Schembechler Hall upgrades next on Harbaugh agenda

Josh Katzenstein, and Angelique S. Chengelis
The Detroit News
A statue of Bo Schembechler is at the entrance to Schembechler Hall.

San Francisco — Jim Harbaugh is concluding his banner week by being Mr. Popular at pre-Super Bowl festivities.

The Michigan coach has been drawing a crowd at various interview sites, and as he walked away from the Fox Sports set to get in a car to go to NFL Network’s set, he made a couple comments about next week’s fundraiser for a new weight room.

“Great cause for player development,” he said.

Asked how he plans to raise the money, Harbaugh simply said, “By asking.”

Michigan interim athletic director Jim Hackett and Harbaugh will spend the next week fundraising for a new weight room facility and other upgrades at Schembechler Hall.

Harbaugh: NFL days are water under the bridge

Hackett, a former Michigan football player and CEO of Steelcase, became interim AD on Oct. 31, 2014 after Dave Brandon resigned. Hackett hired Jim Harbaugh to coach his alma mater after he spent four years coaching the 49ers.

“He and I are fundraising next week,” Hackett said during a “Michigan Insider” interview Friday morning on WTKA 1050AM.

“So this doesn’t upset people when we’re raising money, the reason we need to do this when we remodeled Schembechler and put the important statue (of Bo Schembechler) out front, which matters to me as much as anything, and the museum, which matters to our history, we never touched inside the building. We never touched any of the parts the players interact with, training room, weight room, locker room, so Jim came up with two ideas at the beginning of the season that we put in.“We’ve got a big trip outside of Michigan where we’re gathering a bunch of people and we’re trying to fund a new weight room facility inside Schembechler Hall.

"This Is a more important platform. You heard him in the press talking about talking to Tom Brady (at Signing of the Stars last Wednesday) and some other ideas he has. I don’t want to get ahead of him, but it’s going to be really exciting.”

Hackett might be referring to a potential deal Harbaugh would like to strike with Brady, the former Michigan quarterback and uber-successful Patriots quarterback. Harbaugh, during a “Huge Show” radio interview Wednesday night, said the two might collaborate on a project for Schembechler Hall.

“We’re talking about some big ideas that can be incorporated here at Schembechler Hall and the University of Michigan,” Harbaugh said of his conversation with Brady. “That’s the next big one. I’d love to have a TB12 Elite sports performance right here in Ann Arbor and have Derek Jeter involved, have Nike involved, Charles Woodson involved, Michael Jordan involved. It would be a spectacular thing.”

Brady and his “body coach” developed the TB12 method to develop and sustain peak performance. According to the website, TB12’s focus is on “introducing our method and philosophy to active individuals and on making athletes better through a shared commitment to sustaining peak performance.”

Speaking of peak performance, Harbaugh has had no problem maintaining a smile as he’ been pulled in different directions in San Francisco, where he coached the 49ers for four seasons before going to Michigan.

“It’s just good seeing people, good seeing people you know when you’re in a place where you run into people you don’t think you’re going to run into,” he said. “I’m having fun.”