coach?

Ron Chenoy/Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Brady Hoke is likely coaching his last three games at Michigan — four if the Wolverines can win two of them and become bowl eligible.

But that’s not the driving topic of conversation regarding Michigan football these days. Whether the Wolverines play in a bowl game or not is inconsequential, because all eyes are focused on Jim Harbaugh.

For several years, Harbaugh has been linked to a position he’s never been offered — though, according to many well-placed sources, it’s a job he would seriously consider.

And it make sense.

Harbaugh, currently the San Francisco 49ers coach, is a Michigan geek. He’s an eccentric who doesn’t march to the beat of a different drummer; he’s his own one-man band, which could work out extremely well for Michigan.


Because of two men, his father, Jack, and his coach, Bo Schembechler. They made him what he is today — one of America’s top football minds.

Harbaugh is also Ann Arbor-raised, Michigan-educated and was the Wolverines’ starting quarterback for three seasons.

He was a four-year letter winner at Michigan. And as a senior in 1986, he was the Big Ten Player of the Year, named to the UPI’s and AP’s All-American teams, finished third for the Heisman and was named to the Big Ten’s Academic All-Conference Team.

His blood is, at the very least, tinted Maize and Blue.

Still, some believe that Michigan would be a step down from the NFL for Harbaugh, speculating that winning a Super Bowl is his ultimate desire and that the university couldn’t afford him.

Money certainly isn’t an issue. Michigan is one of the richest universities in the world, so if they really want Harbaugh, they’ll cough up the cash.

And although I’m sure a Super Bowl victory would be nice for Harbaugh, I don’t think leaving the NFL before he gets one will be a determining factor if he’s offered the Michigan job.

Two things will decide if Harbaugh becomes Michigan’s next football coach: Does he want to come back home to raise his family? And does he want to give back to Michigan?

Sure, Harbaugh can be abrasive and a bit of loose cannon — he’s already worn out his welcome with many in the Bay Area — but if he would ever dial it down just a tiny notch, it would be as Michigan’s head coach. He respects the block "M."

He’s also a smart, caring and community-minded man. He might not always show it, but he’s an extremely well-balanced individual.

So will Harbaugh part ways with the 49ers and become Michigan’s next football coach?

Don’t count him out.