Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

Jim Harbaugh doesn’t know the future, “expects” to coach Michigan in 2023

Mike Florio and Chris Simms examine what Jim Harbaugh could be capable of if he returns to the NFL, given the Panthers and Broncos reportedly have reached out to him about their head coach vacancies.

The NFL window nearly cracked for former 49ers coach and current Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh in 2022. It may finally slide wide open for him in 2023. He reportedly is expected to accept an NFL offer if it comes his way.

Last year, Harbaugh said nothing about his courtship with the Vikings until it ended. This year, he’s speaking before having a single official interview with what could be multiple teams.

“1 am aware of the rumors and speculation over the past few days,” Harbaugh said in a statement issued Thursday. “College and NFL teams have great interest in all our personnel, from players to coaches to staff, and I truly believe that us a testament to the strength of our University of Michigan footbail program.

“As 1 stated in December, while no one knows what the future holds, I expect that I will be enthusiastically coaching Michigan in 2023. I have spoken with President Santa Ono and Athletic Director Warde Manuel and appreciate their support of me and our program. Our mission as Wolverines continues, and we are preparing for the 2023 season with great passion and enthusiasm. As our legendary coach Bo Schembechier said, ‘Those who stay will be champions.’”

Those who leave may be champions, too. That’s where this is coming from. Harbaugh regards winning a Super Bowl as “unfinished business,” and he views it as the pinnacle of football achievement.

So, yes, he’ll explore his options. He doesn’t know what the future will hold. Maybe he’ll be offered the Broncos job. Or the Panthers job. Or some other NFL job. He currently expects to be doing the job he has, because it’s the only job he has.

Whether his statement placates Michigan fans, players, and/or boosters who are feeling nervous about Harbaugh’s status remains to be seen. But the truth is hiding in plain sight. He has ruled nothing out, and he won’t be leaving as head coach of Michigan unless a better opportunity falls into his lap.

In the coming weeks, we’ll find out whether it does. If not, he’ll “enthusiastically” retain the maize and blue bird in the hand.