When Michigan football wrapped up its 2-4 campaign following the 2020 season, Jim Harbaugh’s future appeared to be in jeopardy. Instead, the Wolverines gifted their head coach a brand new contract extension.
The decision came as a bit of a surprise. Michigan’s 2020 season was a massive disappointment, though it’s difficult to judge a program’s 2020 performance given the circumstances of the past year regarding the pandemic.
Despite the criticism surrounding Harbaugh, Michigan clearly feels confident he can right the ship. Several Wolverines players have expressed such confidence in recent interviews.
Michigan defensive back Brad Hawkins told reporters the team was “excited” when Harbaugh received a new extension. The Wolverines clearly didn’t want a change in coaching leadership.
“We’re all excited he got his extension,” Hawkins said, according to Angelique Chengelis of The Detroit News. “We want him to be here. We want to play for him. That’s our coach. We love him.”
Brad Hawkins asked today about Harbaugh returning: “We’re all excited he got his extension. We want him to be here. We want to play for him. That’s our coach. We love him.”
— angelique (@chengelis) March 2, 2021
This echoes what former Michigan receiver Nico Collins told our own Chris Rosvoglou in an interview a month ago.
“If you think he’s not the right coach, you’re wrong,” Collins said of Harbaugh. “He’s a great coach. He’s a coach that played in the NFL, coached in the NFL, and knows exactly how to coach his players. If you want a great team to go to and a great coach to be coached by, go to the University of Michigan. It doesn’t get any better because of Coach Harbaugh. I learned a lot from him and I’m glad he was my coach for my first three years.”
Analysts and insiders may feel it’s time for Michigan to move on from Harbaugh. His own players clearly feel otherwise.