Jim Harbaugh says he’s overpaid when he joined to join the Michigan Wolverines’ football team. Harbaugh will make between $5-$7 million dollars this fall to lead a team that, at best, will finish with three or four losses, according to ESPN.
Asked if he’s worth that much, the Michigan coach said “no.” Then, when a reporter suggested he give it back, the coach explained.
“Naw. I like making a buck just like the next guy. I’m not doing five times as much work as somebody else or doing more work than someone who’s not the head football coach at the University of Michigan so, to answer your question, honestly, I would have to say no.”
Jim Harbaugh may think he’s overpaid, but there’s a lot of high expectations by the University and its players. To protect their prized non-profit status, big-time NCAA schools are forced to spend the millions of dollars they reap, otherwise, it appears they’re making too much money.
One way this money is spent is through the building of opulent facilities. The other way it’s spent is by paying elite college coaches by the Brinks truck.
And since college coaches are represented by agents, it’s no surprise to see college coaches’ salaries balloon like they have.
Harbaugh signed a seven-year deal worth up to $38.1 million this offseason to coach his alma mater, according to The Kevin Burke Project. While Jim may downplay his success, his brother John, coach of the Baltimore Ravens, said the hype surrounding the Wolverines’ new coach is appropriate.
“I think it’s warranted … His career has begun. He’s a great football coach. He was a great player at Michigan, obviously. … Great coach, great family man. I love him to death.”
Maybe Harbaugh is just being modest. Most fans don’t think there is any question that that Michigan opened up their checkbook and money whipped Harbaugh into coming home to Ann Arbor, so while Jim may not feel he is worth that kind of money, he certainly didn’t shy away from it.
One thing to watch going forward will be how contracts like Jim’s impacts the open market for coaches when it comes time to negotiate their deals. Most doubt most will come close to what Harbaugh is making currently, it will certainly give them a bidding chip if they have achieved success and a school wants to keep them.
Another reporter asked if Jim would take a pay cut to set a precedent for the other major coaches.
“No, fair question,” Harbaugh said. “But as I said, willing to work for it.”
Jim Harbaugh is not the only overpaid coach in America, and there aren’t many rational people out there who would seek their own pay cut, notes Locker Dome. One thing for sure, Harbaugh did take an NFL team to the Super Bowl.