University of Michigan head football coach Jim Harbaugh may soon return to the NFL coaching ranks.
If the folks at FanDuel are correct, he could be staying in Michigan to do it.
FanDuel has him tied for most likely to be the next head coach of the Detroit Lions.
(He is tied with San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh.)
The Lions fired Coach Matt Patricia after the team lost on Thanksgiving Day to the Houston Texans by the score of 41-25.
Besides Patricia, GM Bob Quinn also got a pink slip.
Patricia’s 2 1/2 year tenure resulted in a 13-29-1 record.
News of his firing spurred happiness by former players on social media.
Former Lions linebacker Stephen Tulloch on the firing of Bob Quinn and Matt Patricia: "The best news I've heard all year. The city of Detroit and its fans deserve SO MUCH BETTER."
— kyle meinke (@kmeinke) November 28, 2020
Obviously, the Lions are looking for someone to come in and turn the organization around quickly.
Is Harbaugh the right man for the job?
Second Coming To The NFL
Jim Harbaugh left the NFL to coach at his alma mater Michigan.
He served as the head coach for the San Francisco 49ers from 2011 to 2014 and was NFL Coach of the Year in 2011.
During his time with the 49ers, his record was 49-22-1 with a Super Bowl appearance in 2012 against his brother John’s Baltimore Ravens.
The Ravens won the game 34-31.
Harbaugh lives in Ann Arbor so becoming the Lions head coach would certainly be geographically convenient.
Why Would He Leave the University of Michigan?
In 6 years at Michigan, he is 49-22.
He is 1-4 in bowl games.
His Achilles heel has been Ohio State.
He is 0-5 against them.
The annual game was not played in 2020 because of COVID-19.
Jim Harbaugh’s biggest accomplishment in his six years as Michigan’s head coach is escaping the Ohio State game this week. That’s literally his greatest achievement.
— Barstool OSU (@BarstoolOSU) December 8, 2020
Harbaugh has moved around about every 3 years since he began coaching so 6 years at Michigan is a long tenure for him.
He also knows he can coach in the NFL but has unfinished business in that he didn’t get another chance to win a Super Bowl.
With his time at Michigan likely coming to an end, Jim Harbaugh is believed to be eyeing a potential return to the NFL https://t.co/ILcImvRA0J
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) December 6, 2020
As a former NFL quarterback, Harbaugh could inherit Lions QB Matthew Stafford who is in his 12th season with the Lions.
Building a team around a veteran quarterback could be appealing to Harbaugh.
Who Knows How This Turns Out?
This is early conjecture.
Harbaugh does have another year on his Michigan contract.
And there are expected to be a lot of coaching vacancies in the NFL this year.
So even if Harbaugh does not end up in Detroit or even in the NFL in 2021, it does seem likely that he will get back to the NFL after that.