It was an honest question: Do you get upset when your name is thrown around in conjunction to other possible coaching jobs?
And that question sparked an honest response from Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh.
“I really don’t know what you’re talking about right now,” said Harbaugh, who remains constantly tied to the Indianapolis Colts job thanks to ESPN’s John Weiner–the co-host of the “Dan LeBatard Show.”
Harbaugh paused as if to ask for clarification. On Monday, Harbaugh said “I appreciate the support, nowhere I’d rather be than right here,” during a radio interview with Jim Brandstatter, per MLive’s Nick Baumgardner (h/t Diehard Sport).
That statement, along with people insisting on Harbaugh’s future departure, fired up the curiosity engine.
Question: Does it bother you when that your name is mentioned alongside other jobs?
“I won’t comment on it. It’s disrespectful to the game. I look at it as disrespectful,” Harbaugh said.
Given Harbaugh’s immediate success at Michigan, there’s no wonder why people feel the need to toss his name around like a hot potato. Team X has a job opening, or could have one, so that must mean Harbaugh wants it. People love citing short stays at Stanford and San Francisco, but in the same breath, he’s praised for those same abilities that have made him one of the most sought-after coaches in the game: He’s good at his job and can turn around things in timely fashion.
During his introduction on Dec. 30, Harbaugh, a Michigan legend, famously said that he wanted to build “permanent” residences in Ann Arbor. He told stories of constructing mansions for others, which he said was enjoyable, but he also expressed a strong interest in living in one for good.
Ann Arbor is his house. Michigan Stadium rocked on Saturday like it hadn’t in years. Some, even Harbaugh, compared the environment to the Bo Schembechler years.
“As a youngster in the 70s watching Michigan football, it was a great atmosphere for a football game,” said Harbaugh, according to MLive’s Justin P. Hicks. “Then I quarterbacked here in the 80s and it was a great place to play, but now, I have never seen it like this. Even from the 70s and 80s, our students, the game day atmosphere, the crowd is loud, they’re in their seats early, they’re there and supporting the team throughout the game.
“It’s inspiring to the team and therefore we want our team to play inspired to keep our fans inspired. I’ve never seen it like this.”
So yeah, keep cooking up the stories about the coach who’ll supposedly leave at the drop of a hat. Keep believing that Harbaugh is looking for the next-best thing as he quickly rebuilds his alma mater into a Big Ten power. The Wolverines are ahead of schedule, something that Harbaugh won’t admit.
The Wolverines are nationally relevant, something that Harbaugh must know.
A year ago, the Wolverines finished a bowl-less 5-and-7. This season, they’re in a Big Ten East divisional race, 5-2 (2-1) and all but destined for a marquee bowl game. On top of that, his 2016 class should finish at or near the top of 247Sports’ Composite Rankings on National Signing Day. As a matter of fact, Harbaugh’s on the verge of signing one of the greatest O-line classes in program history.
Harbaugh’s not going anywhere, and it sounds like he’d appreciate if people stopped linking his name to any job but the Michigan job.
Follow Adam Biggers of Today’s U on Twitter @AdamBiggers81