The Wolverine

April 2022

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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36 THE WOLVERINE APRIL 2022 A fter interviewing with the Min- nesota Vikings and contemplating a return to the NFL — where he won 49 games and made a Super Bowl ap- pearance in four seasons with the San Francisco 49ers from 2011-14 — Jim Harbaugh decided to remain the head coach for the Wolverines. On Feb. 16, soon after he announced he'd be coming back, Harbaugh and U-M agreed to a reworked contract that included a big pay raise and an extension through the 2026 season. Harbaugh was previously slated to receive $4,101,850 in compensation — not including in- centives — in the 2022 season, before agreeing to this new deal that includes a $7.05 million base salary in year one. The pay increases to just north of $7.6 million by his last season (2026). The head man will also receive $1 million in annual, deferred compensation to a 403(b) retirement fund. Included in the deal are several per- formance-based incentives that can total $3.125 million per year. Of note, Harbaugh would make $1 million for a Big Ten title, $1 million for a national championship and $500,000 for a Col- lege Football Playoff bid. If Harbaugh departs after the 2022 season, he would owe Michigan a $3 million buyout, with the number drop- ping to $2.25 million in year two, $1.5 million in year three and $750,000 in year four. It goes to zero in the last year of the contract. "I have the utmost confidence in the direction of the program under Jim's leadership," director of athletics Warde Manuel said in a statement. "My family and I are excited to con- tinue leading this football program, and we are thankful for the support that our athletic department and university ad- ministration have demonstrated toward the team," Harbaugh said in a state- ment. "My enthusiasm for tomorrow, the day after and every day following is as high as ever." — Clayton Sayfie JIM HARBAUGH BEHIND TWO BIG TEN COACHES IN THE ATHLETIC'S RANKINGS Jim Harbaugh won National Coach of the Year honors for his work with the football program in 2021, but may still get to play the disrespect card ahead of next season. The Wolverines are coming off of an unheard of Big Ten championship sea- son and a trip to the College Football Playoff, and head into 2022 with a ton of momentum. Some of it was halted by the coach's flirtation with the NFL and Minnesota Vikings, but Michigan is moving forward with an energized Har- baugh and a team looking to stay on top. However, that was not enough to earn him top coach honors in the Big Ten heading into the 2022 season. The Athletic's Bruce Feldman put to- gether a ranking of the top 25 college football coaches currently, where Har- baugh ranked 12th. This puts him be- hind Ohio State's Ryan Day (fourth) and Penn State's James Franklin (ninth). "[Harbaugh] got his mojo back, mak- ing smart hires with some excellent young assistants and leading Michigan to its first Big Ten title in 17 years and a No. 3 ranking," Feldman wrote. "He's had four double-digit win seasons in seven years at his alma mater. His work at Stanford was even better, taking over a dismal program and getting it to win a BCS bowl and No. 4 in the nation by Year 4. "He was also great as an NFL coach, going 44-19 with the San Francisco 49ers, a dreadful team before he took over." Franklin is 11-11 over the last two sea- sons, yet edged out Harbaugh on the list. He just received a mega-extension from the Penn State brass but lost his most recent game to Harbaugh and Michigan. The national case for him over Harbaugh has long been boosted by Franklin's Big Ten title in 2016. He no longer has that over him, so the debate remains a storyline. "He's gone from being a top-five coach to being close to slipping out of my top 10 after consecutive 4-5 seasons in Big Ten play (11-11 overall)," Feld- man noted. "Before that, it was stel- lar. Franklin took over a program reeling from hefty sanctions and by Year 3 had led the Nittany Lions to a Big Ten title. He's had three 11-win seasons in Happy Valley and produced a lot of talent. His work at Vanderbilt was even more im-   MICHIGAN FOOTBALL Details Emerge On Jim Harbaugh's New Contract Harbaugh's new deal will raise his 2022 com- pensation from just more than $4.1 million (not including incentives) to $7.05 million. PHOTO BY LON HORWEDEL 2022 FOOTBALL SCHEDULE Date Opponent Sept. 3 Colorado State Sept. 10 Hawai'i Sept. 17 Connecticut Sept. 24 Maryland Oct. 1 at Iowa Oct. 8 at Indiana Oct. 15 Penn State Oct. 22 BYE Oct. 29 Michigan State Nov. 5 at Rutgers Nov. 12 Nebraska Nov. 19 Illinois Nov. 26 at Ohio State

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