Jim Harbaugh watch has officially concluded. The defending College Football Playoff national champion head coach officially left Michigan and returned to the NFL as head coach of the Los Angeles Chargers.
Harbaugh is no stranger to the pros. He was a player in the league for over a decade and was head coach of the San Francisco 49ers from 2011-14.
He’s proven he can win in the NFL and came close to winning it all in Super Bowl XLVII, losing to his brother John Harbaugh and the Baltimore Ravens, 34-31, at the end of the 2012 season.
John will be facing his brother once again next season when the Chargers and Ravens play each other, though the date for the sibling bragging rights matchup is not yet set. When asked about Jim coming back to the NFL, John expressed excitement for his younger brother.
“My thoughts are, ‘We play them next year,” John said (via the Ravens’ official transcript). “[My brother Jim and I] are looking forward to all of it. I’m just very happy for him. [I’m] proud of him [and] excited for him. [I’m] excited for his family. My mom and dad told me that he called back in the evening, and he found out that all of his kids starting with Eddie [and] Katie had their bags packed already. They were ready to go. They’re excited, too. It’s going to be great. It’s well deserved.”
John complimented his brother and noted that Los Angeles made a good hiring decision.
“I’ll say this — the Chargers just got themselves one great coach,” John said.
The Ravens head coach was at the national championship to root on his brother as he led Michigan to a title. Now it’s Jim’s turn to cheer on John. Jim said he is going to Michigan to speak to his former players Friday and then heading to Baltimore to watch the Ravens take on the Kansas City Chiefs at M&T Bank Stadium in the AFC Championship.
Afterwards, he said he’ll head back to Los Angeles “for good.” However, if the Ravens head to the Super Bowl, I have a feeling he will be in the stands for that game.
Now that Jim has a job in the NFL, while we will see him supporting his brother, we may not see him wearing any Ravens gear in the near future.
“That’s a great question,” John admitted. “I actually thought about that. Will Jim be wearing Ravens gear if he comes in for the game this weekend? I don’t know the answer to that. We may have to require it, perhaps.”
If the Ravens win and the 49ers defeat the Detroit Lions in the NFC Championship, it will be a rematch of Super Bowl XLVII, just with one less Harbaugh brother coaching.