Jim Harbaugh says he deserves a medal for lasting so long with 49ers

Jim Harbaugh helped the San Francisco 49ers go from also-ran to Super Bowl contender almost overnight when he took over as coach in 2011. But despite his immediate success – going 44-19 in four years, including three playoff appearances – the franchise parted ways with the fiery head coach after the 2014 season.

Harbaugh, now the head coach at Michigan, reflected on his brief time in the Bay Area and was especially proud of how long he lasted under the 49ers current ownership.

“Now, I don’t think I was there long enough to be compared with Bill Walsh or Coach Seifert, etc.,” Harbaugh said during a podcast with Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News. “But I think we did – and correct me if I’m wrong – I think we did set a record for coaching there the longest under the present ownership, if I’m not wrong.”

Harbaugh is correct about that and sarcastically suggested he should be honored for his accomplishment.

“I take pride in that,” Harbaugh said. “Maybe there should be an endurance medal, a courage medal, for that.”

The 49ers haven’t found a long-term answer at head coach since they split with Harbaugh. San Francisco hired former Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan as head coach earlier this month and will enter next season with a new coach for the third time in three seasons.