Nine years ago Jim Harbaugh left the NFL in pursuit of coaching at his alma mater — Michigan — in an attempt to restore prestige to the program. On Monday night, Harbaugh reached the mountaintop as his Wolverines defeated Washington to win the program's first National Championship since 1997 (which it shared with Nebraska). Michigan's last solo National Championship was all the way back in 1948.
Harbaugh has accomplished what he set out to do and now many believe it is time for the veteran coach to chase the one thing that has eluded his great career: a Super Bowl. Out of all the possible openings, Harbaugh's best chance to accomplish that goal may be with the LA Chargers.
Chargers fans have been on Harbaugh watch for months. On the same day that the first requested interviewees were reported for the Chargers, fans watched Harbaugh lead his team to a dominant title win. It's beyond obvious that Harbaugh would be the best hire and thankfully for fans, all signs are pointing to him reuniting with the Bolts.
All signs point to Jim Harbaugh being the next head coach of the Chargers
The speculation around Harbaugh's future has been a whirlwind and that is sure to pick up with Michigan's season officially over. Based on the tidbits that Chargers fans have heard thus far, it is fair to say that the Bolts are the obvious favorites for Harbaugh's services next season.
Let's run down the list of the favorable signs that could lead Harbaugh straight to Los Angeles, shall we?
- Harbaugh has direct ties to the organization as he played for the Chargers during his NFL days (just like he played for Michigan).
- Harbaugh may want some roster control and the Chargers have a vacant general manager job that he can influence.
- Harbaugh reportedly loves Justin Herbert. It is a quarterback league in 2024, so that is very important.
- Harbaugh hired Don Yee, who has some familiarity with the Chargers as Tom Brady and Sean Payton's agent (both men had ties to the Chargers). Back in 2022, the Chargers launched the Donald H. Yee fellowship program.
- Harbaugh reportedly wanted the Chargers job last year but it never became available.
The two teams that are being mentioned the most for Harbaugh right now are the Chargers and Las Vegas Raiders. Like the Chargers, there are some benefits to coaching the Raiders. Mark Davis hasn't been afraid to spend big and the Raiders could theoretically draft Harbaugh's Michigan quarterback, JJ McCarthy.
Harbaugh loves McCarthy and has sung his praises all season long but let's not pretend like he favors him over Herbert. If Harbaugh is jumping to the NFL it is going to win a Super Bowl, not to hang out with his college quarterback some more. Herbert is the rocket ship that Harbaugh wants to take to the Super Bowl, not McCarthy.
Could all of this be smoke and mirrors from Harbaugh only for him to return to Michigan? Sure. It would not be the first time that happened. But this is the most real a leap back to the NFL has ever felt for Harbaugh and of all the possibilities, the Chargers are miles ahead of the rest.