After initial reports that San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbuagh preferred staying in the NFL to becoming Michigan's head coach, it appears that the Wolverines are making another run at him ... and for a lot of money.
Sources: #Michigan has made another run at Jim Harbaugh after he initially rebuffed the school. U-M has made an offer of 6 years, $48M. Wow.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 17, 2014
That turns out to $8 million per year and would make Harbaugh the highest-paid coach in college football. Right now, Alabama's Nick Saban is the highest-paid college coach at $7.16 million, while Brady Hoke made just $3.5 million per year. $8 million is a big price to pay for a college head coach, but pretty much every Michigan fan wants Harbaugh to be Hoke's successor, and this may be what it takes to get him. It could also potentially mean the entire coaching staff will be making more than eight figures per year.
Harbaugh had previously indicated he wouldn't give the Michigan gig serious consideration but a source said that's changed very recently.— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) December 17, 2014
However, college coaching jobs are often less glamorous than NFL jobs, and with that considered, this still might not be enough to bring Harbaugh to Ann Arbor.
Other college coaches haven't worked out in the Wolverines' search. It appears that neither LSU coach Les Miles nor Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen are headed to Ann Arbor, and Duke coach David Cutcliffe reportedly turned Michigan down. With the search having dragged out so long, it's clear Michigan is holding out for a top candidate.
Will that candidate be Harbaugh? Time will tell, but Michigan clearly isn't going down without a fight.
On Thursday, Fox Sports' Bruce Feldman tweeted that his sources said the $8 million per year figure was not accurate.
As I said on @FoxSports1 today, I was told by sources the reports on the $8M per offer by #Michigan to Jim Harbaugh are not accurate.— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) December 18, 2014
Harbaugh did not discuss the reports at his Thursday press conference:
Jim Harbaugh on whether he's been offered contract by Michigan: "I only talk about the job that I have."— CollegeFootball 24/7 (@NFL_CFB) December 18, 2014
Despite the conflicting reports and the fact that Ian Rapaport is an NFL reporter, MGoBlog wrote that the high number has been floating around the Michigan side of things, as well.