Happy Harbaugh-lidays: Latest Jim Harbaugh to Michigan Rumors

It has been over 3 weeks since Michigan has had a head coach and it looks like things are going to be figured out very soon. Athletic Director Jim Hackett\’s #1 target from the very start was former star Wolverine quarterback and current 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh and it looks like he may have got his man. Check out how things have escalated over since the end of November.

December 29th

On the day before the greatness begins, the NFL reporters will never say die:

Though Jim Harbaugh is expected to land at Michigan, NFL teams such as Bears, Jets, Raiders continue making overtures to change his mind.

— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 29, 2014

I am hearing the same as @Alex_Flanagan on Jim Harbaugh: NFL teams are calling him as we speak.

— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 29, 2014

 It\’s over, NFL guys. Give it up:

Source says Michigan Officials didn\’t flinch when Harbaugh met with Raiders. They knew Harbaugh was going to Michigan. #JimHarbaugh — Joe Pequeno (@JoePequenoCBS5) December 29, 2014

Harbaugh took the Michigan job on December 22nd. It is over. It has been over. NFL reporters continue to make fools of themselves.

— mgoblog (@mgoblog) December 29, 2014

SI has confirmed that Jim Harbaugh will be Michigan\’s next head coach, as already reported by multiple sources. pic.twitter.com/f8EW60xTU4

— SI College Football (@si_ncaafb) December 29, 2014

He did indeed meet with the Raiders, but that was quick and painless (for JH):

Source says Michigan Officials didn\’t flinch when Harbaugh met with Raiders. They knew Harbaugh was going to Michigan. #JimHarbaugh

— Joe Pequeno (@JoePequenoCBS5) December 29, 2014

  With the news that it\’s over, former players are here to let it be known that they\’re excited:

Rumormongers, start your engines! Let the backpedaling begin! #HarbaughToMichigan — Steve Hutchinson (@poisonpill76) December 29, 2014

Tom Brady has one word for if Jim Harbaugh goes to Michigan: \”Incredible\” – @PhilAPerry http://t.co/yOH65BY4Y6 pic.twitter.com/ptLe6oO5pU

— CSNNE.com (@CSNNE) December 29, 2014

Hope Coach Harbaugh comes in and do well for them Michigan Boys. GoodLuck #Team136 #EatUp #NoNewFanshttp://t.co/H1gIpUYdQ1 — Roy Roundtree (@WRTreezy) December 29, 2014

Enjoy Harbaugh-Eve everyone. The press conference is set for Tuesday afternoon: 

Source says Jim Harbaugh and family flying on Michigan Jet this morning 10:00am Michigan time. Official Press Conference likely Tuesday.

— Joe Pequeno (@JoePequenoCBS5) December 29, 2014

Source says Harbaugh official announcement most likely to come before Basketball Game. Harbaugh to likely speak at halftime, #JimHarbaugh

— Joe Pequeno (@JoePequenoCBS5) December 29, 2014

December 28th

It\’s done. It\’s over. It\’s happening. It\’s completed. And, like always, the Michigan guys were there to report it first:

I just got off the phone with more sources tonight. It\’s done. Jim Harbaugh is coming to Michigan – and his friends are flying in Monday.

It ain\’t over \’til it\’s over. But it\’s over. #JimHarbaugh — Chris Balas (@Balas_Wolverine) December 28, 2014

— John U. Bacon (@Johnubacon) December 28, 2014

Per a league source – \”Just got word that the Michigan plane is here to take him and his wife to Ann Arbor on Monday.\” Here = San Francisco. — Sam Webb (@SamWebb77) December 28, 2014

The Wolverine\’s Chris Balas has been one of the top 3 insiders in this story and he put together a great piece on how Harbaugh is ready to make history ($) and how he\’s already packing his bags ($):

\”This morning, our best sources on both sides confirmed it would take a force of nature to prevent Jim Harbaugh from being the next head coach at Michigan, and they now expect he\’ll be introduced Tuesday. He\’ll likely address the crowd at Crisler Center during Michigan\’s game with Illinois, and we expect a capacity crowd, even for a 3:00 afternoon game.\”

Go Blue Wolverine\’s Sam Webb was obviously on top of things as well with the confirmation($):

