Amid reports that Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh would have interest in NFL coaching jobs, Harbaugh and Michigan released a statement on Thursday saying he expects to coach the Wolverines in 2023.
The statement is similar to what Harbaugh told reporters prior to the College Football Playoff game against TCU on Saturday. He has couched both statements by saying he does not know the future, but his expectation is that he will be coaching the Wolverines.
He started Thursday’s statement by saying he is aware of the rumors and speculation around the NFL and that NFL teams have interest in his players and coaches.
“As I stated in December, while no one knows what the future holds, I expect that I will be enthusiastically coaching Michigan in 2023,” Harbaugh said in the statement. “I have spoken with President Santa Ono and Athletic Director Warde Manuel and appreciate their support of me and our program.”
He closed the release by quoting his former coach, Bo Schembechler, by saying those who stay will be champions.
— Michigan Football (@UMichFootball) January 5, 2023
ESPN’s David Newton reported on Tuesday that Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper had a conversation with Harbaugh about the open head-coaching position the team will have at the end of the season. Newton said the conversation was not characterized as an interview. Queen City News also reported at the time that Harbaugh had sincere interest in the Carolina job.
This type of speculation and flirtation with the NFL is not new for Harbaugh and Michigan, as he interviewed with the Minnesota Vikings in 2021 before signing a contract extension to stay as Michigan’s head coach.
Harbaugh has guided the Wolverines to back-to-back Big Ten championships and consecutive appearances in the College Football Playoff the past two seasons. Michigan lost to TCU 51-45 in the Fiesta Bowl.