KPIX 5 Sports Director Dennis O’Donnell hosts “Gameday” every Sunday night at 11:30pm on KPIX 5 and offers his unique sports analysis here.
SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — They say everything’s big in Texas. Including the rumor that 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh might be interested in the coaching job for the Longhorns.
On Thursday, Harbaugh gave the predictable, “I don’t ever talk about any job but my own” response.
As a matter of principle, I loathe responding to speculation, innuendo, and the old egg-against-the-wall trick. But in the new age of journalism, or lack thereof, someone’s got to pull out the fire hose.
As the rumor goes, Harbaugh might bolt for Texas because it’s a high-profile gig for “name-your-price” money, all the power on campus, and a change of scenery for a coach whose track record is constant changes of scenery. Did somebody get hit by a Mack Truck?
Jim Harbaugh has moved alright. But he has moved up, from the University of San Diego, to Stanford, to the 49ers. Each step is a rung up the ladder.
Does anyone outside of Austin actually believe that the Longhorns are the next rung up? Cream of the crop? Top of the Heap? If he can make it there he can make it anywhere? (Last paragraph courtesy of Frank Sinatra)
Harbaugh doesn’t strike me as a money-hungry guy. He drives an old truck with a passenger that is a spider. He wears a gas station shirt, for crying out loud. Harbaugh is as blue collar as a coal miner in West Virginia. And if he were a miner, he would be the only one never to wipe the coal off his face at night. Can you really see this guy wearing a Stetson?
His $5 million salary does not rank in the top 10, and he is $3 million behind the NFL’s highest paid coach, Sean Payton of the New Orleans Saints.
In fact, Harbaugh is probably the lowest paid coach in the NFC West. Pete Carroll and Jeff Fisher make $7 million each. Arizona’s Bruce Arians is unlisted, but his predecessor, Ken Whisenhunt, pulled in $5.75 million. That leaves Harbaugh in the poor house.
Power? Believe me, Harbaugh runs 4949 Centennial Blvd., perhaps not in title, but certainly in stature. Forget Colin Kaepernick or Levi’s Stadium. Jim Harbaugh is the face of the franchise and if he wants the most money and title of official dictator of the scarlet and gold, he’ll get it.
And he won’t have to blow tumbleweeds out of his front yard to do it.
The final theory is that Harbaugh likes to pick up and leave every few years. The son of a football coach usually has the roots of a palm tree. Palo Alto is the closest place that Harbaugh can call home. He played high school football, basketball and baseball at Palo Alto High.
My hunch is that Harbaugh would move to Death Valley if it meant winning a Super Bowl, but not Texas to win the Sugar Bowl.
Harbaugh to the Longhorns? Just a bunch of gobble, gobble turkey.
See you on TV.
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