Harbaugh eager to expand coaching tree: "And that's going to happen"


For a college football coach, losing assistants is the cost of success. Jim Harbaugh sees it as more of a reward.

With Michigan on the verge of its second straight Big Ten title, Harbaugh is eager to send another coach or two onto bigger and brighter jobs.

"My coaching tree right now, I keep track of this because it’s so important to me and to us, I calculated it at 19. I would really like to get into the 20's, and we got guys that are so ready, beyond ready, to be head coaches," Harbaugh said Tuesday on the Stoney & Jansen Show.

The Michigan assistant drawing the most buzz right now is co-offensive coordinator and offensive line coach Sherrone Moore. Hired by Harbaugh as a tight ends coach in 2018, Moore is a hot name after building the Wolverines' offensive line into one of the most dominant units in the country and proving himself this season as a play-caller. He's considered a candidate for the head coaching vacancy at Colorado, among other openings.

Harbaugh said Monday that multiple athletic directors have called him asking whether Moore is ready to be a head coach. Harbaugh, whose coaching tree includes his stints at San Diego, Stanford and the 49ers, is happy to tell them yes.

"The whole team is that way, we’re always happy for the other guys’ success," Harbaugh said. "And that’s going to happen, there are going to be guys that get head jobs. There’s just too many great coaches on our staff and there’s too many smart AD’s out there that are going to do it.

"And that pumps everybody up. You should see the players get pumped that way when somebody has an opportunity like that. It’s The Team, The Team, The Team. A rising tide lifts all ships, what’s good for the hive is good for the bee."

On the heels of their second straight win over Ohio State, Harbaugh and Michigan are headed back to Indianapolis Saturday in pursuit of their second straight Big Ten title. Their second straight trip to the College Football Playoff is on the horizon. As Harbaugh likes to say, "Who’s got it better than us? Noo-body."

"The only people that could possibly have it better than us are future us," he said.

Harbaugh said his "favorite line" after the Ohio State win was when a reporter asked Donovan Edwards about his "long touchdown run," and the running back replied, "Which one?"

"And the second would be J.J. McCarthy, ‘Hey, this is nice, this is alright, but, but, we got more work to do,'" Harbaugh said.

No. 2 Michigan opened as 16.5-point favorites over unranked Purdue in the Big Ten championship game, but Harbaugh knows an emotional letdown "is a risk" coming off The Game. Of course, his team handled it just fine last year when it smacked Iowa in the Big Ten championship a week after beating Ohio State for the first time in 10 years.

"You’re riding this emotional high and you don’t come back and take care of business, but it’s the first rule of champions. It’s not even a principle, it’s a rule: Do not let up," Harbaugh said. "No. 1 rule of champions, do not let up."

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