One man’s trash is another man’s treasure but it’s rare for someone to throw away a 10-pound bar of gold. After three years of phenomenal success, the San Francisco 49ers parted ways with Jim Harbaugh this past Sunday. 48 hours later, the University of Michigan hired Jim Harbaugh as their new head coach. Harbaugh is a Michigan alumnus who played quarterback under legendary Michigan head coach Bo Schembechler. The University of Michigan’s football team has ranged from mediocre to irrelevant over the last several seasons.
Michigan believes Harbaugh is the guide back into the college football post-season, the land flowing with milk and honey. Many Michigan fans have already marked their calendars for November when they play their arch-rivals, the Ohio State Buckeyes. Knowing Harbaugh’s history, the post-game handshake between Urban Meyer and Jim Harbaugh will buzz with anticipation and a little bit of violence. Though Michigan gets its man, the $64,000 question is, “Why did the San Francisco 49ers let him go?” Before Harbaugh, the 49ers were mired in the same football purgatory Michigan is in now.
Harbaugh took the 49ers to three straight NFC Conference Championship Games and one Super Bowl. The 49ers were dead in the water when they took a chance on Harbaugh. Grown men should be able to talk out philosophical differences. If Harbaugh and management weren’t in concert, then he would not have been hired in the first place. Quality coaches are not found everyday and it’s unusual to see one tossed away but a 10-pound bar of gold in the trash is still a treasure.