The Athletic names 4 candidates to replace Jim Harbaugh at Michigan

As things stand today, on January 26, 2022, my gut feeling is that there is a 90-10 chance that Jim Harbaugh signs a contract extension to remain the head coach of the Michigan Wolverines, rather than take an NFL job as plenty have speculated may happen.

But, what if Harbaugh does make the decision to leave for the NFL? Who would Michigan hire to be their next head coach?

In an article published by The Athletic on Wednesday, Austin Meek did his best to answer that question by mentioning four potential candidates who could replace Harbaugh.

Those candidates are Mike Hart (Michigan assistant), Josh Gattis (Michigan OC), Bill O’Brien (Alabama OC), and Matt Campbell (Iowa State HC).

From The Athletic:

There would be momentum for Mike Hart to get the job if Harbaugh leaves. Is he ready? Athletic director Warde Manuel did something similar when he hired Juwan Howard, an all-time great player with no head coaching experience. I won’t be shocked if Hart ends up as Michigan’s head coach in due time, but he’s only 35 and may need to take a coordinator job first. I also would expect offensive coordinator Josh Gattis to get a long look. He’s similar to Hart in age but has a slightly longer coaching resume, including the past three years calling plays at Michigan.

The Wolverines will have options if they decide to look outside. Bill O’Brien has head coaching experience in the Big Ten and the NFL, plus the Nick Saban seal of approval. Iowa State didn’t have a great season, but Matt Campbell is the same coach Michigan fans were clamoring for a year ago. My gut feeling is that Michigan would like to promote from within but may not have anyone who’s quite ready. The best path may be to work something out with Harbaugh and buy time for the younger coaches in case Harbaugh gets the NFL itch a year or two down the road.

Nation, IF Harbaugh does pack his bags and head to the NFL, which of those candidates do you prefer? Or, is there somebody else you have in mind?

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