The most anticipated college to the NFL coaching move of the offseason happened Wednesday night as Jim Harbaugh was hired to take over the Los Angeles Chargers.
Harbaugh’s hiring was felt in the sportsbooks as the Chargers’ odds to win Super Bowl LIX dropped to +2500 (bet $10 to win $260 total) from +3000.
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The Chargers took a different approach to announce Harbaugh’s hiring on X (formerly Twitter).
“He has had success every single place he has gone,” FOX Sports Dallas Cowboys Insider David Helman said. “I don’t feel comfortable stepping out on a limb about very many things. I’m telling you right now, Jim Harbaugh’s going to win in L.A. and he’s probably going to win big.
“May not be in 2024, may take a little while to get his program on track but he does have the track record. I would not be more pumped if I was an L.A. Chargers fan about this.”
Harbaugh returns to the NFL after spending nine seasons with the Michigan Wolverines, capping his stint with the College Football Playoff national title on Jan. 8.
Harbaugh led Michigan to a 15-0 record this past season, making it the sixth college team to go 15-0 or better since at least 1894.
Harbaugh coached the San Francisco 49ers from 2011-14.
Helman said quarterback Justin Herbert, the 2020 Offensive Rookie of the Year, should thrive under Harbaugh, who played 177 games as a quarterback in the NFL from 1987-2000.
“I think this is the best job opening in the NFL this year, which may sound weird,” Helman said. “The Chargers have a ton of aging veteran players, there’s a ton of unwieldy contracts, they’re $40 million dollars over the salary cap. There is work to be done but the Chargers have ‘Herbie.’
“They’ve got Justin Herbert, they’ve got one of top bare minimum 10 quarterbacks in the league, I think much better than that. Jim Harbaugh knows his way around coaching a quarterback or two. He knows his way around winning.”
Here’s a look at Harbaugh’s coaching career from FOX Sports Research:
Harbaugh is the fifth coach to win a college national title and also appear in a Super Bowl, joining Barry Switzer, Jimmy Johnson, Bobby Ross and Pete Carroll.
Harbaugh won 44 games with the 49ers from 2011-14, the fourth-most of any coach in that span behind Bill Belichick, Mike McCarthy and John Fox.
Harbaugh led the 49ers to three straight NFC Championship Game appearances from 2011-13.
Harbaugh led Michigan to 40 wins over the last three seasons, and the Wolverines are the fourth team since 1900 to win 40 games in a three-season span.
Speaking of Michigan, Harbaugh’s departure has not affected the Wolverines’ odds to win the 2024-25 CFP title.
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