Published February 24, 2011
INDIANAPOLIS – Jim Harbaugh says he has no regrets about leaving college coaching for the NFL's San Francisco 49ers.
The former Michigan quarterback talked to his alma mater about its coaching vacancy. And remaining Stanford's coach looked like a good option when quarterback Andrew Luck decided to return to school.
The challenge of chasing Super Bowls won him over.
"I have no second thoughts about the decision," he said at the NFL scouting combine on Thursday. "I'm extremely enthusiastic."
Michigan fans hoped the school would hire Harbaugh after it fired Rich Rodriguez. Both sides say Michigan never offered Harbaugh the job, and Harbaugh said Michigan is in good hands with athletic director Dave Brandon and new coach Brady Hoke.
"I have great love for Michigan," he said. "I went to Michigan, that was my university. Stanford was my university too. Both of those universities, I consider my university. Both would have been great options, but ultimately, it was on the level of competing on the highest level."
Harbaugh said he likes coaching a franchise with great history and high expectations. He doesn't mind following in the footsteps of coaches Bill Walsh and George Seifert.
"I walk through the doors of the San Francisco facility every single day, and if you ever walk through those doors, you walk through, and you're staring at five Lombardi trophies," he said.
"The bar is set high, and where else would you want it set?"
Now, Harbaugh is getting used to talking to players at the combine instead of preparing them for it.
"It's an opportunity to get knee-to-knee and eyeball-to-eyeball with these guys," he said. "In some instances, it may only be 15 minutes. In other instances, it may only be five minutes. But that's valuable time."
Harbaugh said he'll be fine adjusting to the pro game.
"To me, football is football," he said. "We're going to do the things that we believe in. There will be adjustments. We'll figure them out."