Jim Harbaugh pens salute to Ann Arbor in Players' Tribune
By now, you know Jim Harbaugh’s signature phrase.
It’s prompted with the question, ‘Who’s got it better than us?’ and then a loud ‘No-body!’
Two days before National Signing Day, the Michigan coach shared why that message describes life in Ann Arbor. He penned a letter in the Players’ Tribune describing his experience growing up and coming back to the place he calls home.
In it, Harbaugh talked about how in his third time back in Ann Arbor, the nostalgia he felt growing up still rings true today:
“I find it to be the same place today. It’s changed over time, but at its core, it’s the same. It’s still vibrant and alive, full of good, genuine, down-to-earth people who laugh easy and make you laugh. I still feel that love here — how people care about and want the best for their kids, the way my parents did. I go all over this country recruiting people, and it’s enjoyable. When I’m inside these homes, it doesn’t even feel like work. I meet so many good families everywhere I go. And they all want the best for their sons and daughters. That’s the common thread.
“We have that here in Ann Arbor. Very strongly.”
Then Harbaugh pitched a message that likely resembles the one he tells recruits. Getting the chance to graduate from Michigan puts you in an alumni base that is second to none:
“From what I’ve experienced — and from what so many people I’ve talked to have experienced — whether you’re going to Michigan, you’ve just graduated or you graduated 30 years ago, you’re happy you went to Michigan. When I was going here, I was so excited to be here. I felt happy. Productive. I never thought of what it would have been like if I had gone somewhere else. After I graduated, it was the same. It just felt like this was where I was supposed to go. It didn’t feel right to go anywhere else at the time, and to this day, I can’t picture having gone anywhere else.”
Harbaugh, of course, went on to quickly work his way up the coaching ranks. In his final season in San Francisco, rumors swirled about the possibility of coming back to Michigan. That idea, he wrote, wasn’t as complicated a decision as it might’ve been made out to be:
“A lot of people outside of Michigan asked me why I decided to make that third move to Ann Arbor. It’s pretty simple: I love football. I love coaching. I love Michigan. And for me, there’s no better place for those three things than right here in Ann Arbor.”
The Players’ Tribune will live-stream Michigan’s “Signing of the Stars” event on Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The celebrity guest list includes the likes of Tom Brady, Derek Jeter, Ric Flair and Lou Holtz.
Harbaugh’s piece will serve as a nice lead-in to the festivities on Wednesday.