Jim Harbaugh did Jim Harbaugh things before and after his Michigan debut
Eventually, Jim Harbaugh’s quirky ways became normal for Michigan players. There’s not a lot the Michigan coach can do to surprise his team anymore.
But before and after Harbaugh’s debut as Michigan coach, he did a couple things that left a lasting impression on his players.
NFL.com caught up with Michigan seniors at the East-West Shrine Game, where they shared their favorite Harbaugh story. Two of them involved incidents that took place surrounding Michigan’s 2015 season opener at Utah.
Apparently Harbaugh wore his beloved cleats at the Mormon Tabernacle, which is definitely not a place where cleats are recommended.
Here was the story Michigan offensive lineman Kyle Kalis told to NFL.com:
“A lot of people know coach Harbaugh loves wearing his cleats a lot. Well, two years ago we played Utah in his first game, and it was at Utah. We took a visit to the Mormon Tabernacle. It was a mile-and-a-half walk and he made everyone get up early and we all walked over there. We get inside and we hear this ‘click, clack, click, clack,’ and coach Harbaugh’s in there with his cleats on. And the Mormon Tabernacle’s a pretty nice place, you know, marble floors. All the players are wearing sneakers, and we can’t believe coach Harbaugh’s got his cleats on — he’s always got those things on.”
The other classic Harbaugh story happened after Michigan’s season-opening loss. The following Monday, Harbaugh got a little into a blocking demonstration. Imagine that.
Here was the story Michigan offensive lineman Erik Magnuson told to NFL.com:
“After our Utah game his first year, he was frustrated with the wide receivers’ blocking, so the Monday after the game, he tried to demonstrate on the podium. He gets a little running start, blocks the podium, and the whole thing just falls apart, wood shattered everywhere. I think he was as shocked as we were. We didn’t really start laughing until we saw he was making light of it himself.”
If either of those stories took place now, Michigan players would likely have a different reaction.
But during that first weekend when they were still trying to get a feel for their new coach, they got a good one.