Michigan set to hire ex-San Francisco coach Jim Harbaugh
San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh reacts to fans before a game against the San Diego Chargers at Levi's Stadium. (Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports)
Jim Harbaugh is heading to his alma mater at Michigan with an announcement expected Monday and a news conference scheduled for Tuesday, according to multiple reports.
Harbaugh is expected to accept a six-year, $48 million offer to become the next head coach at the University of Michigan, and he is a free agent after reaching an agreement to part ways with the San Francisco 49ers after Sunday's season finale.
Michigan has told its biggest boosters that a deal for Harbaugh to become its next head coach is done, a source close to Michigan told ESPN's Adam Schefter.
Interim athletic director Jim Hackett and other officials from the school met with Harbaugh in California on Sunday night after he officially parted ways with the 49ers as their head coach.
According to a report by Bruce Feldman of Fox Sports, Harbaugh's family is scheduled to fly to Ann Arbor on Monday. The report also said Harbaugh and members of his family are expected to be at at sold-out Crisler Arena for Tuesday's Big Ten basketball opener against Illinois.
Harbaugh came close to taking the Michigan job in 2011, but decided to jump to the NFL and the Wolverines hired Brady Hoke. After four seasons, the Wolverines fired Hoke following a 5-7 year and not making a bowl game for the first time since 2009.
Harbaugh played quarterback at Michigan from 1983 to 1986 before a long NFL career. The Palo Alto, Calif., native, who spent part of his childhood in Ann Arbor, Mich., has remained on the West Coast since becoming a full-time coach.
Before leading the 49ers to three NFC title games in his first three seasons and an NFC championship following the 2012 season, Harbaugh was a successful coach at San Diego State and Stanford.
Harbaugh had lost four straight games for the first time in San Francisco before the 49ers concluded an underwhelming 8-8 season with a 20-17 win over the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday. He had one year left on the five-year, $25 million contract he signed with San Francisco in Jan. 2011 after leaving Stanford.
"Jim and I have come to the conclusion that it is in our mutual best interest to move in different directions," said 49ers CEO Jed York, who shared a brief on-field meeting with Harbaugh that ended with a quick embrace before Sunday's game. "We thank Jim for bringing a tremendous competitive nature and a great passion for the game to the 49ers. He and his staff restored a winning culture that has been the standard for our franchise throughout its history. Their commitment and hard work resulted in a period of success that should be looked back on proudly by our organization and our fans. We wish Jim and his family all the best."
The 49ers called a 4 p.m. ET press conference Monday to discuss plans for filling the coaching vacancy.
"We accomplished many great things together as a team during this period, which is a tribute to the incredible efforts of some of the most dedicated players and coaches in the NFL," Harbaugh said. "I will miss competing alongside this group of players and coaches, I have the utmost respect and admiration for their hard work and support. It has been my honor to share the sideline with these mighty men."
Harbaugh said after Sunday's game that he will miss his team, but looks at his time in San Francisco fondly.
"I had the time of my life," he said, "like the song."