- May 10, 2014
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Harbaugh probably would have cost more than Matt Eberflus. He also might have demanded more control. Some prices are worth paying.
A little preview:
Jim Harbaugh’s record as a head coach is 166-67.
Harbaugh went 49-22-1 as head coach of the 49ers. He took them to one Super Bowl and three championship games.
The reigning college coach of the year, Harbaugh is coming off a remarkable season at Michigan, having finished 12-2 and made it to the College Football Playoff before a loss to Georgia, the eventual national champion. His record at Michigan is 49-22.
His record at Stanford, a perennial loser before his arrival, was 29-21. He took the Cardinal to their first bowl game in eight years and gave them their first bowl game victory in 14. At the University of San Diego, he was 29-6.
Harbaugh is a proven head coach, a proven winner.
And he’s something else.
He’s a Bear.
But from all indications, he was not interviewed for their head coaching job.
This ranks higher on the mind-boggling scale than offering former center Olin Kreutz $15 an hour.
The fact that Harbaugh played for the Bears was not why he should have been interviewed. But the fact that he played seven years for the Bears after they chose him in the first round of the 1987 draft made him a stronger candidate. Harbaugh understands the Bears organization and its specific challenges better than almost any other declared candidate could have, except former Bear Leslie Frazier. Consideration of Harbaugh would have been a popular move with alumni, some of whom feel ignored or alienated by the team.
But there were better reasons he should have been a candidate.
Harbaugh is a natural-born leader. That was evident from his rookie training camp when he stood up to the teammate the others called “The King,” Dan Hampton. The defensive lineman took exception to Harbaugh’s running around and shoved him. Harbaugh shoved back. It wasn’t long before Harbaugh had followers of his own.