Jim Harbaugh ‘chasing’ CFP title but has ‘unfinished business’ in NFL

It’s been seven months since Jim Harbaugh interviewed with the Minnesota Vikings, and the star football coach has no regrets about exploring a return to the NFL after having his best season at Michigan

“I don’t apologize for taking a look,” Harbaugh told ESPN’s Gene Wojciechowski in a pretaped interview that aired Saturday. “And the one that doesn’t get printed is I don’t apologize for wanting to be at Michigan. Seem to cut off that last part of it. And that’s where [I’m] at, happy as can be.”

Although the Vikings interviewed Harbaugh for their vacancy, they didn’t offer him the job. Minnesota instead hired Rams offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell after L.A.’s Super Bowl run.

Harbaugh, who coached the San Francisco 49ers from 2011-14, said in February that he told Michigan administrators his interview with the Vikings was a “one-time thing” and that interviewing with NFL teams wouldn’t be “a reoccurring theme.”

The Michigan coach (and alum) isn’t denying, however, he still has an NFL itch. 

“One of the things that was really kind of driving me is, you know, we were in San Francisco, we got that close to winning the Super Bowl,” he said. “That’s always been a thing. There’s unfinished business there. But, hey, winning the national championship, [I] could be really happy with that, too. So that’s the goal. That’s the one we’re chasing.”

Harbaugh saw a good deal of success during his four-year pro tenure, going 44-19 while leading the 49ers to the playoffs three times along with a Super Bowl appearance. 

He’s also seen a good deal of success coaching Michigan. Now in his eighth season in Ann Arbor, Harbaugh is 62-24. The 2021 campaign was his best yet, as the Wolverines went 11-2 and secured their first win over rival Ohio State in 10 years en route to winning the Big Ten and securing a playoff berth. Michigan fell to eventual national champion Georgia, 34-11, in the Orange Bowl. 

Harbaugh’s Wolverines are expected to be one of the top teams again in 2022. They opened the season with the No. 8 overall ranking and defeated Colorado State, 51-7, in the season opener  Saturday. 

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