Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh will earn a base salary of $7.05 million this fall and up to $7.6 million in the final year of his new contract, which runs through the 2026 season, according to a transcript obtained by ESPN Thursday.
Harbaugh, 58, signed a five-year deal after his most successful season as Wolverines head coach – and after what was arguably his most turbulent time. The renewed commitment comes two weeks after Harbaugh’s highly publicized February 2 interview with the Minnesota Vikings on National Signature Day. After news that he had not received an offer, Harpo and athletic director Warda Manuel agreed that Harpo would continue to take over as head coach at his alma mater.
The new terms also include a hefty fine if Harbaugh decides to leave early, although Harbaugh told the Detroit Free Press he assured Manuel that flirting with the NFL would not be a recurring problem. If he leaves Harbaugh before the end of this decade “for whatever reason,” he will owe Michigan $3 million in the first year. The acquisition then drops to $2.25 million in the second, $1.5 million in the third, $750,000 in the fourth and zero in the fifth and final year.
“I love Michigan football, the University of Michigan, and the Ann Arbor community,” Harbaugh said in a prepared statement. “My family and I are excited to continue to lead this football program, and we are grateful for the support that our Sports Department and our university management have towards the team. I appreciate everything our players, coaches and staff do to excel off the football field. My enthusiasm for tomorrow, the next day and every day that follows. More high than ever, we are ready to step into the training ground and begin preparations for the 2022 season. Go blue!”
The contract also states that Harbaugh will provide written notice to the athletic director before engaging in any discussions about other coaching opportunities “in any NCAA member organization, professional sports team, or other coaching or non-training positions that may result in termination of employment for the university.”
The revised contract essentially returns Harbaugh’s salary to what it was before it expired 2-4 in 2020, when the university lowered his base salary to $4 million for 2021. Most bonuses from last year have remained the same.
Harbaugh will get $500,000 if Michigan wins the Big Ten East and plays in the conference championship game. He’ll get $1 million if the Wolverines win the Big Ten. He could earn an extra million if the team wins the national title. Harbaugh will receive $200,000 for appearing in a pot of six New Year’s non-CFP semi-finalists, and $500,000 for appearing in the semi-finals.
Last fall, Harbaugh led Michigan to the program’s first Big Ten title since 2004, with a 42-3 victory over No. 12 in Iowa at Lucas Oil Stadium. The Wolverines made his College Football Playoff debut, losing to eventual national champion Georgia in the Orange Bowl. UM finished the year third in the final polls, its highest result since 1997.
Michigan also included an academic incentive, whereby Harbaugh can receive no more than $150,000 if the team has an academic progression rate of 960 or higher.
“Jim has done a fantastic job coaching and developing the youth in our football programme,” Manuel said in a prepared statement. “Last season, Jim along with the staff and players had an unforgettable season that will stay with us all for a long time. As the coach said, this is just the beginning. Academically, our program has been one of the best in the Big Ten leaders across the country. We have graduated our players. They were young guys with great personality who did the right things. I have great confidence in the direction of the program under Jim’s leadership.”
Harbaugh agreed that Michigan could terminate his employment without cause before the contract expired. It also lists the typical reasons that Harbaugh can be fired for a reason. The takeover reiterates that Harbaugh is allowed to leave Michigan before the contract expires “by giving the university prior written notice of termination.”
Michigan Spring Football starts Monday.
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