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Jim Harbaugh says this is the last time he chases a Super Bowl

There was a lot of drama and intrigue surrounding the future of Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh earlier this week. With as many as nine NFL head coach openings this offseason, Harbaugh only officially interviewed with one team, the Minnesota Vikings. Yet, he went into the meeting feeling confident he would land the gig that he desired.

In a shocking turn of events, the Vikings turned him down, preferring another candidate instead of Harbaugh. Many assumed the pull of potentially having the chance at winning his first Super Bowl would continue to drive Harbaugh, with him not giving up until he achieves the greatest accomplishment in pro football.

If you asked Harbaugh however, he says he’s done with all that. He’d prefer to settle for trying to win a college football national championship instead. Or, at least that’s what he’s trying to spin to the media, but no one believes him.

Harbaugh, speaking for the first time publically since heading back to Michigan with his tail between his legs, had this to say to Mitch Albom of the Detroit Free Press:

“I called Warde (Manuel, the Michigan athletic director) and I asked him if he wanted me to be the head coach. And he said, ‘Yes, 100 percent.’ And I said, OK then. That’s what I want to do.’

“And I told him, ‘Warde, this will not be a reoccurring theme every year. This was a one time thing.”

Jim Harbaugh speaking to Detroit Free Press

He also spoke about his desire to win the national championship, setting his Super Bowl desires aside. For now.

“Sure, the Super Bowl is the greatest prize in our sport,” he said. “But winning a national championship. That’s pretty darn great. Let’s do that.

“There was a pull to the NFL because I got that close to the Super Bowl,” he admitted, “but this was the time (to try and return.) And this is the last time. Now let’s go chase college football’s greatest prize.”

As far as his part of the negotiations that broke down, Harbaugh was professional through and through, it simply wasn’t the right fit, as the Vikings alluded to. No love lost.

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Jim Harbaugh done with the NFL? There’s no way

If Jim Harbaugh was so eager to be ready to leave college football that he was willing to take a visit on National Signing Day, he’s actively looking to take the next step into the pros. No, not this year anymore, but what’s to prevent the accomplished coach from turning down offers once again next season? Especially if he can have another strong season at Michigan.

As recent as a week ago, Harbaugh badly wanted to win a Super Bowl. That doesn’t suddenly disappear. It likely will only grow stronger, especially if his brother, John, continues having success with the Baltimore Ravens. Harbaugh will be back in the 2023 hiring cycle, just you watch.

But he won’t step away from his cush gig at Michigan without another strong opportunity. No offense, but he’s not going to take a job like the Houston Texans offer, needing to completely rebuild the program from the ground up. With the Vikings, he saw an opportunity to quickly contend, while raking in what was likely to be an eight-figure amount. It may not be the Vikings, but Harbaugh will be an NFL coach once again before long.