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Mack Brown on Jim Harbaugh: “You have to give him an A-plus”

Jim Harbaugh hired former 49ers executive Tom Gamble, according to a report
Courtesy of USA Today Images

Jim Harbaugh has yet to lead the Michigan Wolverines football team in a regular-season game, but ESPN analyst Mack Brown gives the first-year coach high marks for his offseason work.

During a conference call on Wednesday, per Angelique S. Chengelis of The Detroit News, the former Texas coach gives Harbaugh an A-plus for generating excitement around the program that finished 5-7 last season.

“I follow him on Twitter, I watched everything he’s done with satellite camps and his confidence, and I think you have to give him an A-plus from the time he’s taken the job until now. I haven’t seen quite the response that he’s gotten in many cases (in terms of coaching hires), maybe a few, but it’s been a great hire for Michigan.”

Harbaugh’s actions over the last few months certainly have commanded a regular presence in the headlines.

However, according to Bleacher Report’s Ben Axelrod, Harbaugh said he isn’t intentionally bringing attention to the program. At Big Ten Media Days, Harbaugh said:

“Not striving to be creating any buzz. Just striving to coach the football team. Not trying to be popular or anything. Anyone who is popular is bound to be disliked. So just coaching football.”

No matter Harbaugh’s motives—and it’s safe to say he’s solely focused on coaching—Wolverines fans only care about A-plus performance when the team is on the field.

Michigan opens the 2015 season against Utah on Thursday, Sep. 3, and a victory in the nonconference matchup could spark a breakout year by the Wolverines.