LA Chargers Hire Jim Harbaugh as Their New Head Coach

Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh in December 2023
Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh in December 2023. Photo by John Mersits/CSM/Shutterstock (14241732kn)

The Los Angeles Chargers hired Jim Harbaugh as their new head coach. The franchise officially confirmed the news on Wednesday night.

Harbaugh arrives in LA after serving as the head coach of Michigan Wolverines for the past nine years. The Wolverines won the CFP National Championship during the 2023 college season.

The move marks Harbaugh’s return to the Chargers organization after more than two decades. Harbaugh previously played for two years with the franchise as a quarterback, starting 17 games combined in the 1999 and 2000 seasons. He went 6-11 during that span, throwing for 4,177 yards, 18 touchdowns and 24 interceptions. 

“Jim Harbaugh is football personified, and I can think of no one better to lead the Chargers forward,” said Chargers’ owner Dean Spanos in a statement. “The son of a coach, brother of a coach and father of a coach who himself was coached by names like Schembechler and Ditka, for the past two decades Jim has led hundreds of men to success everywhere he’s been — as their coach. And today, Jim Harbaugh returns to the Chargers, this time as our coach. Who has it better than us?”

The Chargers are hoping that Harbaugh can change their fortunes after years of disappointment. They have one of the most talented teams in the league, fronted by star quarterback Justin Herbert, on paper, but have consistently failed to get the best out of it. This resulted in head coach Brandon Staley being fired at the end of the 2023 campaign, in which the team went 5-12 and missed the playoffs for the fourth time in the past five years.

Jim Harbaugh has been successful in all of his previous stops, including his first venture into NFL coaching with the San Francisco 49ers. Taking over a rebuilding 49ers’ team in 2011, Harbaugh had two NFC Championship Game appearances and a Super Bowl XLVII trip in his first three years in charge. He left the team after clashing with the ownership and front office after an 8-8 finish in 2014.