Big Blue to Powder Blue: Jim Harbaugh to Become Next Head Coach of the Los Angeles Chargers
He actually did it. Jim Harbaugh delivered a championship to his alma mater two weeks ago, and now he’s heading back to the NFL. The ever-changing college-pro coach returns to the league and another one of his former teams for a new challenge. Harbaugh is trading Big Blue for Powder Blue, and it makes a lot of sense. In many ways, Harbaugh is the perfect fit for the Bolts. He played for the franchise in 1999-2000, but Michigan — and the NCAA — are left in the wake with a lot of questions.
Looking Back: Harbaugh’s Michigan Exit
Harbaugh’s coaching career has taken him all over the place — from college to pro and Stanford (2007-2010) to the 49ers (2011-2014). He had success at every stop, but the former Michigan quarterback eventually found his way home to Ann Arbor in 2015. Upon his return to Michigan, the Wolverines became instant winners and amassed three 10-win seasons in four years, but they didn’t reach the promised land until 2021. In the last three seasons of Harbaugh’s tenure, Michigan went 40-3 with three straight trips to the College Football Playoff. Just two weeks ago, his Wolverines completed a perfect season (15-0) en route to the school’s first national title in 26 years. But that final season was marred with controversy. Harbaugh served two three-game suspensions, including one for recruiting violations and another for the sign-stealing scandal. He might have faced penalties or more suspensions had he stayed.
Looking Forward: Harbaugh & Herbert
Harbaugh’s departure leaves a mess for Michigan and the NCAA to clean up, but his next stop could be his best yet. He takes over an under-performing Chargers squad that’s ripe with talent and a should-be all-pro quarterback in Justin Herbert. It’s hard to blame Harbaugh for seeing the upside in the Chargers gig. Herbert has been exceptional in his first few NFL seasons, and the Chargers have the pieces to start winning right away. Their defense is loaded with talent in Joey Bosa, Khalil Mack and Derwin James, and Harbaugh could replicate his Michigan championship formula — a commanding defense with a smart and savvy quarterback.
From Big Blue to Powder Blue… The AFC West just gained a new challenger.
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