Those in the know were telling everyone that Jim Harbaugh’s tenure with Michigan football was all but done; he appeared ready to return to the NFL.
Harbaugh arrived in Minneapolis on Tuesday night to speak with the Minnesota Vikings brass in person. He met with the Wilfs and their new general manager all day on Wednesday. However, after leaving the meetings, he told the Michigan brass he was coming back to Ann Arbor.
While the details on what actually happened are fuzzy — Harbaugh did not get an offer, but is that because he pulled his name from consideration? — the news that he’s staying for his eighth season with the Michigan Wolverines shocked the sports world.
Social media absolutely exploded. Here are some of the best reactions we could find.
Star-Tribune Vikings beat writer Ben Goessling
The Vikings had never made Jim Harbaugh an offer to be the head coach, a source said. They talked all day, but Harbaugh decided he is going back to Michigan.
— Ben Goessling (@BenGoessling) February 3, 2022
Not the first time the Vikings have been on the receiving end of a Harbaugh audible.
— Ben Goessling (@BenGoessling) February 3, 2022
MGoBlog photographer Patrick Barron
Jim Harbaugh really committed to Michigan on national signing day
— Patrick Barron (@BlueBarronPhoto) February 3, 2022
NY Post writer Jeremy Layton
– on the day the Brian Flores news leaks, the Vikings have a 9 hour interview with Patrick Graham
– the day after, they fly out Jim Harbaugh and try to hire him
– immediately after he says no, they pivot to hiring another white guy who knows Sean McVay
— Jeremy Layton (@JeremyLayt0n) February 3, 2022
247Sports’ Zach Shaw
Negative recruiting will be a major concern, and Harbaugh is likely going to have to make nice more with recruits, Michigan admin and boosters for the program to keep building. But a friendly 2022 schedule and a talented roster sets Harbaugh up to win some of those concerns away.
— Zach Shaw (@_ZachShaw) February 3, 2022
John U. Bacon
Called three of my sources to confirm what @AdamSchefter reported here. One hadn’t heard yet but two confirmed Schefter was, as usual, spot on. After a month-long look at the NFL, Harbaugh is returning to Michigan for, he says, as long as UM will have him. https://t.co/9Y0g7Tzsdo
— John U. Bacon (@Johnubacon) February 3, 2022
Rivals’ Mike Farrell
ClickOnDetroit’s Derick Hutchinson
When I went out to snow blow those 5 inches of snow, Jim Harbaugh was apparently already out the door and Coaching Search Twitter had fired up. I come back in and he’s the Michigan football coach for 2022. 🤨
— Derick Hutchinson (@Derick_Hutch) February 3, 2022
BreakDown Sports’ Space Coyote
People on both sides want to use this of validation of their thoughts/desires of what Harbaugh means for UM. Many changing their tone. But nothing changed with JH. He loves UM. He was interested in another NFL shot if it was right. Now it’s time to go to work as he always has
— Space Coyote (@SpaceCoyoteBDS) February 3, 2022
USA TODAY Sports’ Dan Wolken
Jim Harbaugh is that dude who flirts with every pretty girl he sees at the bar before coming home and telling his girl he loves her.
— Brady Fred (@Brady_Fred) February 3, 2022
97.1 The Ticket’s Khang
Harbaugh’s time at Michigan as a head coach…fans happy…fans not happy…Harbaugh not happy…fans happy again…Harbaugh not happy…fans not happy. Harbaugh back, fans will get over it and will eventually be happy he’s back.
— Khang (@KhangSports) February 3, 2022
The Athletic’s Nick Baumgardner
There will also be more to unpack. Harbaugh and Michigan have some stuff to work on — let’s just say that.
If he’s told Warde Manuel this won’t be a thing every year … well, guess we’ll see.
— Nick Baumgardner (@nickbaumgardner) February 3, 2022
Detroit News’ Bob Wojnowski
People always underestimate Harbaugh’s unpredictability. I’m not saying it’s a good trait for him. I’m just saying nothing is ever a done deal until it’s done. I didn’t believe he was hell-bent on leaving for the NFL, only that he wanted to see what was out there.
— Bob Wojnowski (@bobwojnowski) February 3, 2022
I don’t know the circumstances behind Jim Harbaugh’s 180 and his decision to return to Michigan, but you have to imagine that only beating Ohio State by 15 points and only winning the Big Ten Championship Game by 39 points left a sour taste in his mouth. Time for #RevengeTour2022
— Scott Bell (@sbell021) February 3, 2022
Action Network’s Brett McMurphy
Bleacher Report’s Adam Kramer
jim harbaugh just likes to feel wanted. who can relate
— Gregg Rosenthal (@greggrosenthal) February 3, 2022
Former USC DB Su’a Cravens
MMQB’s Albert Breer
This was a fun ride. And flirting with multiple teams is probably confirmation we’ll see Harbaugh in the NFL again. In the meantime, he sure got payback on the people who made him take the paycut.
Taking a very public interview on NSD was a very nice touch. https://t.co/G8RtsD3kaZ
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) February 3, 2022
247Sports’ Brandon Marcello
Jim Harbaugh picked up the Michigan hat on National Signing Day.
— Brandon Marcello (@bmarcello) February 3, 2022
Fox 2 Detroit’s Ryan Ermanni
Pride of Detroit’s Mike Payton
Really curious about what the Vikings are gonna do now. It seems like Harbaugh straight up dogged them.
— Mike Payton (@POD_Payton) February 3, 2022
ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg
Asked a Michigan source earlier this week if a Harbaugh return would be awkward after the program was in limbo for the past few days.
“No. He’s going to get a nice contract and they’ll probably leave him alone.”
— Adam Rittenberg (@ESPNRittenberg) February 3, 2022
247Sports’ Chris Hummer
Jim Harbaugh staying is huge for Michigan. But you can’t help but feel, despite what’s been reported about him staying long term, that Michigan will always have to look over its shoulder because of the NFL.
Other schools will certainly mention it in recruiting.
— Chris Hummer (@chris_hummer) February 3, 2022
Bleacher Report’s Tyler Conway
The Athletic Minnesota writer Chad Graff
Jim Harbaugh remains so unpredictable. And that had the Vikings worried the last 48 hours. He expressed a lot of interest in becoming the Vikings coach in a Zoom on Saturday. Then today he changed his mind.
— Chad Graff (@ChadGraff) February 3, 2022