\”Multiple sources have confirmed that Jim Harbaugh has given verbal indication of his plan to be the Wolverines\’ next head football coach.\”

Add GBW\’s Tom Beaver to the list of people hearing it\’s a done deal. He\’s been that the players were told to expect to \”hear something\” on Monday morning ($). Most national guys weren\’t too far behind with the news:

Jim Harbaugh\’s family is flying to Ann Arbor Monday, source tells @FoxSports. Harbaugh will be #Wolverines new head coach. — Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) December 28, 2014

John Clayton on ESPN Radio just now: 100 percent chance of Harbaugh to Michigan, says he\’s been calling other NFL coaches to join him there. — Ben Estes (@benestes91) December 28, 2014

Source says Jim Harbaugh to Coach Michigan is a done deal. JM\’s ex-teammates are flying to Ann Arbor to celebrate with him. #JimHarbaugh — Joe Pequeno (@JoePequenoCBS5) December 28, 2014

When will #Michigan know Jim Harbaugh is their coach? When he gets on the university plane… which is now in California ready for him. — Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 28, 2014

But like always, there were NFL guys out there not believing it until they see it:

Harbaugh/Niners will split as early as tomorrow & he\’s keeping Michigan close to vest. Offer is on the table. But until he signs his name… — Jay Glazer (@JayGlazer) December 28, 2014

Just to be clear, Harbaugh has not signed, handshaked, bro\’ hugged, or any other type of agreement to coach Michigan, I\’m told. Yet. — mike freeman (@mikefreemanNFL) December 28, 2014

.@JasonLaCanfora: there are reports of Harbaugh going to Michigan. But I can tell you NFL teams are unconvinced and undeterred. — CBS Sports PR (@CBSSportsGang) December 28, 2014

Maybe Jim Harbaugh will go to Michigan. But Raiders will inquire as soon as the season ends: http://t.co/RWv1hpU9Kr — Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) December 28, 2014

Kawakami has become a Michigan fan favorite to rag on during this entire process since he let it be known that Harbaugh wanted to stay in the NFL. And guess what? He still won\’t fully admit defeat:

\”Based on yesterday’s reports, I still believe that Harbaugh is very close to a deal with Michigan and is likeliest to end up there, but with Harbaugh, you do never know until there’s ink on the contract. He has worked with two agents in the past (simultaneously), he does a lot of stuff on his own, and you never know sometimes if there are multiple negotiations going on at once.\”

Enough with the negativity. It\’s happening and Gregg Henson was there the whole time letting people know. And he let it be known why JH is returning home

Besides the rumors of him being announced on Tuesday and at the basketball game later that night, there are also rumors of him already talking to other NFL coaches joining his coaching staff in Ann Arbor:

MORE: Jim Harbaugh has reached out to multiple assistant coaches to gauge interest in joining him at Michigan. (via @ClaytonESPN) — SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) December 28, 2014

Sam Webb has also been hearing about him reaching out to other coaches and had some names to go along with it ($), including Tyrone Wheatley, Greg Roman, Ronald Curry, Andy Moeller, DJ Durkin and several others.  

And now, Jim Harbaugh is officially a free agent:

The #49ers and Jim Harbaugh have mutually agreed to part ways. READ: http://t.co/k4pHo2liqQ — San Francisco 49ers (@49ers) December 29, 2014

 With that news, he was asked several times about his future in which he gave some great answers:

Jim Harbaugh asked about missing NFL in postgame news conference. His response: \”Is the NFL going somewhere?\” — SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) December 29, 2014

Harbaugh says \”There will be announcements made concerning those things\” when asked about Michigan. #JimHarbaugh — Chris Balas (@Balas_Wolverine) December 29, 2014

Jim Harbaugh, 49ers part ways; asked if he\’ll be Michigan\’s coach: \”There will be announcements made\”@Mlive http://t.co/6fl0FDlWhh — Nick Baumgardner (@nickbaumgardner) December 29, 2014

Even though he\’s not saying it directly, The Wolverine\’s Chris Balas let it be known this thing is done:

Harbaugh is a done deal to Michigan, btw, as reported yesterday. Signing is a formality. — Chris Balas (@Balas_Wolverine) December 29, 2014

But don\’t worry, the NFL guys aren\’t completely on board…yet:

