Jim Harbaugh has interviewed with the Los Angeles Chargers for their head coaching vacancy, a week after he led the University of Michigan to a national title.
The Chargers announced Harbaugh's interview on Monday without saying exactly when it took place. He is the eighth coaching candidate to interview with the Chargers, but his resume stands out from the rest.
The 60-year-old Harbaugh has an 89-25 record in nine seasons coaching his alma mater. Before that, he went 44-19-1 in four seasons as San Francisco's coach and took the 49ers to the Super Bowl after the 2012 season. He also had winning records at Stanford and the University of San Diego.
Harbaugh has a prior relationship with the Chargers and the Spanos family that owns the team. He played quarterback for the Bolts from 1999-2000.
The Chargers are looking for a coach and general manager after Brandon Staley and Tom Telesco were fired on Dec. 15, a day after a 63-21 loss at Las Vegas.
While Harbaugh is exploring his NFL options, he also is considering staying at Michigan, a person familiar with his thinking told the AP over the weekend. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the discussions.
Harbaugh has an offer from Michigan that would make him among the highest-paid coaches in college football.
The Wolverines beat Washington 34-13 in the College Football Playoff title game last Monday. Michigan held a celebratory parade on Saturday.
Harbaugh’s tenure at his alma mater has lasted longer than some expected when he was hired in 2015.
To prepare for a possible NFL return, Harbaugh recently hired Don Yee as his agent. Yee is known for his representation of another famous Michigan quarterback — seven-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady — but the Pasadena-based agent also represents Denver Broncos coach Sean Payton, who was the most sought-after coaching free agent last year.
Harbaugh has not hidden his interest in a possible return to the NFL. His brother, John, is the longtime coach of the Baltimore Ravens, who beat Jim Harbaugh’s 49ers in the Super Bowl after the 2012 season.
Harbaugh interviewed with the Minnesota Vikings two years ago and had discussions with the Broncos and Carolina Panthers last year.
Besides the Chargers, Atlanta, Carolina, Las Vegas, Seattle, Tennessee and Washington have openings.
The Chargers have also interviewed interim coach Giff Smith and offensive coordinator Kellen Moore, Las Vegas Raiders defensive coordinator Patrick Graham, Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator Todd Monken, San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator Steve Wilks, Baltimore defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald and former Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier.
Even though Monken, Wilks and Macdonald are part of playoff teams, they were allowed to interview virtually under the league’s revised policy since their teams have byes this week as the top seeds in their respective conferences.
The Chargers have interviewed four candidates for general manager — interim GM JoJo Wooden, New York Giants assistant GM Brandon Brown, Baltimore director of player personnel Joe Hortiz and Chicago Bears assistant GM Ian Cunningham.
AP Pro Football Writer Rob Maaddi contributed to this report.
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