You can finally take Jim Harbaugh's name out of the Michigan coaching search picture. ESPN's Adam Schefter is reporting that Harbaugh has agreed to a five-year deal with the San Francisco 49ers worth $25 million. The 49ers have scheduled a press conference for this afternoon to introduce Harbaugh as the new coach.
This news signals the end of what has been a drama filled story with Harbaugh for the last five days or so. He has been linked to three NFL jobs, the Michigan job and staying at Stanford. At one point in time over the last week almost all of the jobs Harbaugh was linked to looked like possible destinations for him. A week ago most thought he would jump at a Michigan offer, but that changed after the Orange Bowl. Then a deal looked imminent with him and the 49ers on Wednesday and the Dolphins on Thursday. This morning staying at Stanford looked like the favorite.
This story concludes with Harbaugh staying in the Bay Area, but to coach the 49ers, not Stanford. This means that the pipe dream of him shockingly ending up at Michigan can officially be put to rest. With the ridiculousness of this story anything seemed possible despite all signs pointing to somewhere other than Ann Arbor, but only now are the hopes of a happy ending for Michigan fans totally dead.
For Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon, his suspicions that Harbaugh would end up in the NFL have been confirmed. For Michigan fans, it's no longer necessary to follow every development of the Harbaugh drama. It will be time to start following other names out there, but at least this saga is finally over, even if the ending wasn't what Michigan fans had hoped.