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After 2007 criticism, Mike Hart says relationship with Jim Harbaugh is 'great'

Angelique S. Chengelis
The Detroit News

Ann Arbor —  Just before Mike Hart’s senior season in 2007 at Michigan, he sat down at a table at Big Ten Media Days and tore into then-Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh when asked about comments he had made regarding his alma mater and academic requirements.

Hart spared no words or sentiment. He said he had “no respect” for Harbaugh.

Jim Harbaugh

“He’s not a Michigan man,” Hart said. “I wish he had never played here.”

Fast forward to 2021 and Hart has returned to coach at Michigan, joining Harbaugh’s staff earlier this year after four seasons coaching running backs at Indiana. In his first meeting with reporters since taking the job, Hart was asked Thursday about those comments from his senior year.

“2007? How old were you in 2007?” Hart said to the reporter. “Twenty-five? How old was I in 2007? Pretty sure I was 21 years old.”

Hart said he and Harbaugh have been in touch for years, have worked camps together and have a strong relationship.

“Stuff happens,” Hart said. “You move on.”

Does he chalk up the comments back then to youth?

“I’ve said a lot of things in my life, I think you guys know that,” Hart said. “Youth, inexperience. I think that people say things when you’re angry, and I’ve learned not to say things when I’m angry, I’ll tell you that.

“Me and Jim have been great. It didn’t just start when he hired me. He didn’t just call me out of the blue. We’ve talked over the years since he’s gotten here. We’ve texted about the Ohio State game. We’ve played the same teams they’ve played. We’ve had a relationship. There is no animosity, we’re good, we’ve been good.”

Twitter: @chengelis