Chargers complete head coaching interview with Jim Harbaugh
January 18, 2024
The Los Angeles Chargers last Monday announced the completion of their head coaching interview with University of Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh. The Michigan Wolverines and Harbaugh recently won the college football national championship, defeating the Washington Huskies, 34-13.
Harbaugh is very familiar with the NFL, having played quarterback in the NFL for 14 seasons, including two with the Chargers in 1999 and 2000. Harbaugh started 17 games in two seasons with the Chargers. Harbaugh passed for 26,288 yards in his career, which is 75th on the all-time list for career passing yardage.
Harbaugh was selected to Pro Bowl in 1995, when he led the Indianapolis Colts to the AFC Championship game. Harbaugh was a first-round selection of the Chicago Bears in 1987 and at Michigan a second-team All-American at quarterback in 1986 and finished third in the Heisman Trophy voting in 1986.
Harbaugh has spent a good portion of his life in California, starting with high school in Palo Alto, California. His father was a defensive coordinator for Stanford in 1981 and 1982 at the time. Harbaugh was a three-sport star in football, basketball, and baseball at Palo Alto high school, where he spent his last two years of high school.
Harbaugh started his coaching career with the Oakland Raiders in 2002, where he was the quarterback coach. In his first season, quarterback Rich Gannon won the NFL MVP award and led the Raiders to the Super Bowl. After the 2003 season, Harbaugh left the Raiders to become the head coach at the University of San Diego. At San Diego, he led the team to back-to-back 11-1 seasons and back-to-back Pioneer league titles.
From 2007 through 2010, Harbaugh was back at Stanford University. He inherited a team that went 1-11 in 2006, and in his final season at Stanford he went 12-1 and finished ranked 4th in the nation. From 2011 through 2014, Harbaugh was the head coach with the San Francisco 49ers, leading them to the Super Bowl in his second season, where they lost to the Baltimore Ravens, 34-31.
Harbaugh's résumé and experience, both as a player and a coach make him easily the best candidate for the head coaching for this Los Angeles Chargers team. This Charger team needs leadership and toughness. It needs accountability. It needs attention to detail. Harbaugh's experience playing quarterback in the NFL and coaching the position with the Raiders should fit well with franchise quarterback Justin Herbert.
Harbaugh is demanding and he will ruffle some feathers in the organization. He will make some people feel uncomfortable. Maybe that is what is needed at this point in time with the Chargers, especially after a 5-12 season in 2023. Going 0-7 in games decided by less than three points is a sign that the team needs something. The Chargers always look like they have one of the best rosters in August. Harbaugh could be the guy that helps the roster look good in December and January.