Wolverines AD thanks ‘Michigan Man’ Jim Harbaugh

Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel vowed to do everything in his power to keep Jim Harbaugh in Ann Arbor.In the end, Manuel and Michigan offered a contract that would have made Harbaugh the highest-paid coach in college football. But it wasn’t enough to prevent him from returning to the NFL. Harbaugh, now the former head coach at Michigan, is taking over the same role with the Los Angeles Chargers.”I want to thank Jim for everything he has done for our football program, athletic department and the University of Michigan over the past nine years. Every day, he has worked extremely hard to elevate the stature of Michigan across the world, with the goal of winning championships and developing young men on and off the football field,” Manuel said Wednesday night. “In the end, he wanted to explore and ultimately decided to pursue a return to coaching in the NFL. We can’t thank Jim enough for all that he has done for our student-athletes, staff and Michigan Football. He will always be a huge part of our rich history, and will be remembered as an all-time great Wolverine, as both a championship player and coach.”Offensive coordinator Sherrone Moore is considering the leading in-house candidate to replace Harbaugh.Manuel said Michigan is moving quickly to replace Harbaugh with a goal of keeping the coaching staff and defending national championship roster together. NCAA rules permit a 30-day window for players to enter the transfer portal even though the new semester has started.Harbaugh is reportedly planning to hire Michigan defensive coordinator Jesse Minter to run the Chargers’ defense.”We have been in talks with Jim Harbaugh for the last several weeks and have tried our best to retain him as our football coach,” Michigan president Santa Ono said in a statement. “Jim called me today and let me know that he has made the difficult decision to leave Michigan and join the Los Angeles Chargers in pursuit of his NFL dreams.”For the fans, the players, and for me personally, we are sad to hear of Jim’s departure. His drive and ambition turned our program around, delivered our first national championship in a quarter century and maintained Michigan as the all-time winningest team in the history of college football.”I thank Jim for all he has done for the University of Michigan and respect his decision. He has been an extraordinary leader and a friend. I will be cheering for Jim as he embarks on this next adventure.”