Harbaugh Leaves U-M

Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh, who led his team this year to its first national championship since 1997, has reportedly accepted the head coaching position with the NFL’s Los Angeles Chargers.

Harbaugh, who has been the Wolverines’ head coach since 2015, was rumored for several years to be contemplating a return to the NFL, where he coached the San Francisco 49ers from 2011 to 2014. He coached the 49ers to three consecutive NFC championship games and one Super Bowl appearance, where he narrowly lost to the Baltimore Ravens 34–31. The Ravens’ coach was his brother, John Harbaugh.

Before coaching for the 49ers, Jim Harbaugh gained national attention for his tenure as head coach of the Stanford Cardinals. During his four-year stretch at Stanford, the Cardinals went from a 1–11 record in 2006, the year before Harbaugh’s hiring, to a 12–1 record in 2010, including an Orange Bowl victory over Virginia Tech.

Harbaugh is also known for his outspoken pro-life activism. On January 19, Harbaugh addressed the March for Life in Washington, DC. Harbaugh thanked the crowd for attending amid unusually snowy weather, remarking, “It’s a great example that you’re setting. It’s testimony for the sanctity of life.”

Harbaugh has previously counseled his relatives and members of his football program not to get an abortion in the event of an unplanned pregnancy. “Let that unborn child be born,” he said, “and if at that time, you don’t feel like you can care for it, you don’t have the means or the wherewithal, then Sarah and I will take that baby.”

Harbaugh’s decision to return to the NFL also dispels any speculation that he may leave football behind for politics.

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