Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh to interview for Denver Broncos job

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On Thursday, Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh reiterated that “no one knows what the future holds.”

The reports have pinpointed what is in Harbaugh’s immediate future.

According to Tom Pelissero and Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, Harbaugh will interview with the Denver Broncos virtually this week for the head coaching position.

The Broncos fired head coach Nathaniel Hackett after just 15 games in his first season a few weeks ago. NBC Sports’ Mike Florio reported last week that the Broncos reached out to Harbaugh and expressed interest. Also last week, there was a report that Harbaugh spoke with Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper about their pending head coach opening.

WHAT’S NEXT: Jim Harbaugh’s future is now a true mystery after reports of NCAA investigation

Harbaugh acknowledged “the rumors and speculation” on Thursday, stating that college and pro teams are interested in acquiring many members of the U-M program.

“As I stated in December, while no one knows what the future holds, I expect that I will be enthusiastically coaching Michigan in 2023,” Harbaugh said in a statement released to the public. “I have spoken with President Santa Ono and Athletic Director Warde Manuel and appreciate their support of me and our program. Our mission as Wolverines continues, and we are preparing for the 2023 season with great passion and enthusiasm. As our legendary coach Bo Schembechler said … ‘Those Who Stay Will be Champions.'”

A few hours after this statement was made, reports surfaced that the Michigan football program would soon face a notice of allegation from the NCAA for lower-level violations. The Free Press confirmed late Thursday that the NCAA has looked into Level II violations by the program and a Level I violation — the highest level — by Harbaugh.

Manuel confirmed on Friday that the school had been served with draft allegations on Thursday.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on Saturday that the Broncos, now owned by the family that owns Walmart, have received permission to interview former Saints coach Sean Payton. If Denver chooses to hire Payton, they would have to provide some kind of compensation to New Orleans, which still owns the rights to Payton, who stepped away from the team last season.

Harbaugh, 59, was 44-19-1 in four seasons in San Francisco and coached in three straight NFC championship games and one Super Bowl. In his eight years as Michigan head coach, the former U-M QB is 74-25. The Wolverines have won 25 of 28 games since the start of the 2021 season, winning back-to-back Big Ten championships and making two trips to the College Football Playoffs.

Last offseason, Harbaugh interviewed with the Minnesota Vikings, who eventually hired Kevin O’Connell as head coach. When Harbaugh was not offered the job after the interview, which came on national signing day in February, Harbaugh told the Free Press he said to Manuel regarding NFL dalliances: “‘Warde, this will not be a reoccurring theme every year. This was a one-time thing.”

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Michigan football’s Jim Harbaugh to interview for Denver Broncos job

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