His quarterback is doing what many say is the right thing by shunning instant millions and staying in college to pursue his degree. Stanford Coach Jim Harbaugh, however, is striking while his popularity iron is hot by bolting down the road to the struggling San Francisco 49ers franchise, reports ESPN.com.
The deal between the two sides is for 5 years and is worth $25 million, ESPN reports.
Harbaugh will leave behind what some say is the country's best college quarterback, Andrew Luck, a projected number one overall pick in this year's NFL draft, who announced Thursday he was spending one more year in sunny Palo Alto.
The 49ers have had a pair of disappointing seasons in a row with Hall of Fame linebacker Mike Singletary as their head coach, whom they fired with one game remaining this season and two years left on his contract.
Harbaugh is 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 transformed the program. The Cardinal set a school record for victories this season by going 12-1.
Standford capped their successful season with a 40-12 Orange Bowl victory over Virginia Tech.
Harbaugh had reportedly also mulled offers from the Denver Broncos, Miami Dolphins and the University of Michigan, where he once played quarterback.