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“Near certainty” Harbaugh leaves Stanford

Jim Harbaugh

Stanford football head coach Jim Harbaugh yells instructions during practice at Barry University in Miami Shores, Fla., Wednesday, Dec. 29, 2010. Stanford is scheduled to play Virginia Tech in the Orange Bowl NCAA college football game on Jan. 3, 2010. (AP Photo/Hans Deryk)

AP

Jim Harbaugh is on his way out of Stanford; the only question is where he will go.

That’s the news, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The 49ers and Broncos will go after Harbaugh hard, although San Francisco’s lack of success (and lack of a quarterback) will reportedly make Harbaugh pause before taking the gig. Schefter thinks Harbaugh will decide shortly after coaching Stanford in the Orange Bowl and could be a NFL head coach by the middle of next week.

Carolina is not expected to go after Harbaugh, instead looking for an established NFL assistant coach.

Harbaugh’s decision to leave Stanford could affect the NFL in another big way. It would seemingly open the door for Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck to go pro.