Former 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh made his mark on the Bay Area during his four seasons leading the San Francisco sideline with endless grit and trademark khaki pants.
He is known to make a lasting impression on each of his players for antics on and off the field. For better or worse.
Detroit Lions defensive end Aiden Hutchinson, who played for Harbaugh at Michigan, shared a hilarious memory of his coach in an exclusive interview Friday with NBC Sports Bay Area’s Jennifer Lee Chan at NFL’s Radio Row in Phoenix.
What is the rising star’s favorite memory of his collegiate coach?
“It was just one of those things every day you’d come to practice,” Hutchinson said. “Coach Harbaugh is in the weight room, khakis on, cleats on, shirts off, squatting. That’s like a very normal thing you see from Coach Harbaugh. You see it, you acknowledge it and you’re just like, ‘There’s Coach,’ and you go on to practice.”
Hutchinson played for Harbaugh for four seasons with the Wolverines from 2018 to 2021. He had a breakout year as a senior, notching 14 sacks and 16.5 tackles for loss that catapulted him up draft boards. Detroit selected Hutchinson with the No. 2 overall pick of the 2022 NFL Draft.
In 17 games as a rookie, Hutchinson notched 52 tackles, nine tackles for loss, 9.5 sacks and three interceptions. He was named the runner-up behind New York Jets cornerback Sauce Gardner for the NFL AP Defensive Rookie of the Year award on Thursday.
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One year removed from his time at Michigan, the 22-year-old pass rusher hasn’t forgotten about Harbaugh’s signature quirks.
“You can’t unsee that,” Hutchinson said to Chan. “I’ll never forget it. Full khakis, belt, cleats on hardwood floor.”