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Op-Ed: NFL - San Francisco Gets Its Man

By Kristofor Molson     Jan 8, 2011 in Sports
San Francisco - After deterring questions about his future after his team's win in the Discovery Orange Bowl, and talk about Jim Harbaugh going to Michigan, the verdict is in.
Harbaugh has accepted an offer from the San Francisco 49ers for a reported five-year $25 million contract. With his quarterback Andrew Luck coming back next year to Stanford for his senior season, he will have to do it without his head coach. Harbaugh has had many teams looking for him to take over head-coaching jobs, from Denver to Oakland, from Miami (which still had a coach) to Carolina (which was looking to get a package deal). Then Stanford tried to pony up more money to keep him there, but there is nothing like NFL money.
His brother John Harbaugh leaked that Jim was looking for a NFL coaching job with the price range of $5- to $6-million. The good thing about this deal is he will not have to spend any of that money to get a new house. This deal keeps him in the Bay Area and a phone call or a drive from Stanford to talk to his former players. He was with Stanford for 4 years and this year I guess he just felt it was time for him to go. I was looking for him to come back with Luck and shoot for a National Title. Jim Harbaugh called this though a “perfect competitive opportunity” and he is looking to reach a goal of bringing the San Francisco 49ers back to prominence with a Lombardi Trophy.
Jim went 58-27 overall in the college ranks and banged out a 29-21 record in a tough Pac-10 conference in four seasons, but this will be a different situation with him having to pay guys now and not recruit them. He will have 10 draft picks to use wisely to fix up his team and will have to choose which QB he wants to use for the season between Alex Smith, Troy Smith and David Carr. We will see where this goes and if he can have the same success as Pete Carroll had leading his team to the playoffs in his first season. The rivalry is renewed with him and Pete from the Pac-10 days when 2007 when he beat the Trojans on by one and then USC returned the favor next year 45-23. Then we all remember the 2009 game 55-21 with Jim Harbaugh going for a 2-point conversion late in the game and coach Carroll asking him, “What’s your deal?” then laughing about how fast his players ran into the locker-room not even shaking hands with Stanford.
We will see how this rivalry will unfold in the pros, but like in the Pac-10 Pete Carroll starts out with the upper hand and a better team in some cases. We will have to see if Jim can bring the 49ers along like he did the Cardinal or will he have to make an exit like most coaches that jump from the college ranks into the pros. If he has to leave before he wants too I feel he will look at this as a failure and probably bounce back down to the college ranks, but I hope that is not the case and he is very very successful for that division’s sake.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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