Michigan writer says Harbaugh coming to UM

The Detroit News
John U. Bacon told The Detroit News that friends of 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh from around the country are flying into the Detroit area Monday.

Noted journalist and Michigan football writer John U. Bacon wrote on Twitter Saturday and told The Detroit News that sources are telling him San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh has agreed to become the football coach at the University of Michigan.

"My information is based on conversations with confidants of Jim Harbaugh and Michigan insiders," Bacon told The News late Saturday night.

Bacon told The News that friends of Harbaugh from around the country are flying into Ann Arbor Monday.

It's possible those friends would be on hand for any introductory press conference that might be held in the next week.

"I just got off the phone with more sources tonight. It's done. Jim Harbaugh is coming to Michigan — and his friends are flying in Monday," he tweeted at 7:34 p.m., later adding that the "friends who are flying in" are his sources.

Bacon tweeted at 8:51 p.m. that no contract has been signed to his knowledge.

Harbaugh, 51, is finishing the fourth year of a five-year contract with the 49ers, who are 7-8 and complete their season Sunday with a home game against the Arizona Cardinals. The 49ers have been eliminated from the playoffs.

Comcast SportsNet Bay Area's Dave Feldman reported Saturday night that Harbaugh would be introduced as Michigan's new coach on Tuesday.

Feldman attended high school with Harbaugh in Palo Alto, Calif.

Harbaugh "did not spill the beans" to his players Saturday night about his departure, one of them wrote to the San Jose Mercury News in a text message.

Right tackle Anthony Davis expressed his gratitude toward Harbaugh on Twitter on Saturday night: "I just looked Harbaugh in his eyes and thanked him for leading us to some of the best times of our lives. Give Respect when it's Due. … I wish him the best on his next Coaching Job."

Ian Rapoport said Sunday on the NFL Network that while nothing has been signed, Michigan officials are ready and waiting for Harbaugh.

"They believe Jim Harbaugh will be their next coach, and they hope to bring him home from California tonight or possibly Monday after Harbaugh meets with his players and meets with 49ers brass and informs them what he wants to do," Rapoport said.

"I'm told at this point no firm deal is in place, nothing is signed, but Michigan officials hope there will be one after tonight's game. But the Oakland Raiders have not been told they are out; that is worth noting."

Sources at Michigan indicated the last few weeks they felt good about Harbaugh coming to Michigan, particularly with interim athletic director Jim Hackett leading the charge. Hackett took over at the end of October, and fired Brady Hoke Dec. 2 before officially launching the search for a new coach.

Harbaugh was always thought to be Hackett's No. 1 focus. Hackett is the former CEO of Steelcase and played football at Michigan when Jack Harbaugh, Jim Harbaugh's father, was on staff.

Michigan officials have been in San Francisco this weekend, as Harbaugh prepares to coach his final game with the 49ers.

As word and rumors spread over the weekend regarding Harbaugh's likely Ann Arbor destination, tickets for Michigan's basketball game against Illinois on Tuesday also got snatched up even as the prices increased. Many expect Harbaugh will be introduced at halftime of the game after a news conference, but Michigan officials can't confirm any of those events.

A week ago, a check of StubHub for ticket prices to that game showed tickets to be plentiful and the cheapest at about $30. By late Sunday, only about 80 tickets remained and the least expensive going for $119.