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JensK
01-07-2011, 08:48 PM
The San Francisco 49ers have their man in Jim Harbaugh, and their new coach is ready for the challenge of coaching at the sport's highest level.

Harbaugh was introduced by team president and CEO Jed York and new general manager Trent Baalke on Friday at The Palace Hotel in San Francisco, culminating a roller coaster courtship of the former Stanford coach.

"This is the perfect competitive opportunity for me, and the rest of the San Francisco organization, to be part of a team, a team that has a chance to win for the San Francisco 49ers," Harbaugh said.

Harbaugh was humbled by the interest shown by several teams across both the college and professional landscape. He said that coaching in the NFL has always been a goal of his.




"I have unshakable confidence and great faith in human agency, in human beings and their desire to be part of a team, to be part of something great, whether it is building a cathedral or winning a Lombardi trophy."

Harbaugh said the first order of business as coach will be to contact the players and establish a relationship. Baalke called the hiring of Harbaugh as "the start of a new generation."

Baalke was not deterred by the spotty history of college coaches who jump to the NFL.

"Certainly you always look at history," Baalke said. "But in this situation, there have been coaches that have come from college and had great success in NFL. I have no doubt in my mind Jim will be one of those."

Harbaugh, at Stanford since 2007, is set to coach a 49ers team that tumbled to a 6-10 record this season. His five-year contract will average $5 million per season, a league source told NFL Network insider Jason La Canfora.

This season, Harbaugh, 47, led the Cardinal to a program-best 12-1 record and an Orange Bowl victory over Virginia Tech.

Harbaugh decided to make the jump to the pros even though San Francisco has missed the playoffs for eight consecutive seasons and Orange Bowl MVP quarterback Andrew Luck decided to remain at Stanford for another season.

Harbaugh long admired the late Hall of Fame coach Bill Walsh, one of his mentors, and how Walsh made the successful leap from Stanford to the 49ers.

Taking a page out of Walsh's handbook, Harbaugh told reporters Friday that he will "absolutely" run a west coast offense, the scheme Walsh created during his legendary run with the Niners.

"San Francisco is the birthplace of the west coast offense, and i'm excited about that," Harbaugh said.

Now, he must turn around a once-proud franchise that is desperate to become a contender again right away. The 49ers were picked to win the NFC West this season, then began 0-5 for their worst start since losing seven straight to begin a 2-14 season in 1979 -- Walsh's first year as coach.

Niners team president and CEO Jed York said when Mike Singletary was fired that money would be no object in finding the team's next coach. He promoted vice president of player personnel Trent Baalke to general manager earlier this week, then they worked together to make their push for Harbaugh, who also was in talks with the Miami Dolphins and Stanford.

Harbaugh went 58-27 overall as a college coach and 29-21 in four seasons at Stanford. He took over a 1-11 team when he was hired in December 2006 and quickly turned the program back into a winner and bowl contender.

The Cardinal went 4-8 in his first season, 5-7 the next, then improved to 8-5 and earned a Sun Bowl berth in 2009 -- the school's first bowl appearance since 2001.
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Harbaugh, who played 15 seasons in the NFL, was the Oakland Raiders' quarterbacks coach from 2002 to 2003 before spending three seasons as head coach at the University of San Diego.

Harbaugh's brother, John, is the coach of the Baltimore Ravens, who are in the playoffs as a wild-card team this season. The 49ers and Ravens play each other next season.

Harbaugh said he looked forward to facing off against his own flesh and blood, saying he joked with his brother that the league would make their 2011 meeting the Thursday night opener next September.

"I look forward to coaching against John Harbaugh, Bill Belichick, and many great coaches in the National Football League," he said. "That challenge, I willingly accept it and look forward to it."

San Francisco has been seeking a new coach since the firing of Singletary the week before the season finale. Jim Tomsula, the defensive line coach, was promoted to interim coach for the one game, a 38-7 home victory over the Arizona Cardinals.

Harbaugh was the Oakland Raiders' quarterbacks coach from 2002-03 before spending three seasons as head coach at the University of San Diego.

Harbaugh, a college star at Michigan where there also is a coaching vacancy after the firing of Rich Rodriguez, played 15 seasons in the NFL for the Bears, Colts, Ravens, Chargers and Panthers. A first-round draft pick taken 26th overall by Chicago in 1987, Harbaugh completed 2,305 of 3,918 passes for 26,288 career yards and 129 touchdowns in the NFL. He also ran for 18 TDs.

jpele
01-07-2011, 10:52 PM
"San Francisco is the birthplace of the west coast offense, and i'm excited about that," Harbaugh said.

He should study the game before he opens his mouth. Sid Gillman, Don Coryell and Al Davis all used the "west coast offense" before Bill Walsh made it popular.

LarryNJ
01-07-2011, 11:41 PM
He should study the game before he opens his mouth. Sid Gillman, Don Coryell and Al Davis all used the "west coast offense" before Bill Walsh made it popular.

Really??? I thought that they were all of the throw it deep mentality. I guess West Coast can be thought of as a passing offense, although I always consider it a short passing offense.

StlersGuy
01-08-2011, 12:03 AM
I really thought he was going to Michigan.. Oh well




*Sent from my HTC EVO using Tapatalk Pro.

Troyisabeast_43
01-08-2011, 12:38 AM
He looks and sounds just as annoying and whiny as his brother John...

DIESELMAN
01-11-2011, 02:52 PM
Smart move taking the SF job, where a 7-9 record gets you the division crown. He was supposedly offered 2 mil more to go to Miami, but turned it down to stay on the west coast. He can bang heads once again with Pete Carroll. :lol:

Black@Gold Forever32
01-11-2011, 02:57 PM
He looks and sounds just as annoying and whiny as his brother John...

Agree......Harbaugh =whiny little bitches

K Train
01-11-2011, 03:09 PM
i woulda loved for him to coach the browns so he and his brothers team could be dismantled by the steelers

steelersbabex25
01-11-2011, 03:44 PM
Now we get to deal with TWO WHOLE DOUCHE BAGS. Atleast he isn't in our division.