Jim Harbaugh's Michigan 'Homecoming' Comes With Pledge Of Excellence

The khakis have landed in Ann Arbor.

The University of Michigan announced that Jim Harbaugh will be its next football coach. Just days removed from his final day coaching the San Francisco 49ers, Harbaugh's long-anticipated return to Michigan, where he was a standout quarterback during the 1980s, was confirmed during a press conference on Tuesday.

"There are very special words that are in the English language that we all embrace," Harbaugh said. "There is 'family,' there is 'friends,' there is 'teammates,' there is 'victory.' I was reminded of another very special word when I was driving into Ann Arbor this morning and that word is 'homecoming.'"

In his previous stint coaching in college, Harbaugh went 29-21 over four seasons at Stanford. The Cardinal went 4-8 in his first season but improved to 12-1 in 2010 before he departed for the NFL following a win in the Orange Bowl. He had previously coached at the University of San Diego, going 29-6 in three seasons.

Following his success at Stanford, Harbaugh molded the 49ers into Super Bowl contenders. In his first three seasons on the sideline in the Bay Area, Harbaugh's 49ers reached the NFC Championship Game. The team reached Super Bowl XLVII, but was defeated by the Baltimore Ravens, coached by Jim's brother, John Harbaugh. Following a disappointing 8-8 season in 2014, Harbaugh and the 49ers mutually agreed to part ways.

Michigan interim athletic director Jim Hackett told reporters that Harbaugh will receive the same salary he received with the 49ers as part of a seven-year pact. That contract is worth $5 million per year and included a $2 million signing bonus, reported ESPN. Previous reports indicated that Harbaugh would receive a 6-year, $48 million deal. Harbaugh told Hackett that he did not want to be the highest paid coach in college football, according to Ann Arbor-based author John U. Bacon.

Michigan Wolverines fans, hopeful that Harbaugh can revitalize their program after it slumped under previous coach Brady Hoke, are set to honor their new coach's signature sideline attire -- khaki pants -- at a basketball game on Tuesday night.

To those fans, Harbaugh made a pledge before closing his prepared remarks:

"Top to bottom, Michigan is about excellence, is about greatness," Harbaugh said. "You have my pledge that I will carry forward the tradition of excellence of the University of Michigan football program."



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