Jim Harbaugh and the Los Angeles Chargers reach an agreement to become head coach…

Jim Harbaugh and the Los Angeles Chargers reached a deal today for Harbaugh to become head coach. Harbaugh, who played quarterback for the Chargers in 1999 and 2000, has been the head football coach at the University of Michigan for the last nine years. Harbaugh is a graduate of Stanford University. After leading Michigan to three straight Big Ten titles, three straight College Football Playoff berths, and a perfect 15-0 record this past season that saw the Wolverines declared 2023 Harbaugh, the National Champion, is back with the Chargers.

Owner and board chairman Dean Spanos stated, “Jim Harbaugh is football personified, and I can think of no one better to lead the Chargers forward.” “Over the past 20 years, Jim has trained hundreds of guys to success no matter where he has been. He is a coach’s son, brother, and father who was personally coached by Schembechler and Ditka. Now that he’s back with the Chargers, Jim Harbaugh serves as our coach. Who is more important than us?

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President of Football Operations John Spanos stated, “You don’t build a resume like Jim’s by accident, and you don’t do it by yourself.” “You need a team. Furthermore, Jim Harbaugh has put together a team more skillfully and reliably than anybody else in recent memory. Both his opponents and his former teammates curse at him. We are thrilled to have Jim return as our head coach because he is truly unique to the Chargers organization.”

Harbaugh brings a winning culture with him, having guided NFL teams to a 49-22-1 record and college teams to a 144-52 record. He guided the San Francisco 49ers to three consecutive NFC Championship Games in just four years, and he even made an appearance in Super Bowl XLVII.

In his nine years at Michigan (2015–23), Harbaugh produced nine players that were ultimately chosen in the first round, showcasing his aptitude for spotting potential and developing players. In his four seasons (2011–14) in San Francisco, Harbaugh guided 17 players to a total of 30 selections to the Pro Bowl, which is the second-highest number of Pro Bowlers in NFL history. The Associated Press also named eight of those players as first-team All-Pro choices, including linebackers Patrick Willis (twice) and NaVorro Bowman (three times).

“My affection for Michigan endures since I played there and returned to coach there. I’ll be a devoted Wolverine forever,” Harbaugh declared. “I count it a great blessing that I’ve been able to coach in environments where my life’s journey has created deep personal connections with me. All of those experiences—from coaching with my father, Jack, as an assistant at Western Kentucky, to serving as an assistant with the Raiders, to leading USD, Stanford, the 49ers, and Michigan—carried importance and felt very personal. The Spanos family was the most kind and welcoming to me throughout my time as a Chargers player. It feels good to be back here, and it’s great that those things haven’t changed.

“We understand that we have to earn our way since the only job that starts at the top is digging a hole. Make an effort to improve upon yesterday’s performance. Make tomorrow better than today. My top three priorities are football, family, and faith. We will pursue each of them with a zeal that has never been seen in human history. This group is working hard, establishing infrastructure, investing money, and using all of its might to succeed. We’re only getting started, but tremendous work means great outcomes.”

In his nine seasons as head coach, Harbaugh, one of the most successful football coaches in history, guided Michigan to an 86-25 record. His teams reached the 10-win mark six times, qualified for the CFP three times in a row (2021–2023), won the national championship this past season, and broke the school record with fifteen victories. Since joining the Wolverines as head coach in 2015, Harbaugh has led the best defense in the country, giving up only 291.0 yards per game. Over those nine seasons, Michigan’s defense finished in the top five in the nation five times, including two times as the best defense overall.

After leading the 49ers to an NFC West division title with a 13-3 record in his debut season in San Francisco, Harbaugh was voted 2011 NFL Coach of the Year by The Associated Press. With 38 interceptions that season, the defense led the NFL and led the league in running defense, giving up only 77.3 yards per game on the ground. The group advanced far in the playoffs, making it to the first of three consecutive NFC Championship Games. In 2012, they also made it to Super Bowl XLVII. The 49ers topped the NFL in running defense (92.0 yards per game) during Harbaugh’s four seasons in San Francisco. They also ranked second in scoring defense (17.4 points per game), third in total defense (310.2), and fourth with 122 takeaways.

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Before taking the leadership at the NFL, Harbaugh led Stanford University for four years (2007–10) and the University of San Diego for three (2004–06). After leading the Cardinal to 29 victories throughout his four seasons at Palo Alto, California, he turned around a Stanford school that was 1-11 in 2006. His 2010 season included a 12-win campaign that ended with an orange Bowl triumph. At San Diego, where he made his head coaching debut, Harbaugh guided the Toreros to a 29-6 record in three seasons.

From 2002 to 2003, Harbaugh was the Oakland Raiders’ quarterbacks coach when he started his coaching career. Rich Gannon, the quarterback, was awarded MVP, a Pro Bowler, and an AP first-team All-Pro in his rookie season with the Oakland Raiders, who advanced to Super Bowl XXXVII.

During his 15-year NFL career (1987–2001), Harbaugh was a quarterback for five different teams, spending 1999–2000 with the Chargers. His father, Jack, was the head coach at Western Kentucky from 1994 to 2001, when he got his start as an unpaid assistant while still an NFL player. In the 1987 NFL Draft, Chicago chose Harbaugh with the 25th overall choice. He went on to start 140 of his 177 career games while passing for 26,288 yards and 129 touchdowns. After guiding the Colts to an AFC Championship Game appearance, he was selected for the Pro Bowl and led the NFL in passer rating in 1995. Ultimately, Harbaugh spent two seasons with the Chargers and was one of four quarterbacks for the Bolts to throw for 400 yards in a single game.

As one of the most proficient quarterbacks in college football history, Harbaugh played quarterback for the University of Michigan. He was a starter for the Wolverines and finished third in the Heisman Trophy voting in 1986, in addition to posting a 21-3-1 record and being named to the first team of the American college football team. In terms of passing efficiency rating, Harbaugh led the country in 1985. After leaving Michigan, he spent more than 12 years with the greatest career passing efficiency rating in NCAA history.

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