Watching Jim Harbaugh tonight, I’m reminded that the San Francisco 49ers are desperately in need of a head coach.
Harbaugh was busy leading Stanford to a blowout victory over Virginia Tech in the Orange Bowl, and I thought, ‘Man, would it be nice to see him take the job 30 miles up the road.’
The Cardinal put the Hokies in a headlock in the second half, and Harbaugh looked like the king of his castle, strutting and preening to the delight and response of his legion. His team went on to win, 40-12, giving Stanford one of its biggest victories of the post-WWII era.
Clearly, he’s a coach whose career prospects are on the rise.
The Niners, and their ownership, would be wise to do whatever it takes to keep him in the Bay Area. A new GM, a new QB, whatever. And they better do it ASAP, because it’s purported that Harbaugh’s alma mater, Michigan, is interested in his services. Ditto for the NFL’s Denver Broncos.
The 49ers, if they want a coach with up-side rather than a recycled also-ran, need to seek out Harbaugh. Drop $3 million a year on him. Drop a top-5 NFL Draft pick on him. Trade up for Andrew Luck and build something. With Harbaugh, it would be do-able.
The Niners missed on this opportunity once, allowing Pete Carroll and Matt Leinart (fatefully) to stay at USC back in 2004. If San Francisco ownership lets Harbaugh and Luck slip through its fingers, and Harbaugh’s the lynch-pin to making it happen, the team’s fans may never be so lucky again.