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Jim Harbaugh says he's staying at Michigan as football coach

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (CBS DETROIT) - After speculation on where Jim Harbaugh was going to go, the Michigan Wolverines football coach says he's staying where he's at.

In a statement on Monday, Harbaugh says "I love the relationships that I have at Michigan - coaches, staff, administration, President Santa Ono and especially the players and their families. My heart is at the University of Michigan. I once heard a wise man say 'Don't try to out-happy, happy' Go Blue."

Harbaugh coached for the San Francisco 49ers from 2011-2014. He left in 2014 to take the job at Michigan.

Earlier this month, Harbaugh said he expected to return for the 2023 season following reports of his interest in returning to the NFL. 

He reportedly had a conversation with Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper about the head coaching position. Harbaugh was also mentioned as a possible candidate to coach in Denver and Indianapolis, one of four teams he played quarterback for in the league from 1987 to 2000.

Despite the speculation, U of M officials say Harbaugh made it clear that he was returning to Michigan.

"I just got off the phone with Coach Harbaugh and Jim shared with me the great news that he is going to remain as the Head Coach of the Michigan Wolverines. That is fantastic news that I have communicated to our Athletic Director Warde Manuel," university President Santa Ono said in a statement on Monday.

Michigan held a 13-0 season last year before losing to Texas Christian University 51-45 in the Fiesta Bowl.

The NCAA announced a few weeks ago it was investigating potential rules infractions in the program. At that time, athletic director Warde Manuel said draft allegations were received, and the university was cooperating with the investigation.

"Out of respect to the NCAA's enforcement process, we will not offer further comments," Manuel said.  

The investigation was believed to involve texts and calls, including some by Harbaugh, to high school prospects during part of a pandemic-related dead period for contracts with potential recruits.

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