After reports surfaced that Jim Harbaugh would be signing a contract extension with Michigan earlier today, the new deal has officially been made.
On Friday afternoon, University of Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel confirmed that Harbaugh has signed a five-year, $20 million contract with the program — marking a sever pay cut. But, the deal includes incentives that could boost his salary up to the $8 million he was making previously.
Manuel sustains that Harbaugh is the clear choice moving forward.
“I continue to believe that Jim is the right man to lead our program in pursuit of Big Ten and CFP championships,” Manuel said. “Our program didn’t achieve at a level that anyone expected this year, but I know those setbacks will drive the coaches, players and staff moving forward. Jim is a tireless worker and competitor. Following the completion of the season we talked for many hours on what it will take for Jim to lead and get us back on the right trajectory.
OFFICIAL: Warde Manuel Announces Contract Extension for Coach Jim Harbaugh » https://t.co/UZKP40GZJ8
— Michigan Football (@UMichFootball) January 8, 2021
Over his first six years with Michigan, Harbaugh collected a 49-22 record. 2020 was his first losing record with the Wolverines — finishing the year with a disappointing 2-4 record.
But, despite Harbaugh’s success in the win column during his coaching tenure, tensions between the coach and Michigan fans have been boiling for years.
Harbaugh has wildly underperformed in the postseason with solid teams. In his first five years with the team, the former Wolverine quarterback led the program to five bowl games — collecting a 1-4 record, including four straight losses.
Harbaugh seems to have the uncanny ability to produce solid teams that just barely can’t make it over the hump to win big games. With that track record, it’s no surprise the Michigan program wants to keep him around with reduced pay.
In a season that could’ve been the end for the head coach, defensive coordinator Don Brown has seemed to take the fall. Harbaugh fired Brown just last month after he led the defense to a season where they allowed more than 37 points per game.
With a clean coaching-staff slate and a new contract, maybe Jim Harbaugh can revive the Wolverines after their terrible 2020 season.