Jim Harbaugh joins an ultra-elite group on Monday, becoming just the 12th person of all-time to play and serve as a head coach in the Rose Bowl.

The Grandaddy of Them All has a special place in college football lore, and that’s especially true for those who grew up in the Midwest. Harbaugh was asked about joining that special group of individuals, and he referenced his memories of growing up watching the Rose Bowl with snow on the ground but dreaming of palm trees and California.

“Yeah, so many (memories) it would take a long time to talk about it, like coach talked about. You grow up in Michigan, Ohio, probably Pennsylvania, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, that Midwest area. You grew up watching the Rose Bowl on New Year’s Day,” said Harbaugh. “There’s a couple feet of snow outside & you’re like laying on your stomach in front of the TV looking at palm trees, parade & the football game.”

Ultimately, Harbaugh has been involved with the Rose Bowl as a child, player and coach, an experience the former quarterback described as “pretty awesome.” Now, he’ll get a chance to try and lead the Wolverines into the College Football Playoff National Championship with a win.’

“Halftime we were outside playing football in the snow & then watching those — kind of turns from the day to the night when you watch the Rose Bowl. I know that’s why a lot of people in the Midwest probably move to California. You wanted to be there,” Harbaugh explained. “Got to be there as a player and got to actually be there as a kid because my dad was coaching at Michigan & we went to 3 straight Rose Bowls. Now here as a coach, it’s pretty awesome.”