Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross knows two people who will not be coaching his team next season: Brian Flores and Jim Harbaugh.
The former was fired on Monday after finishing up a second straight winning season that ended without a playoff berth. The latter has reported interest in returning to the NFL, but Ross said that he is not going to pry the Michigan man from his current role:
“I'm not going to be the person to take Jim Harbaugh from the University of Michigan.”
That news should bode well for the Chicago Bears’ chances at reeling in Harbaugh, right?
Harbaugh reportedly has talked with Ross in recent days, according to ProFootballTalk, but the topic has been more about a new contract at Michigan.
Ross is one of the biggest benefactors in University of Michigan history, donating $100 million to the institution in 2004 and $200 million in 2013. Him saying that he does not want to remove Harbaugh from Michigan speaks to Ross’ position as both a donor and an NFL owner.
Contract talks between Harbaugh and the school are not new, either. The former San Francisco 49ers head coach signed a contract extension with the university last January that runs through the end of the 2025 season. The contract pays him over $4 million annually with $100,000-plus increases each year and bonuses for Big Ten titles, College Football Playoff appearances and national titles.
Michigan made its first ever College Football Playoff appearance this season after winning the Big Ten Championship Game. The Wolverines’ season ended with an Orange Bowl defeat to Georgia on Dec. 31 at Hard Rock Stadium, a building owned by Ross.
Ross hopes that Harbaugh’s team will be back at the venue soon, even if it’s not the Dolphins. The 2026 College Football Playoff National Championship – which comes in the final year of Harbaugh’s current Michigan deal – will be played there.