This happened yesterday and was leaked about the same time I posted. I wasn’t sure about all the sources, but there was a definite “increase” in Twitter traffic in the late afternoon early evening (and thank you for all the texts) and then the mother lode twitter hit when Sam Webb tweeted that Michigan has in fact offered Jim Harbaugh the Head Coach position.
Officially – it’s $49M over 6 years, or about $8M and change per season. Saban, the highest paid college coach, is sitting at $7.2M a season, just to give you an idea that this is a “SERIOUS” offer to Jim and telling him,
“HEY!!! WE WANT YOU BACK AND WE ARE WILLING TO PAY FOR YOU!!!”
If that isn’t loud and clear to the Harbaugh camp at this point, I don’t know what is.
So, what happens next?
The ball is definitely in Jim’s hands. He knows and is secure in the fact that he’s got a cool $50M + (Television, radio, advertising, etc) sitting in Ann Arbor. The bar has been set for any NFL teams that are out there thinking Jimmy would be a good fit and they should go get him. For comparison, NFL salaries start at $8M on the high end and work their way down to the $3M range and average around $4M. Here’s a list….(and note that Jimmy would be getting about a $3M raise from his salary in San Fran)
Michigan’s offer would therefore, theoretically, make Jim the highest paid coach ANYWHERE in the USA.
If Jim turn’s down that offer, it means that he’s all done with college ball and he’s definitely staying in the NFL. If he doesn’t respond immediately (and personally, I would have put a 48 hour time limit on this thing, which is not unusual of high level offers in any business - which I'll bet Hackett did) so I believe we should be hearing from the Harbaugh camp before noon on Friday, if not sooner.
How do we feel about this?
For certain, Hackett “gets” the business of College and NFL football way better than his predecessor could even begin to understand. I’m really starting to like this guy. No BS – Let’s get right to the point. Hackett understands that Michigan Football is the driver of the entire machine and THAT NEEDS TO BE TENDED TO FIRST!!! Building soccer stadiums and new women’s field hockey complexes is all well and good as LONG AS THE MACHINE THAT LETS YOU DO THAT IS INTACT. And this offer is indicative that the Michigan machine is broken and needs fixing RIGHT FRIGGIN’ NOW!
So, in short, I feel great. This is the best process and offer that Michigan has made in its last two searches. I won’t feel so good if Harbaugh flips and says he wants to stay in the NFL. That will certainly depress this fan and whatever happens after that (Plan “B”) will certainly be a letdown for everyone. But I don’t want to go there until Jimmy responds. There will be plenty to say and write about in the event that transpires.
On A Side Note – Lochmann Out
You can try to defend the fact that BranDictator resigned, but Hackett is continuing to push BranDictator people out the door…er, they keep resigning after doing and saying stupid things.
Brian covered this pretty well when Hunter Lochmann made what had to be the stupidest tweet ever by a “Director of Marketing” stating that Michigan’s relationship with its former athlete’s is “fleeting” and only for “4 years”. I can only guess that BranDictator had drilled into Lochmann’s head that “big donor” relationships were much more important to the well-being of Michigan…when really ALL RELATIONSHIPS should be important to Michigan. I remember thinking when I saw the re-tweet, “What an incredibly dumb thing to say.” I can’t think of ANY athlete that spent 4 years ANYWHERE that would consider his relationship to his university fleeting. Or any fan or student for that matter, either. Regardless of what they “donate” to the university.
Thankfully, between the athletes re-tweeting and expressing their anger at the statement and fans in general calling for the head of Lochmann, he did a BranDictator and resigned. I’m sure Hackett nudged him out, however.
And Michigan has stated that they may not “replace” this position as they weren’t really sure what Lochmann was doing, anyway. I mean, besides Kraft Macaroni displays, coca-cola ticket give aways, and hiring sky-writers to fly over East Lansing.
Good riddance and have a nice life.