Vikings to Interview Jim Harbaugh
What started out as an out of this world rumor has now gotten dangerously close to becoming reality. According to Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk.com), the Minnesota Vikings have scheduled an interview with current University of Michigan head coach, Jim Harbaugh, for their vacant head coach position. Pete Thamel (ESPN) and Ben Goessling (Star Tribune) report that the two sides have already had initial conversations.
Per multiple sources, the Vikings will interview the former 49ers coach for the vacancy created by the firing of Mike Zimmer.
The league office, we’re told, is aware of the interview and is awaiting the formal paperwork that must be filed for all head-coaching interviews.Mike Florio – Pro Football Talk
The Minnesota Vikings reached out to Michigan and received permission to speak to Jim Harbaugh about their open head-coaching job, a source told ESPN’s Courtney Cronin.
Though a formal interview has yet to take place, the Vikings had conversations with Harbaugh on Saturday afternoon, with both sides gauging interest in each other, the source said.Pete Thamel – ESPN
We likely should expect this one to be a little quieter than many of the #Vikings’ requests to talk with NFL coaches; interest in a college coach is obviously more sensitive because of the effects on recruiting.— Ben Goessling (@BenGoessling) January 29, 2022
Harbaugh and Vikings general manager, Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, crossed paths in San Francisco when he was head coach of the 49ers. The relationship between then GM, Trent Baalke, and Harbaugh soured but that clearly wasn’t the case between Jim and Adofo-Mensah. In fact, Courtney Cronin (ESPN) reports that Kwesi is the reason why Harbaugh is a possibility.
Harbaugh would be, by far, the most controversial and high-profile hire the Vikings could make. We’re only eight years removed from the last time Jim held a head coaching position in the NFL. He led San Francisco to a Super Bowl in 2012 and had a 44-19-1 record during his 4-year tenure.
His college coaching resume includes a pre-NFL stint at Stanford, where he flipped a bad program and won a PAC-12 title. Upon leaving SF following the 2014 season, Harbaugh became the head coach at Michigan. He’s coming off a CFB Playoff appearance, a Big Ten Championship and AP Coach of the Year award in 2021.
Still, the Minnesota Vikings and their new GM would be taking a huge leap of faith if they hire Harbaugh. Can he be the “collaborative” type of “partner” that Adofo-Mensah talked about during his introductory press conference last week?
We might just find out. Jim Harbaugh has been moved from “SPICY” to “HOTTEST” in our coaching candidate heat check.
Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan