If he is not fired, I will leave the Michigan Wolverines head coach, as he has a misunderstanding with his player.

He has a misunderstanding with his player; hence, if he is not fired, I will quit as head coach of the Michigan Wolverines.

After several weeks of discussions, we have made every effort to keep Jim Harbaugh as our football coach. Jim informed me over the phone today that he had made the tough choice to leave Michigan and sign with the Los Angeles Chargers in order to follow his NFL aspiration.

The news of Jim’s leaving saddens the players, the fans, and me. His passion and energy saved our program, won our first national title in twenty-five years, and kept Michigan the most successful team in college football history.

Respecting Jim’s choice, I appreciate all he has done for the University of Michigan. Both as a friend and a leader, he has been remarkable. I’ll be supporting Jim on this new journey.

University of Michigan Athletic Director Warde Manuel

Jim has done so much for our football team, the athletic department, and the University of Michigan over the last nine years, and for that, I want to thank him. His daily efforts to improve Michigan’s reputation throughout the globe have been relentless in his pursuit of championships and the development of young men both on and off the football field.

Building our team to routinely win Big Ten Championships and compete for national championships—a feat that culminated in a record three consecutive outright conference victories and the national championship this year—is exactly what Jim aimed to accomplish at Michigan. Off the field, however, he gave his players life experiences through team excursions throughout the world, internships, and mentorships.

Jim and I have been talking about a new deal that would make him the best-paid college football coach. Ultimately, he wanted to investigate and chose to pursue a return to NFL coaching. Jim has done so much for Michigan Football, our student-athletes, and the staff that we are unable to adequately thank him. He will go down in our rich history as one of the greatest Wolverines of all time, having won championships as both a player and coach.

Jim has been supportive of this leadership shift and has always been rather open with his discussions about NFL prospects. We had a wonderful talk today when he told me about his choice to return to the NFL and offered to help determine what the program needs going forward.

We are putting forth all effort to retain this present staff and squad together and are moving rapidly to appoint the next head coach for the program.

We value Jim’s commitment and enthusiasm for Ann Arbor, Michigan, and the university, and I hope the Los Angeles Chargers bring Jim and the Harbaugh family great success.

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