Jim Harbaugh is presently the head football coach of the San Francisco 49ers. For the past month or so, the media has been reporting that Jim Harbaugh is out as far as the San Francisco 49ers are concerned for 2015. The media has also reported that Jim is being recruited for a head coach coaching position by the University of Michigan and the Oakland Raiders.
Jim was an All-American quarterback for the University Michigan back in the late 80s. Jim’s first NFL coaching position, as quarterback coach, was for the Oakland Raiders, in 2002. Jim also attended high school in both Ann Arbor and Palo Alto. He was even head coach for the Stanford Cardinals prior to taking the San Francisco 49er position.
If all the media reports are true, Jim’s dilemma is apparent. Although he had close knit ties, in the past, in Ann Arbor, he has more current connections in the Bay Area. Michigan’s football program at the moment is less than ideal as is the Oakland Raider’s. Both programs desperately need to improve.
If it’s a matter of prestige, and sibling rivalry [Jim’s brother John is a Super Bowl winner-the pinnacle; Jim has outperformed his father, “only” an assistant coach with the Wolverines and the Cardinals] then the NFL would more than likely win out. I’m sure that there’s another NFL head coaching position, [And win a Super Bowl like his older brother] in the cards. For Harbaugh, if it’s a matter of “returning home” to one’s glory in adolescence and young adulthood, then Ann Arbor is the place. It’s been said that you can’t go home. If Harbaugh returns to Ann Arbor, he would return home. If it’s a matter of present connections, current residence, Bay Area familiarity, then, the Raiders would win out.
Harbaugh just had a birthday and is now 51 years of age and is in a midlife crisis so to speak. His life for the past 45 years or so has been sports and football but not necessarily in that order. His identity is that of a football player and coach. Since retirement from professional football, Harbaugh has been working with young men in both a mentoring and teaching role. I cannot imagine a major change in direction for Jim. As he’s progressing developmentally through life’s stages, Jim is in his second marriage. [Intimacy versus isolation] and is in the generativity versus stagnation stage.
Developmentally this mature man is focused on guiding and teaching the next generation through the vehicle of football. Jim has touched many young men in the last decade or so. He has gained their trust as expressed by creating a team with winning football. He has a gift of being an outstanding athlete with a super professional career and is in a position to reap economic security.
Even though Jim may be released by the San Francisco 49ers, his future looks great. Jim is an exceptional position during his psychosocial stage of development. Whatever he does, or decision that he makes is likely to be a terrific one. Good for him.
I have no trouble admitting that I am a fan of both the Oakland Raiders and the Michigan Wolverines.