Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh had his share of suitors following a 12-1 season with the Cardinal, ranging from his current employer to his alma mater (University of Michigan) to a group of NFL teams. On Friday, the former NFL QB reportedly decided to take an offer across the Bay.
Harbaugh will be the next head coach of the 49ers; the news was first reported by ESPN's Adam Schefter. The two sides reportedly agreed to a five-year deal worth $25 million. He replaces Mike Singletary as the Niners' head coach. Singletary was fired on Dec. 26 following a Week 16 loss to the Rams which eliminated San Francisco from playoff contention.
The coach had also been pursued by the Dolphins and Broncos for their head-coaching vacancies, with Miami reportedly offering him nearly $8 million per season. If he had chosen to stay in the college ranks, Harbaugh was in line to receive a large pay raise, either from Stanford or from the University of Michigan, where he played from 1983-86.
Rumors began circulating on Friday morning that the coach was set to return to the Cardinal, coinciding with Thursday's news that star QB Andrew Luck would return for his junior season. But apparently the chance to follow in the footsteps of Bill Walsh, who went from Palo Alto to San Francisco 32 years ago, was too much for Harbaugh to pass up.
Harbaugh, who played quarterback in the league for 14 years, is the brother of Ravens head coach John Harbaugh. Interestingly, the 49ers travel to Baltimore next season.