Michigan is working on a lucrative contract extension in hopes of keeping Jim Harbaugh as the coach of the Wolverines through the 2028 season, according to multiple reports. The potential five-year, $55 million deal, first reported by Richard Johnson, would make Harbaugh the highest-paid coach in the Big Ten and second-highest paid in college football behind Alabama's Nick Saban.
The contract is not yet finalized, according to Yahoo Sports, nor has Harbaugh agreed to extend his time at Michigan. He remains under an ongoing contract with the Wolverines.
This negotiation comes as Harbaugh is set to lead Michigan into its third straight College Football Playoff with the Wolverines seeking their first national championship since 1997. Harbaugh was suspended six games this season -- three by the university as a precaution against potential future NCAA penalties, three by the Big Ten amid an NCAA investigation into sign stealing -- though Michigan fully supported its coach throughout both controversies.
Harbaugh has reportedly considered a move to the NFL each of the last two offseasons, and rumors have again popped up that some franchises -- notably the Chicago Bears and Carolina Panthers -- are at least kicking the tires on Harbaugh as a coaching candidate. Harbaugh started 63 games as quarterback for the Bears, presently coached by Matt Eberflus, from 1998-93.
Under Harbaugh, the Wolverines have won three straight Big Ten titles and three straight games over rival Ohio State (though acting Sherrone Moore led that OSU victory this season). Harbaugh is 82-25 (60-17 Big Ten) during his run in Ann Arbor, Michigan, with an unblemished 13-0 record thus far in 2023.
Harbaugh was suspended for the first three games of the 2023 season by the school as, during an NCAA investigation into alleged recruiting and coaching infractions, he was accused of providing misleading statements to investigators. He was also suspended for the final three games of the regular season amid an NCAA investigation into an elaborate sign-stealing operation run by a Michigan staffer. Both investigations remain ongoing.
Harbaugh is 142-52 overall as a college coach with stints at San Diego (2004-06) and Stanford (2007-10) prior to Michigan, which he joined in 2015. He was also the coach of the NFL's San Francisco 49ers from 2011-14. With the Niners, he made the playoffs three times and fell to the Baltimore Ravens, led by brother John Harbaugh, in Super Bowl XLVII.