Former San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh was on the Mike & Mike Show on ESPN Radio this morning, and you can listen to the whole thing HERE. Naturally the Michigan coach was asked about his departure from San Francisco. Jed York and Trent Baalke talked about the two sides mutually agreeing to part ways.
Harbaugh was asked the moment when he realized he was not going to be back. He did not specify a timeline, but he did say the following:
Well, I had a conversation with the owner and understood what the direction that the organization wanted to go. Not to re-plow all that ground, because, on to a great adventure here at the University of Michigan. And the No. 1 thing I look at is, I had the time of my life. Will be forever proud to have done the things that we did in San Francisco; the coaches, the players. Gonna be friends for life, and allies for life. Just had great relatioships that were made there. Now one week into the job here at the University of Michigan, we're plowing ahead. It's great, it's even better than I remember it.
When two people break up, the term mutual will sometimes be thrown around. There is very little that is mutual about a breakup. The only thing I could see being mutual would be that they mutually do not like each other. And while this was a business parting ways with an employee, the way it went down did seem at times like a breakup.
Harbaugh referenced that he understood the direction in which the organization wanted to go. You can add this to the report by Kevin Lynch that a 49ers player said he offered Harbaugh congrats, and Harbaugh said to not congratulate him because he wanted to stay. Occasional contributor Jennifer Lee Chan also ran into one of his brother-in-laws at the airport, and saw him with a 49ers camo backpack and a Michigan beanie and shirt. They had this exchange:
Me: Really, a Niner back pack and a Michigan beanie? Already?
Him: Yeah, well, we got fired. I'm his brother in law.
Me: Wow, well, I wanted him to stay.
Him: Yeah, that's what everyone has been telling me. He got the shaft. It's ridiculous.
It will be a long time, if ever, before we get real answers on how this all went down. I don't expect a book on it, but maybe one of these days people will go on the record with the truth of the situation.