Michigan finally got their man. It took some seven years, but two poor hires—Rich Rodriguez (2008-2010, 15-22 record) and Brady Hoke (2011-2014, 31-20)—and an abysmal 46-42 record later, the stars aligned properly for the Wolverines to land Captain Comeback, Jim Harbaugh.
Harbaugh’s time in San Francisco was done after a lackluster 8-8 2014 season with the 49ers that included a falling out with management and an apparently toxic locker room, as per Fox Sports. Michigan was in desperate need of a savior after a wretched 2013-2014, filled with embarrassing losses and PR debacles.
— Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) December 30, 2014
The timing was, for once, impeccable for Michigan’s job search and interim (and likely soon-to-be full-time) athletic director Jim Hackett deserves a lot of credit for courting Harbaugh (both were former players under legendary coach Bo Schembechler).
The money ain’t bad, either, as the former Michigan QB will pull down a reported $35M for seven years with a $2M signing bonus, as per MLive.
Since Hoke’s inaugural 2011 campaign, where the team finished 11-2 after a BCS Bowl win over Virginia Tech, Michigan’s football program has been in a virtual free fall.
The 2012 season saw the team get manhandled by Alabama 41-14 in a season-opening showcase and the wheels started to fall off, one-by-one, soon thereafter. Michigan added losses to its records in 2012 (8-5), 2013 (7-6) and 2014 (5-7).
— Michigan Football (@umichfootball) December 30, 2014
Like many other leaders in our time, Harbaugh inherits a regime in shambles. While recruiting will spike immediately for Michigan, the 2015 season will surely be a rebuilding year.
But if measured progress is seen in year one, and maybe a win over rivals Michigan State (1-6 under Rich Rod and Hoke) or Ohio State (1-10 in its last 11 meetings with the Buckeyes), Wolverine faithful will finally feel their feet are back on solid ground.
Some excitement has returned to Michigan football, after an extended period of doldrums. In his playing days, Harbaugh was known for getting the job done when the chips were down, and no historic NCAA football program was in need of redemption more than Michigan.
With apologies to LL Cool J, you can call it a (Captain) Comeback.