NFL Wire News

Harbaugh, 49ers ‘part ways’


Jim Harbaugh is no longer head coach of the San Francisco 49ers, heading not to the unemployment line but his alma mater.

Harbaugh is on the verge of a six-year offer to become the next head coach at the University of Michigan that could be worth as much as $48 million, and is untethered after an agreement with the 49ers was reached Sunday.

“Jim and I have come to the conclusion that it is in our mutual best interest to move in different directions,” said 49ers CEO Jed York, who shared a brief on-field meeting with Harbaugh that ended with a quick embrace before Sunday’s game. “We thank Jim for bringing a tremendous competitive nature and a great passion for the game to the 49ers. He and his staff restored a winning culture that has been the standard for our franchise throughout its history. Their commitment and hard work resulted in a period of success that should be looked back on proudly by our organization and our fans. We wish Jim and his family all the best.”

The 49ers called a 4 p.m. ET press conference Monday to discuss plans for filling the coaching vacancy.

“We accomplished many great things together as a team during this period, which is a tribute to the incredible efforts of some of the most dedicated players and coaches in the NFL,” Harbaug said. “I will miss competing alongside this group of players and coaches, I have the utmost respect and admiration for their hard work and support. It has been my honor to share the sideline with these mighty men.”

According to a report by Bruce Feldman of Fox Sports, Harbaugh’s family is scheduled to fly to Ann Arbor on Monday. The report also tweeted that Harbaugh is expected to be at Crisler Arena for Tuesday’s men’s basketball game against Illinois.

Earlier Sunday, sources close to the negotiations with the university confirmed to the Sports Xchange that Harbaugh will accept the offer to be the next coach at Michigan. The source expected a press conference will likely occur on Tuesday.

“That’s what everybody on staff believes is going to happen this week,” one of the sources told the Bleacher Report’s Jason Cole. “Jim has figured out that his style is best-suited for the college game. His shtick works better with young guys who are gone after three or four years.”

Harbaugh met with a contingency from the university over the weekend after general manager Trent Baalke confirmed Michigan officials reached out to the 49ers for permission to interview him.

Harbaugh said after Sunday’s game that he will miss his team, but looks at his time in San Francisco fondly.

“I had the time of my life,” he said, “like the song.”

Before leading the 49ers to three NFC title games in his first three seasons and an NFC championship following the 2012 season, Harbaugh was a successful coach at San Diego State and Stanford.

Harbaugh had lost four straight games for the first time in San Francisco before the 49ers concluded an underwhelming 8-8 season with a 20-17 win over the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday. He had one year left on the five-year, $25 million contract he signed with San Francisco in Jan. 2011 after leaving Stanford.

Harbaugh is expected to bring 49ers assistants with him to Michigan, including Reggie Davis and John Morton, sources told Cole.

The Wolverines fired Brady Hoke after going 5-7 and not going to a bowl game for the first time since 2009.

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