Harbaugh: Doing What He Has Always Done

With only ten years experience as an assistant, Jim Harbaugh took over as the head coach at the University of San Diego in 2004. Little did anyone know the impact he would have on the landscape of college and professional football over the following decade.

He led USD to an 11-1 record in his second year on campus and then again the following year.

In 2007, he took over a Stanford program that had 16 wins in the previous five years and in four short years, he led them to a 11-1 record and an Orange Bowl win, the first BCS bowl win in school history.

In 2011, he took over a moribund San Francisco 49ers franchise. All he did in four years in San Francisco was lead them to a Super Bowl appearance and three straight NFC Championship games. The 49ers hadn’t been to an NFC Championship game in 13 years before Harbaugh led the 2011 squad to the Championship game. They hadn’t been in a Super Bowl in 18 years before Harbaugh’s 2012 team made it to the Big Game.

In 2015, Harbaugh took over as the head coach at his beloved alma mater, Michigan. The maize and blue faithful rejoiced as their favorite son had returned home, but many still questioned whether he could produce immediate results. Well, the questions have been all but answered as the Wolverines rebounded from an opening night loss to Utah on the road to dominate the rest of their first half schedule. All the Wolverines have done the last five weeks is yield two total touchdowns and outscore five opponents 160-14.

But, most importantly, he’s put Michigan back in the nation’s spotlight. The Wolverines went from being unranked to 12th in the nation. ESPN’s College GameDay will be in Ann Arbor for this week’s titanic matchup with rival Michigan State. In fact, Michigan is an eight point favorite over the Spartans, the number seven team in the country.

Harbaugh’s done that. Then again, all he’s doing is what he’s always done. Are you surprised?

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