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Jim Harbaugh: ‘I expect’ to return to Michigan in 2023

Dec 31, 2022; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Michigan Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh speaks to the media after the 2022 Fiesta Bowl won by the TCU Horned Frogs, 51-45, at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Jim Harbaugh said Thursday he expects to return as Michigan’s head coach in 2023 via a statement released through the Wolverines’ social media channels.

In the statement, Harbaugh said he was “aware of the rumors and speculation” regarding his future, specifically centering on his reported interest in returning to the NFL and the expected interest in him by at least three teams.

“While no one knows what the future holds, I expect that I will be enthusiastically coaching Michigan in 2023,” Harbaugh said, repeating the phrase he used in early December when he first addressed rumors of a jump to the NFL.

“I think the people are going to be happy to know that I’ll be enthusiastically coaching the Wolverines in 2023,” Harbaugh said Dec. 4.

Thursday’s statement went on:

“Our mission as Wolverines continues, and we are preparing for the 2023 season with great passion and enthusiasm.”

Michigan football’s Twitter headline read, “A Michigan man through and through.”

Harbaugh has had a conversation — not an interview — with at least one NFL team about its vacancy, with Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper. He’s also expected to generate interest from the Denver Broncos and Indianapolis Colts.

The Athletic has reported that Harbaugh is all but gone from Michigan if he gets an offer from an NFL franchise.

Harbaugh signed a five-year, $36.7 million contract extension last season following significant discussions with the Minnesota Vikings. He discussed the opening with the Vikings twice, including an in-person sit-down with ownership on National Signing Day, only to ultimately return as Wolverines head coach.

Michigan first hired Harbaugh as head coach in 2015. The Wolverines are 74-24 under Harbaugh with five consecutive bowl game losses since winning the Citrus Bowl in 2015.

The former Michigan quarterback, who played in the NFL from 1987-2001, last coached in the NFL from 2011-2014, guiding the San Francisco 49ers to five playoff wins and a 44-19-1 record.

The 49ers were Super Bowl runner-up to Jim’s brother, John Harbaugh, and the Baltimore Ravens to end the 2012 season.

–Field Level Media