Jim Harbaugh is new Chargers coach

The Los Angeles Chargers needed desperately to make a game-changing move in the franchise’s first offseason since firing Brandon Staley late in the 2023 season. The Chargers took that step of going bold with the hiring of Jim Harbaugh, who used to play quarterback for the team. 

“Jim Harbaugh is football personified, and I can think of no one better to lead the Chargers forward,” said team owner and Chairman of the Board Dean Spanos. “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?”

Jim Harbaugh led Michigan to a 15-0 record and a College Football Playoff National Championship. Harbaugh led the Wolverines to a victory in the 2024 Rose Bowl Game against Alabama. Photo credit: Dennis J. Freeman/News4usonline.com

The hiring of Harbaugh removes the stench of the Chargers being afraid to go big and go after a well-known name in the coaching world. It also marks a significant progressive step towards the team to stay relevant even in their backyard with the Los Angeles Rams and USC Trojans owning the lion’s share of football fans and adoration.  

That very well could change dramatically with Harbaugh coming back home to Southern California. Things haven’t gone too well in the Chargers head coaching carousel. The last three head coaches under former general manager Tom Telesco flamed out. 

With a boatload of talent around them, Mike McCoy, Anthony Lynn, and Staley, just weren’t able to elevate the Chargers to NFL elite status. Instead, mediocrity set in over the last decade. That’s about to change with Harbaugh, who played for the Chargers during the 1999 and 2000 seasons. 

“The only job you start at the top is digging a hole, so we know we’ve got to earn our way. Be better today than yesterday,” Harbaugh said. “Be better tomorrow than today. My priorities are faith, family and football, and we are going to attack each with an enthusiasm unknown to mankind. This organization is putting in the work — investing capital, building infrastructure and doing everything within its power to win. Great effort equals great results, and we’re just getting started.”

Harbaugh is fresh off of leading the Michigan Wolverines to the national championship. During his tenure at Michigan, Harbaugh guided the Wolverines to three Big Ten titles and three straight College Football Playoff appearances.

Before he became a successful coach within the college ranks, Harbaugh was already carving out his legacy at the NFL level.

As head coach of the San Francisco 49ers, Harbaugh took his team to the Super Bowl (Super Bowl XLVII) and made three trips to the NFC Championship Game. In his previous stint as an NFL head coach, Harbaugh’s record was 49-22-1. 

Jim Harbaugh posted a 49-22-1 record as a head coach in the NFL before he went into the college ranks to coach at the University of Michigan. Photo credit: Dennis J. Freeman/News4usonline.com

“You don’t build a resume like Jim’s by accident, and you don’t do it by yourself,” said President of Football Operations John Spanos. “You need a team. And nobody has built a team more successfully, and repeatedly, in recent history than Jim Harbaugh. His former players swear by him, and his opponents swear at him. Jim is one of one, and we couldn’t be more excited to have him back in the Chargers organization as our head coach.”   

Harbaugh basked in the nostalgia of coming back to a franchise he once played for. The memories are good ones. This time around, Harbaugh will be running the show instead of being a participant.

 “When I played for the Chargers, the Spanos family could not have been more gracious or more welcoming. Being back here feels like home, and it’s great to see that those things haven’t changed,” Harbaugh said. 

 Harbaugh is the brother of Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh.   

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