Nothing is signed, but the almost certain destination for Jim Harbaugh is Michigan, per source close to him. For more than $8M per year. — Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 29, 2014

The #Raiders had just wanted a chance to talk with Jim Harbaugh. He is now free to do so. But will they? The U-M plane is waiting. — Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 29, 2014

It will be fun tomorrow to see them announce the news.  Enjoy this. It\’s historical and awesome:

Jim Harbaugh is scheduled to take a 10 AM PT flight on a private jet to #Michigan Monday morning, source tells @FoxSports. — Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) December 29, 2014 

Michigan officials believe they will be taking Jim Harbaugh and his wife to Ann Arbor on Monday. — Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 29, 2014

It\’s happening. @MGoBlog has all your gifs. RT @49ers: The #49ers and Jim Harbaugh have mutually agreed to part ways. pic.twitter.com/pqCAe0mmkS — Stephen J. Nesbitt (@stephenjnesbitt) December 29, 2014

December 25th-27th

Happy Harbaugh-lidays to everyone. I\’m on vacation back in Detroit (yes, people actually do that) so I won\’t be doing daily updates, instead, follow me on Twitter (@MGoFish) for quick updates.

December 24th

Christmas eve has brought more of the same and some other fun rumors that are all on the positive side. The Wolverine\’s Chris Balas is hearing very positive news from his sources ($):

\”The people we trust most are at an all-time high in terms of confidence level. That puts us over 50 percent. As one said, \”it would be surreal at this point if it didn\’t happen now.\”

He also added that \”one of the biggest hurdles has been cleared\” and dismissed the rumor of JH only returning for one to two years. Saying he\’d be \”fully invested in owning the Big Ten\”.

247Sports\’ Steve Wiltfong is hearing that the Michigan brass \”feels good about having their guy\” and let the players in know during the conference call yesterday ($). But a name was not given.

Go Blue Wolverine\’s Sam Webb was able to confirm the meeting between Hackett and the players, and that a name has yet to be given to anyone ($). He also added:

\”If we were to describe the current state of affairs in recruiting terms we’d classify Harbaugh as a silent commit.\”

Webb also let it be known that his confidence meter is at an all time high:

My updated Harbaugh-to-Michigan odds – 75%. And as I\’ve been saying… the odds increase with every day that passes with no change of heart. — Sam Webb (@SamWebb77) December 24, 2014

Webb isn\’t the only Michigan reporter that is feeling very good about the Wolverine\’s chances:

Got a text from a former player last night: “Gonna be a good new year in A2.” — Joshua S. Henschke (@JoshuaHenschke) December 24, 2014

There are also tons of rumors about former players hearing that this is indeed happening. Another rumor floating around out there about Michigan introducing JH at halftime of the basketball game vs Illinois on December 30th, but that has yet to be said by the more reliable insiders.

As for news about Harbaugh\’s family \”pushing\” Jim to take the job, his brother John let it be known that is not the case:

#Ravens John Harbaugh says report that Jim Harbaugh\’s family urging him to take Michigan job \”absolutely false. Didn\’t come from Harbaughs\’ — Mary Kay Cabot (@MaryKayCabot) December 24, 2014

John Harbaugh said he and dad have made a point to stay out of Jim\’s coaching affairs with stuff like this. Doesn\’t know if he goes to UM — Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) December 24, 2014

While his family may not be pushing him to take the job, they are likely waiting to hear his final decision. As is former Florida defensive coordinator DJ Durkin, who has been rumored for weeks to be Harbaugh\’s DC if he returned to Ann Arbor:

Source: Aggies want Florida’s Durkin, but Durkin’s waiting on Harbaugh … http://t.co/MI58rxdPyx — Ryan Autullo (@AutulloAAS) December 23, 2014

Durkin is one of the hottest names on the defensive coordinator list and would be an exceptional hire as both the defensive play caller and recruiter.

December 23rd

(Warning: Don\’t get too excited and break anything) The first big news came when 49ers GM Trent Baalke discussed Michigan reaching out to speak with Harbaugh and the manner of which they did it:

“I think the University of Michigan, in reaching out, did handle it correctly,” Baalke said.\”

Baalke was unable to confirm what the offer was to JH but reading between the lines shows me that he is ready to move on.

