AD Warde Manuel, Jim Harbaugh release statements after head coach agrees to contract extension at Michigan
Michigan has officially signed head coach Jim Harbaugh to a four-year extension, despite rumors that he was going to be let go after the Wolverines went 2-4 this season.
The extension rumors picked up steam last night before being officially confirmed today by a number of reporters, and then the university.
Warde Manuel, the Wolverines Athletic Director, released a statement on the school’s official website after the school confirmed that Harbaugh was staying. He said:
“I continue to believe that Jim is the right man to lead our program in pursuit of Big Ten and CFP championships,” said Manuel, the Donald R. Shepherd Director of Athletics. “Our program didn’t achieve at a level that anyone expected this year, but I know those setbacks will drive the coaches, players, and staff moving forward. Jim is a tireless worker and competitor. Following the completion of the season, we talked for many hours on what it will take for Jim to lead and get us back on the right trajectory.”
He continued with:
“Jim loves the University of Michigan and this football program. He has been committed to this university, athletic department, and football program since his days as a player and returning in 2015 as the head coach. He wants to do everything possible to build a championship football team while graduating our student-athletes. We all need to do our part to continue to help in that pursuit as it takes everyone pulling the same direction to have a championship-level program.”
After Manuel’s statement, Harbaugh released a statement of his own in the same press release and said:
“My thanks to Athletic Director Warde Manuel for the trust that he has shown in allowing me to continue to coach the University of Michigan football team, and to President Mark Schlissel and the Board of Regents for their on-going support,” said Harbaugh. “My additional thanks to Doug Gnodtke, our football staff, and as those departments on campus who continue to support our mission. Over the past few weeks, Warde and I had discussions that have been honest, open, insightful, and constructive in moving our football program forward. Discussions that I look forward to continuing over the months and years ahead. We have a plan.”
He concluded his statement by admitting there’s a ton of work to be done to get the team back on track:
“There is work to be done and challenges to be addressed. These challenges are being addressed as we continue to strive for excellence in the classroom and championships on the field, a message that I hope is noted in the language of our agreed-upon contract. Thanks to our University of Michigan players and their families who have placed their trust in our program and our goals. All our energy and focus is directed toward laying an outstanding foundation for the 2021 football season.”
Harbaugh is 49-22 in six seasons at Michigan with his best record being 10-3.