Michigan football head coach Jim Harbaugh returns to the NFL to coach the LA Chargers
The GIST: After years of teasing an NFL return — and less than three weeks after leading his alma mater to a national championship — Michigan football HC Jim Harbaugh announced Wednesday that he’s leaving the Wolverines to helm the LA Chargers.
The context: Harbaugh’s journey to college football’s pinnacle was bumpy. This season, he served two separate three-game suspensions for different infractions: one for lying to the NCAA about recruiting violations, and another for the sign-stealing scandal that broke the internet, neither of which is fully settled.
- Whether he’s bailing to duck even more penalties or simply wants a new challenge, it’s Harbaugh’s successor who’ll have to contend with the fallout. The leading candidate? Michigan offensive coordinator Sherrone Moore.
What’s next: Once the new HC is in place, Michigan’s focus will be salvaging their roster. As demonstrated by the Alabama exodus following HC Nick Saban’s retirement, coaching changes often chill recruiting, and they can push current players to the transfer portal — and the Wolverines’ title-winning roster is already depleted due to graduation.
- More importantly, the NCAA would still like a word about those recruiting violations, and competitors are calling for more significant punishment in the sign-stealing saga — even vacating their natty.
- Will those threats fade now that Harbaugh’s out of the picture? Or, by avoiding paying for his mistakes, did he leave Michigan holding the bill?