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Breaking News: Jim Harbaugh expected to become Chargers 18th Head Coach


All indications point towards Jim Harbaugh being named the 18th head coach of the Los Angeles Chargers, bearing "unforeseen circumstances" in Ann Arbor as early as next week one source said.


Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh will be meeting with the Los Angeles Chargers next week, according to a report by Michael David Smith of NBC Sports.

 

College Football Dawgs first tweeted about the Harbaugh and Chargers situation on January 7, 2024, where it was mentioned that Harbaugh was looking into real estate in the Los Angeles area before any major media outlet including ESPN.



Those sources have confirmed that Jim Harbaugh authorized a representative to look for real estate in Orange County and near the new Chargers facility in El Segundo. Such authorization is typical of coaches who have been contacted by pursuing teams, "regardless of whether an offer was made, accepted, etc.," according to sources close to the situation.


During the national championship celebrations at the Crisler Center tonight, Michigan Atheltic Director Warde Manuel said,

"I am working on getting this man a new contract."

While this is an encouraging sign for the maize and blue faithful, there has been heavy speculation that the three-time Big Ten Champion has "unfinished business" in the NFL.



While there are currently seven head coaching positions available in the NFL, Harbaugh to the Chargers makes the most sense. The recent National Championship-winning head coach played for the then-San Diego Chargers in his final two seasons in the NFL, 1999 and 2000.


Harbaugh has called the "Golden State" home for over 15 years, serving as Quarterback Coach for the Oakland Raiders, head coach for the FCS school San Diego, head coach for Stanford, and head coach for the San Fransico 49ers.



The Chargers are also interviewing four candidates for their open General Manager job with close ties to Harbaugh. Brandon Brown, currently the Assistant General Manager for the New York Giants, has a close relationship with Harbaugh according to Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer.


Current Indianapolis Colts Assistant General Manager Ed Dodds worked as a scout for the Oakland Raiders in 2003 while Harbaugh was the Quarterbacks Coach for the team. Ian Cunningham, the Chicago Bears’ Assistant General Manager,  was a personnel assistant and area scout for the Baltimore Ravens from 2008-2016, working with John Harbaugh, Jim’s brother.


Joe Hortiz, the Director of Player Personnel for the Baltimore Ravens, also has a history of working with the Harbaugh family. It seems as though the Chargers are attempting to sweeten the deal by partnering Harbaugh with a GM he knows.



According to sources, the Chargers made first unofficial contact with Harbaugh during the week of the Rose Bowl where Michigan defeated Alabama in Nick Saban’s final game as a head coach. The framework for a deal may have been started then and the meeting this coming week could be to finalize that deal.


In December, Harbaugh hired Don Yee to be his new agent. Yee has deep NFL ties which also points to Harbaugh taking an NFL position.

 

However, Michigan appears to be fighting to keep the Toledo, Ohio native as their head coach. Reports are that there is a $125 Million offer on the table for Harbaugh to return to coach the Wolverines. Our sources have also mentioned that a hold-up in that offer is that Harbaugh wants assurances from Michigan that if the NCAA comes down hard on him after their investigations, he will not be fired with cause.


There is a tug-of-war going on for Harbaugh on whether to stay at Michigan or leave for the NFL. Michigan star quarterback JJ McCarthy has until Monday to decide whether he will forego his senior season and enter the NFL Draft or not. According to the Winged Helmet, JJ McCarthy is set to announce his decision, whatever it may be, on Sunday.



If McCarthy decides to leave that will add another blow to Michigan retaining Harbaugh. McCarthy had been described by Harbaugh as being the best Michigan quarterback ever, and that will be very difficult for him to replace.



The chance to coach against his brother John, who is the head coach of the Baltimore Ravens, is enticing for Jim to take an NFL position. And with that National Championship now on his resume, as well as a Super Bowl appearance in his time as the 49er's head coach, Jim’s stock has never been higher. The ability to maximize his earning potential, as well as the possibility of becoming the fourth coach to win both a national championship and a Super Bowl, may be too much to refuse the NFL this time around.

 

But Michigan is his alma mater and a place he loves to coach at. The Wolverines have a very good team and Harbaugh has built an elite defense that just smothered a potent Washington Huskies offense in the national championship game.

 

As with any potential head coach hiring, the situation is fluid. There are a near-record seven positions available for NFL head coaches. Along with the Chargers, the Las Vegas Raiders have reportedly already shown interest in meeting with Harbaugh. You have to expect at least one or two more teams to request interviews with him.


Stay tuned to www.collegefootballdawgs.com for an update on this and other stories first reported by College Football Dawgs from the college football world.


Editor's Note: This article was updated to state that Harbaugh representatives were looking for real estate near the new Chargers facility in El Segundo rather than the previously stated Hoag Performance Center.

 

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