Jim Harbaugh: 'I'm here as long as Michigan wants me here'

Jim Harbaugh said Thursday that he’ll be at Michigan as long as the school wants him.

Harbaugh spoke to media members as Michigan began its spring practices this week. The Wolverines coach spoke to the Denver Broncos multiple times about their head coaching position over the offseason but the Broncos hired former New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton.

“I’m here as long as Michigan wants me here,” Harbaugh said. “And you would have had a story if I wasn’t here. But I’m here and this is where I want to be.”

Recent NFL interest in the former 49ers coach isn’t new. Harbaugh met with the Minnesota Vikings after last season before the Vikings hired Kevin O’Connell. And Harbaugh made multiple statements regarding his commitment to Michigan despite the interest from NFL teams this offseason.

“It’s an ongoing thing, something that we treat as a positive thing that NFL franchises, NFL teams have a lot of interest in all of our personnel — coaches, players, staff,” Harbaugh said. “And if someone in our organization feels that is going to benefit them professionally and personally, we say have at it.”

After a rough 2020 season that saw Harbaugh renegotiate his contract ahead of the 2021 season, the Wolverines have won back-to-back Big Ten titles and made their first two College Football Playoff appearances since the format was implemented in 2014. But Michigan has lost its semifinal games in each of those seasons, made a change at offensive coordinator this season and is also a part of an NCAA inquiry.

Michigan co-offensive coordinator Matt Weiss was fired in January amid a police investigation into alleged computer crimes that happened at the Michigan football facility during the early signing period. And Harbaugh himself is a part of the issues with the NCAA as he refused to say he lied to investigators regarding four Level II violations.

Harbaugh said Thursday that Michigan wasn’t perfect but that he’d hold the program up against any other in college football.

“Compare us to perfect and we’re going to come up short,” Harbaugh said. “In the major areas, compare us to any other program, I think you’re going to see that we’re the — it doesn’t get any better.”

Harbaugh also confirmed Thursday that star running back Blake Corum would miss spring practice as he rehabs from a knee injury suffered late in the 2022 season. Harbaugh said he expects Corum to be back for summer workouts ahead of the 2023 season. Corum rushed for 1,463 yards in 2022 and announced over the offseason that he would return to Michigan instead of declaring for the NFL draft.

GLENDALE, ARIZONA - DECEMBER 31:  Head coach Jim Harbaugh of the Michigan Wolverines looks on during the Vrbo Fiesta Bowl at State Farm Stadium on December 31, 2022 in Glendale, Arizona. The Horned Frogs defeated the Wolverines 51-45.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Michigan and Jim Harbaugh have won back-to-back Big Ten titles. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)