Jim Harbaugh has spoken to at least one NFL team each of the last two offseasons but opted to remain at the University of Michigan.

After finally winning a national championship with the maize and blue and plenty of NFL openings, Harbaugh could return to the pros this time around. 

It’s all speculation at this point, but one of Harbaugh’s former NFL players says teams should be lining up for the Wolverines’ head coach.


Colin Kaepernick, who played for Harbaugh with the San Francisco 49ers, says Harbaugh should absolutely return to the pros.

“Harbaugh is the one coach you call when you want to compete for a championship. Period,” he told USA Today.

Harbaugh took Kaepernick to a Super Bowl in 2013 with the Niners, where Harbaugh lost to his brother, John, and the Baltimore Ravens.

It was reported in November that both the Carolina Panthers and Chicago Bears had their eyes on Harbaugh for their potential openings. The Bears ultimately stuck with Matt Eberflus, but the Panthers are still looking for their next coach. 

Harbaugh met with Panthers owner David Tepper last offseason. He also met with the Minnesota Vikings but said that would be a “one-time thing.”

The 60-year-old said last year that would be the last time he sought an NFL head coaching gig. But almost immediately upon winning the national championship earlier this week, he was asked what’s next.

“I just want to enjoy this. I hope you give me that. Can a guy have that?” Harbaugh said after the game. “Does it always have to be, ‘What’s next, what’s the future?’”


Harbaugh left the NFL for Michigan in 2015. The Niners were Harbaugh’s first, and still only, NFL head coaching gig.

In three full seasons with Harbaugh as his head coach (48 games, 39 starts), Kaepernick went 25-14 as a starter, throwing for 8,415 yards, 50 touchdowns and 21 interceptions on 60.1% passing. He also rushed for 1,578 yards on 259 carries, 10 of which were scores.

Kaepernick has not played in the NFL since 2016, shortly after he began kneeling during the national anthem as a protest against racial injustice and police brutality.

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