Hoarse after a Gatorade dousing by 49ers players player Sunday afternoon, Jim Harbaugh today in Ann Arbor, Mich. said he had dreamed about coaching at Michigan since he was a little boy and “thought it was time to live” that dream.
Harbaugh signed a seven-year contract that University of Michigan that interim athletic director Jim Hackett said was the same as his 49ers contract – $5 million a year. Michigan's deal, however, also comes with a $2 million signing bonus and offers all sorts of incentives, ranging from a $250,000 bonus if the Wolverines win the Big 10 Championship to a $150,000 bonus for outstanding academic performances by players.
As was the case when the 49ers introduced him as their head coach in San Francisco nearly four years ago, Harbaugh looked dapper in a new suit and charmed the media with his quick wit and frequent smiles. After tripping as he entered the room, Harbaugh quipped, “A lesser athlete would have gone down.”
Harbaugh said he was in the process of assembling his staff at Michigan.
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Several of his long-time allies, including 49ers receivers coach John Morton and Tim Drevno, a former 49ers offensive line coach who last season was at USC, are believed to be joining him in Ann Arbor.
Harbaugh said Michigan first approached him “in the last couple of weeks” and that he signed his contract on Monday, one day after the “mutual” parting with the 49ers. Jed York, the 49ers CEO, said that he and Harbaugh decided to move on shortly after the 49ers' Dec. 14 loss in Seattle.
In typical Harbaugh fashion, he brushed aside questions about his departure from the 49ers. Asked if he was “dismayed” by the way his tenure in San Francisco ended, Harbaugh said he didn’t understand the question and moved on to the next one. He spent four seasons at Stanford before coaching four years -- of a five-year contract -- with the 49ers. Will he ever see the end of a seven-year contract at Michigan?
“I would really like to live (somewhere) permanently,” he said. “And that’s what I’m very hopeful for here.”
Bo Schembechler, the legendary former Michigan coach, was brought up as many times as former 49ers coach Bill Walsh was cited four years ago in San Francisco.
Harbaugh recalled the time when, during a period when his father, Jack, was an assistant under Schembechler, the two coaches walked into Schembechler's office to find young Jim reclined in his chair with his feet on the coach's desk.
“There have been times in my life I’ve thought about it, dreamed about it,” Harbaugh said. “And now it’s time to live it."
Details of Harbaugh’s contract at Michigan
Signing bonus: $2 million, plus Harbaugh will receive a 10-percent increase after the third and fifth year.
If team plays in Big Ten Championship Game: $125,000
OR if team wins Big Ten Championship Game: $250,000
If team plays in Bowl Game selected by College Football Playoff Selection Committee: $200,000
Or if team plays in four-team College Football Playoff Game: $300,000
If team wins National Championship Game: $500,000
Coach of the Year
If named Big Ten Coach of the Year: $50,000
If named Associated Press, Paul 'Bear' Bryant, Sporting News, Walter Camp, Maxwell Football Club or ABC/ESPN National Coach of the Year (can only achieve one per year): $75,000
Academic Progress Rate (APR) of 960 or higher (both multi- and single-year calculation): up to $150,000 per year
Read Matt Barrows’ blogs and archives at www.sacbee.com/sf49ers.