The Wolverine\’s Chris Balas doesn\’t believe anything significant will happen today (Harbaugh\’s 51st birthday). However, he does believe it is going to go down in less than a week:

\”If all goes as planned, we expect Harbaugh to officially accept Michigan\’s offer next Monday after he parts ways with the 49ers, but not before.\”

Balas also touched on the possibility of Harbaugh reneging by saying Michigan would have a coach, either way, by December 31st. He mentioned rumors of a January 2nd press conference to introduce the new head coach.

Want some more great news/rumors?

Go Blue Wolverine\’s Tom Beaver is hearing that things are \”completer than they\’ve ever been complete\” and unless the NFL throws out an unbelievable deal, this thing is going to happen. He also touched on Hackett flying out west yesterday but is also letting it be known that nothing is signed, yet.

MGoBlog\’s Brian Cook is hearing a whole lot, including when things may be done and news of things swinging towards Ann Arbor:

\”Reports filtering down from the big baller donors certainly think it is done—we had one on the site yesterday that we had to scrub because the poster made an unwise decision to spill, and the inbox has a couple more.\”

He also warned the fan base about some chatter about him staying in the NFL:

\”Did get a report that at least some people in the 49ers organization think the pendulum is swinging back to the NFL; hard to square that with everything else I\’ve heard.\”

These Michigan reporters/insiders aren\’t the only people who are hearing this thing is happening:

With all of this smoke and insider chatter, I am confident enough to raise my Harbaugh to Michigan confidence to 51% #Happening — Maize & Blue Nation (@MaizeBlueNation) December 23, 2014 

Okay, here it is: Short of last-minute change of heart – still possible, w/NFL offers coming- I\’m calling JH to UM 85%. Too much inside info — John U. Bacon (@Johnubacon) December 23, 2014 

@SamWebb77 is now 70-30 Jimmy to Mich and it \”could rise rapidly here\”!! — The Michigan Insider (@michiganinsider) December 23, 2014

Source close to Michigan Program told me unless he changes his mind, Jim Harbaugh will leave the 49ers to become the new Michigan Coach. — Joe Pequeno (@JoePequenoCBS5) December 23, 2014

Joe also warned the fan base a bit:

Source close to Michigan Program told me, Michigan thought they had Harbaugh 4 years ago until the last couple of hours. #JimHarbaugh — Joe Pequeno (@JoePequenoCBS5) December 23, 2014

Even Jim\’s brother John chimed in on his brother\’s future in a video interview with CSN Baltimore. And then the University of Michigan football program even jumped on the train to get the fan base excited:

Happy Birthday, Jim. #GoBlue pic.twitter.com/kameWJ7F5S — Michigan Football (@umichfootball) December 23, 2014

 This brought out the haters and jokesters:

The best way to sum up Michigan\’s pursuit of Harbaugh … pic.twitter.com/MOhrLz3Fij — Keith Niebuhr (@Keith247Sports) December 23, 2014 

Michigan is so desperate right now: http://t.co/Vkk6UFnU9W — Deadspin (@Deadspin) December 23, 2014

Get a room RT @thebiglead: Michigan Football Coyly Wished Jim Harbaugh a Public Happy Birthday http://t.co/FOxNTq6KKVpic.twitter.com/l0YTwwEsfW — Jason McIntyre (@jasonrmcintyre) December 23, 2014

Go Blue Wolverine\’s Sam Webb also is hearing about the amount of money Harbaugh will have to build his coaching staff ($). He also touched on the NFL conspiracy theory and is hearing from a source that \”The NFL needs Jim Harbaugh\” ($) and there is even a rumor of Goodell getting involved to keep him in the league.

So, it still looks like this thing is going to happen and is going to happen on December 29th or 30th. So enjoy your Harbaugh-lidays and stay tuned!

December 22nd

To kick things off, The Wolverine\’s Chris Balas is hearing that all signs are pointing towards Harbaugh returning to Michigan ($). He talked about how most of the national media is starting to change their tune while some remain skeptical, including Jason La Canfora mentioning how JH burned the Wolverines in 2011 when he \”briefly accepted the job\” before changing his mind (which is actually true).

