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Jim Harbaugh says door is closed on him returning to the NFL

Posted at 6:01 PM, Mar 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-08 20:03:32-05

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh said Tuesday that the door is closed on his potential return to the NFL.

Harbaugh said he took a look at possibly coaching the Minnesota Vikings — interviewing with them last month on signing day — to find out if he wanted to be back in the league after seven seasons with the Wolverines.

“Ultimately, I decided this is where I wanted to be,” Harbaugh said during a news conference to discuss spring practice. “And really, a lot of gratitude for that.”

The Vikings made Harbaugh’s decision a little easier because they didn’t offer him the job. Minnesota ended up hiring Los Angeles Rams offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell.

Before the 58-year-old Harbaugh signed a new deal at Michigan, he told his boss and former teammate, athletic director Warde Manuel, that he would not revisit the possibilities of coaching in the NFL again.

“That’s how I felt, and how I feel,” Harbaugh told reporters.

Harbaugh is 61-24 at Michigan, including one desperately needed win over Ohio State last season.

The school reworked his five-year deal last month, putting him under contract through the 2026 season and guaranteeing he will make more than $7 million annually. Harbaugh will have $1 million contributed to his retirement plan each year and has a chance to make millions more with performance bonuses.

Looking and sounding upbeat in a news conference that lasted longer than most, Harbaugh insisted he no longer dreams of winning a Super Bowl and is focused entirely on helping the Wolverines win their first national championship since 1997.

“We could win the national championship, and that’s plenty good,” he said.