Jim Harbaugh is back in the NFL after being named the new coach of the Los Angeles Chargers.
Harbaugh joins LA from the Michigan Wolverines, with whom he enjoyed an 86-25 record that culminated in their first national title since 1997.
Former San Francisco 49ers head coach Harbaugh replaces Brandon Staley at the Chargers following his dismissal on December 15. It represents a return to the Chargers after he spent two years (1999-2000) as their quarterback.
Chargers owner Dean Spanos was delighted with the appointment, and even borrowed Harbaugh’s “who has it better than us” catchphrase.
He said: ”Jim Harbaugh is football personified, and I can think of no-one better to lead the Chargers forward.
“The son of a coach, brother of a coach and father of a coach who himself was coached by names like Schembechler and Ditka, for the past two decades Jim has led hundreds of men to success everywhere he’s been – as their coach. And today, Jim Harbaugh returns to the Chargers, this time as our coach. Who has it better than us?”
Harbaugh takes over a Chargers team that finished 5-12 this season and he accepts it will be a tough job to improve their fortunes.
“The only job you start at the top is digging a hole, so we know we’ve got to earn our way,” Harbaugh said in a statement.
“This organization is putting in the work – investing capital, building infrastructure and doing everything within its power to win. Great effort equals great results, and we’re just getting started.”
ladies and gentlemen, we got him.
— Los Angeles Chargers (@chargers) January 25, 2024
Michigan are likely to name offensive co-ordinator Sherrone Moore as Harbaugh’s replacement.
The college’s athletic director Warde Manuel said: “Jim did exactly what he sought to do at Michigan, build our program to consistently win Big Ten Championships and compete for national championships.
“We can’t thank Jim enough for all that he has done for our student-athletes, staff and Michigan Football. He will always be a huge part of our rich history, and will be remembered as an all-time great Wolverine, as both a championship player and coach.”