Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh doesn’t care if he’s popular

By David Kenyon
Courtesy of USA Today Images

Since accepting the head coaching job at the University of Michigan, Jim Harbaugh has asserted himself as one of the sports world’s most popular figures because of his constant presence in headlines. (See above.)

However, according to ESPN’s Dan Murphy, the former San Francisco 49ers coach doesn’t care about his acclaimed status. During an appearance at Big Ten media day, Harbaugh said:

“I’m not striving to be creating any buzz, just striving to coach the football team. Anyone who is popular is bound to be disliked, so just coaching football.”

Harbaugh’s presence alone has created a major recruiting draw, and his public appearances have only furthered his impact on the college football landscape. Plus, if Michigan subscribes to the theory “no such thing as bad publicity,” then Harbaugh has dominated everyone.

His most notable headline-creating event stemmed from a lackluster interview with Colin Cowherd, an ESPN radio host who is headed to Fox Sports. Harbaugh seemed so disinterested that Cowherd ultimately hung up on the coach.

It really was painfully awkward.

Additionally, Harbaugh has created a stir while traveling to satellite camps all over the country—he even went shirtless at one—posting his own tweets (and has nearly 300,000 followers), appearing on ESPN’s Draft Academy and getting profiled on HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel.

He’s been a busy man this offseason, that’s for sure.

Michigan opens its first year under Harbaugh on Sep. 3 against Utah, and he’ll be even more popular with Wolverines fans if the team starts the 2015 campaign on a winning note.

That’s something Harbaugh actually cares about: winning games on the field.

Photo: USA Today Sports