After interviewing, the Denver Broncos favor Jim Harbaugh. According to a story published on Tuesday morning, Jim Harbaugh is said to have finished his virtual interview with the Denver Broncos and has emerged as “a top candidate” for their head-coaching post. The Broncos are looking to hire a new head coach.
According to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network, the Broncos’ ownership group spoke with the head coach of Michigan for more than two hours on Monday, kicking off the Broncos’ search for a new head coach following the dismissal of Nathaniel Hackett on December 26. Hackett was the previous head coach of the Broncos.
The interview takes place just a few days after Harbaugh released a statement on Thursday: “I expect that I will be enthusiastically coaching Michigan in 2023.”
On the same day, the school received a notice of allegations from the NCAA alleging multiple Level II violations by the football program and a Level I offense against Harbaugh for his cooperation with investigators. The statement also alleged that the football program violated multiple academic integrity rules.
After flying to Minneapolis in February of last year for an in-person interview with the Vikings, Harbaugh’s participation in this process marks the second year he has interviewed for a head coaching position in the National Football League. He was never offered that job, and he later shared with reporters his aspiration to get back into the NFL and win a Super Bowl. He ended up going back to Michigan instead.
Harbaugh has publicly stated for over a month now that he “expects” to be back at Michigan this fall. However, he has always qualified his statement by saying, “no man knows the future,” thus keeping the door open for the possibility of an escape.
In February of this year, Harbaugh signed a new five-year contract that pays him more than $7 million annually. However, when incentives and deferred compensation are considered, he made more than $10 million in 2022. On Wednesday, his buyout will be reduced from $3 million to $2.25 million.
NFL Network said the Broncos will interview defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero later today. Interview requests have also been sent out to former New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton, defensive coordinator Dan Quinn of the Dallas Cowboys, defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans of the San Francisco 49ers, and defensive coordinator Raheem Morris of the Los Angeles Rams.
Harbaugh, who is now 59 years old, coached the San Francisco 49ers for four seasons beginning in 2011 and ending in 2014, compiling a record of 44-19-1 while guiding the team to three consecutive NFC title games and a trip to the Super Bowl. He left the organization amid internal controversy to take over at Michigan, his alma mater. Since taking over at Michigan, he has compiled 74-25, won back-to-back Big Ten crowns, and made it to the College Football Playoff twice.