February 7th, 2023
After eight years at the helm of NCAA giants, Michigan Wolverines, Jim Harbaugh has taken the bold move to leave college football and return to the spotlight of the NFL. The 60-year-old has signed a five-year contract to take charge as the new head coach of the Los Angeles Chargers, a team he played for during the 1999-2000 NFL season.
Harbaugh’s last foray into NFL coaching came with the San Francisco 49ers. He steered the 49ers to Super Bowl XLVII, where they would lose to the Baltimore Ravens, coincidentally coached by his elder brother, John Harbaugh. After taking a year out when leaving the 49ers, Harbaugh returned to coaching in the NCAA with Michigan, winning the College Football Playoff National Championship in January. He’d enjoyed success previously in the NCAA before landing his first NFL head coach role with San Francisco. Between 2004-06, he led San Diego to successive Pioneer League titles before steering Stanford to two bowl berths in four years, as well as an Orange Bowl victory in 2011.
What’s the motivation behind Jim Harbaugh’s return to the NFL?
When questioned about his reasons for returning to the NFL, Harbaugh admitted he had plenty of “sands left in the hourglass”, with a burning desire to have another “crack” at winning the Lombardi Trophy.
Many of the leading online sportsbooks have already priced up the 2024-25 NFL season before the current one has even concluded. Harbaugh’s Chargers are expected to be a middle-of-the-road outfit in 2024-25 if their latest future odds to win the 2024-25 Super Bowl are to be believed. LeoVegas has priced the Chargers at +2800, making them the 14th favorites to lift the Lombardi Trophy next season. This is a long-standing, licensed brand in the sports betting space, so it’s certainly one to take note of in the NFL betting markets. Canadians looking for some ideas for brands that offer iGaming platforms and sports betting functionality under one roof could also consider this operator. Its online casino is powered by 15 of the leading game suppliers in the iGaming scene.
Harbaugh arrives at a time when expectations are pretty low at the Chargers
Harbaugh assumed the head coach role of the Chargers after the team suffered one of the most embarrassing defeats in NFL history at the playoff stage. Under former head coach, Brandon Staley, the team limped into the playoffs with a .500 record and then contrived to let a 27-0 first-half advantage slip against the Jacksonville Jaguars. The team was then thrashed 63-21 days later, resulting in Staley’s swift exit, stage left.
With a 5-12 regular season record in 2023-24, the good news for Harbaugh is the only way is up. There’s very little downside and plenty of upside potential for him to work with. Harbaugh is well-known for being a great man manager – and they’ll certainly need those skills with very few new recruits expected. The Chargers are expected to be over $54 million above their salary cap for 2024-25.
The one major positive for Chargers fans is that Harbaugh brings a winning mentality to the locker room. Having won the NCAA national title with Michigan, this is a coach who knows how to foster a positive culture within a roster. After just one playoff campaign in the last three years under Staley, Harbaugh, and the Chargers’ quarterback, Justin Herbert, are now the icons fans can reunite behind in 2024-25 and beyond.
Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/official_PFH