Michigan president, athletic director won’t guarantee Jim Harbaugh’s return to Michigan

Jim Harbaugh arrived in Ann Arbor to do three things: beat Ohio State, win the Big Ten and bring a national championship to Michigan. He’s checked off the first two items three times each. And on Monday, he completed the third goal as well.

The No. 1 Wolverines won 34-13 over No. 2 Washington to claim the program’s first undisputed national championship. But before the confetti began to rain down on the field at NRG Stadium, everyone wondered whether Harbaugh had coached his final game for the Wolverines.

Michigan’s president and athletic director were both asked after the game whether they could assure the return of Harbaugh. Neither committed to him coming back.

“I’m doing my very best. Hopefully he will stay,” president Santa Ono said, per The Athletic’s Austin Meek.

MORE: Latest news, updates on Harbaugh’s NFL interest

Athletic director Warde Manuel did not exactly paint a prettier picture. He was asked whether he could let Harbaugh leave Houston without putting pen to paper.

“I’m going to let Jim and everyone celebrate tonight and we’ll deal with that when we deal with it,” Manuel said, per Fox Sports’ Bryan Fischer.

Harbaugh has been perhaps the hottest name in NFL coaching rumors, with the Chargers and Raiders the two leading contenders. He has spoken in the past about the Super Bowl being the “greatest prize in our sport.” He came up just shy of winning one when his 49ers lost to his brother’s Ravens in Super Bowl 47.

Harbaugh reportedly has a contract extension from Michigan on the table. The Wolverines have reportedly offered him a 10-year, $125 million extension that would make him among the highest-paid coaches in the sport. But he has not yet accepted the deal, and after winning the title, asked why there were so many questions about his future.

“I just want to enjoy this. I hope you give me that. Can I have that?” Harbaugh said. “Does it always have to be what’s next, what’s the future?”

Harbaugh has accomplished what he set out to do in Ann Arbor and brought the program back to national prominence. Now, he’ll have to decide whether he wants to try and run it back with the Wolverines or return to the NFL to complete some “unfinished business.”

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