The Michigan Wolverines brought back a team legend earlier this year.
Mike Hart, who earned three-time first-team All-Big Ten selections while setting school records for rushing yards and carries, returns to Ann Arbor will be in charge of the team’s running backs as part of head coach Jim Harbaugh‘s staff.
However, things weren’t always the smoothest between the two. There was once a time where Harbaugh got on Hart’s bad side for some comments the now-Michigan coach had to say about his alma matter prior to his 2015 return.
“Michigan is a good school, and I got a good education there, but the athletic department has ways to get borderline guys in, and when they’re in, they steer them to courses in sports communications,” Harbaugh said in March of 2007 during an interview with the San Francisco Examiner soon after he was hired at Stanford.
Needless to say, Hart was not amused.
“That’s a guy I have no respect for,” Hart said. “You graduate from the University of Michigan, and you’re going to talk about your school like that, a great university like we have? To say that we’re not true student-athletes? I don’t know if maybe he wants to coach here and he’s mad because he didn’t get a job. He’s not a Michigan man. I wish he’d never played here.”
Not one to back down from a public call out, Harbaugh soon responded in kind:
“I’m not going to allow those comments to define who I am,” he told ESPN. “Mike Hart and Jamie Morris are not the makers of the Michigan man list. I put in the blood, sweat and tears to prove I belong on that list.
“Mike Hart is just repeating their messages. When I was a player, there would have been nobody saying anything like what Mike Hart said about me. We would have been too afraid of the consequences.”
Thankfully, the incident is now ancient history, and Harbaugh and Hart are now working together towards the common goal of bringing Michigan football back to the upper echelon of the collegiate ranks.
“How old was I in 2007? 21?,” Hart said last Thursday.
“I’ve said a lot of things in my life,” Hart continued. “Youth. Inexperience. I think people say things when they’re angry. I learned not to say things when I’m angry, I’ll say that. Me and Jim are great. It didn’t just start with the hiring.”
– – Quotes via The Detroit Free Press Link – –