Jim Harbaugh said last year that he would no longer consider coaching again in the NFL, but that has not stopped his name from being floated as a potential head coaching candidate across NFL media.
NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero and Ian Rapopoort listed Harbaaugh as a potential option for the Denver Broncos head coaching vacancy.
Per the two reporters, the Broncos are one of the teams that have been doing homework on Harbaugh in the event he does become available.
They draw a link between Condoleeza Rice, who is part of the Broncos’ new ownership group, and her deep ties to Stanford, where Harbaugh coached prior to Michigan and the 49ers.
The latter seems to be a stretch to create any kind of link between Harbaugh and the Broncos, but Pelissero and Rapoport believe that Denver is going to take a big swing in its coaching search and Harbaugh would certainly fit that bill.
They also mention Sean Payton and Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn as possible top targets.
Harbaugh, 59, is coming off back-to-back Big Ten championship seasons with the Wolverines, including an impressive undefeated regular season campaign this year that ended on Sunday with a loss to TCU in the Fiesta Bowl.
Harbaugh also has a proven track record in the NFL, leading the 49ers to a 44-19-1 record and three NFC Championship games, including a Super Bowl appearance, during his stint with the team.
It is hard to imagine if Harbaugh will go back on his word that he is done considering NFL coaching jobs, but expect to hear his name to be in the mix unless he squashes the rumors before they start to snowball any further.