Speaking of national media members changing their tune, NFL insider and Michigan graduate Adam Schefter was on Sportscenter discussing Harbaugh:

Adam Schefter on SportsCenter: Limited quality NFL opportunities could mean Jim Harbaugh\’s best opportunity in 2015 is coaching at Michigan. — Nick Baumgardner (@nickbaumgardner) December 22, 2014 

Adam Schefter on @espn: Pendulum seems to have swung … Michigan is more in play today than it was a week or two weeks ago — Mark Snyder (@Mark__Snyder) December 22, 2014

CBS Sports\’ Tom Fornelli chimed in on Schefter\’s report but lets it be known that even he is starting to believe it could happen:

\”It has long been assumed by many — including myself — that even if Harbaugh left San Francisco at the end of the season, as he\’s expected to, he\’d prefer to stay in the NFL rather than returning to his alma mater. Though in the last week or so, the winds seem to have changed direction, at least according to reports.\”

As for guys who aren\’t believe, ProFootballTalk\’s Mike Florio was on ESPN\’s The Herd radio show to let it be know he doesn\’t believe Harbaugh\’s going anywhere besides Oakland because \”it makes too much sense\”. He also said:

\”if he really wanted Michigan, we wouldn\’t hear about the reports and the notion of $8 million per year and all of this stuff, he would just keep his mouth shut until the season ends and go to Michigan\”

Florio goes on to say that the Michigan offer is being used as leverage to get more money from an NFL team.

While Florio is sticking to his guns and \”protecting the shield\”, like most NFL media members tend to do, the Michigan insiders are becoming more and more optimistic about the Wolverine\’s chances: 

Couple of sources I trust the most, who are typically right on about Michigan-related stuff, are saying for sure that Jimmy is coming home. — Steve Deace (@SteveDeaceShow) December 22, 2014

Lot of smoke out there. This could be interesting. #BuckleUp — Maize & Blue Nation (@MaizeBlueNation) December 22, 2014

I made my #CrystalBall prediction for Jim #Harbaugh (FREE): http://t.co/cAbYqvzfxi — Steve Lorenz (@TremendousUM) December 22, 2014

247Sports\’ Steve Lorenz also had some big news in his Monday update, which included one of his best sources saying they\’re \”all in\”, another source is telling him about positive news from his agent, and rumors on former Michigan players and teammates of JH attending the basketball game on December 30th ($).

As for another source close to Harbaugh\’s agent, @ThoseWhoStay7 was back with some possible huge news regarding the Harbaugh family\’s future and a meeting between JH and his agent:

(1/2) JH\’s wife has said she is willing to re-establish outside of Bay Area but with their young kids she would not want to move \”for a — Those Who Stay (@ThoseWhoStay7) December 22, 2014

(2/2) while\” after that. To reiterate what has been said, this would be long term. Family won\’t hold him back, just bind him to stay at UM. — Those Who Stay (@ThoseWhoStay7) December 22, 2014

(1/2) JH has scheduled a meeting with his agent for 1 PM PT today. This is interesting, considering JH was supposed to take until Xmas to — Those Who Stay (@ThoseWhoStay7) December 22, 2014

(2/2) really think and talk with his family. The family stuff is ironed out, we have all been waiting on NFL/NCAA decision. Stay tuned — Those Who Stay (@ThoseWhoStay7) December 22, 2014

It is not known if these rumors have much weight but if true, it\’s pretty big news. The only person who truly knows what Jim Harbaugh is going to do is JH himself. And he had his Monday presser today and was obviously asked about his future.

His answer is exactly what anyone should have expected:

Jim Harbaugh spelled out his future today: \”What will happen, will happen. What won\’t happen, won\’t happen.\” — Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 22, 2014

If you\’re looking very positive things, @ThoseWhoStay7 is back after speaking to his sources (David Dunn or someone he knows) and had some huge news about Harbaugh\’s meeting today with his agent:

pic.twitter.com/xU99bg3GWe — Those Who Stay (@ThoseWhoStay7) December 23, 2014

Things are looking very good for Michigan. There are rumors of things happening sooner than the December 29th-30th date that has been reported the most but I\’d still recommend staying patient.

Unless something drastic happens, it looks like Jim Harbaugh will be the 20th head coach in the history of Michigan Wolverines football.

Garrett Fishaw