Jim Harbaugh In ‘Striking Distance’ On Becoming Los Angeles Chargers Coach, Intel On 2024 Chargers Coaching Staff

Credit: Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Los Angeles Chargers coaching search is reportedly nearing a conclusion with Michigan Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh closing in on a deal to replace Brandon Staley.

From the moment Los Angeles fired Staley late in the 2023 NFL season, Michigan’s head coach was the odds-on favorite to replace him. While the Chargers conducted one of the most thorough coaching searches in the NFL, interviewing more than 15 candidates, Harbaugh is on the verge of coming out on top.

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  • Jim Harbaugh NFL record: 44-19-1, 5-3 in NFL playoffs

At Michigan, Harbaugh posted an 89-24 record in nine seasons and took the Wolverines to the College Football Playoff in three consecutive seasons. Fresh off winning a national championship, Harbaugh is ready to finally return to the NFL after fielding interest for several years.

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As first reported by Mike Garafolo on NFL Network, Harbaugh is in Los Angeles and is within “striking distance” on a contract to become the Chargers head coach. There’s a belief a deal could come together in the very near future.

  • Jim Harbaugh college record: 118-46 overall (.720 winning percentage)

While no details on the contract were disclosed, previous reports indicated that Harbaugh was seeking at least $15 million per season from NFL teams. With some of the highest-paid NFL coaches making upwards of $20 million annually, Harbaugh could reach that number if his deal is finalized.

Jim Harbaugh’s Potential Los Angeles Chargers Coaching Staff

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Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORKCredit: Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK

Harbaugh fielded significant interest around the NFL, including a second interview with the Atlanta Falcons. However, the opportunity to work with quarterback Justin Herbert and live in Los Angeles always made the Chargers the favorite to land the Wolverines’ coach.

While a move is far from official, with other NFL teams still vying for him, there appears to be a Chargers coaching staff for 2024 under works. According to NFL insider Aaron Wilson, Harbaugh is likely to hire Greg Roman as offensive coordinator Michigan’s Jesse Minter as defensive coordinator, and son Jay Harbaugh as special teams coordinator.

Minter, age 40, would be a huge addition for Los Angeles. After serving on the Baltimore Ravens coaching staff from 2017-’20, he spent one season as Vanderbilt’s defensive coordinator then joined Harbaugh at Michigan in the same role. He’s heavily credited for the Wolverines’ national championship.

PPG AllowedTotal YPG AllowedSack RateYPR allowed
202216.1 (6th)292.1 (5th)7.47% (33rd)3.3 (9th)
20239.5 (1st)239.7 (2nd)8.6% (14th)2.9 (6th)
Michigan Wolverines defense under Jesse Minter

Roman has been a long-time Harbaugh assistant. The 51-year-old served as associate head coach at Stanford from 2009-’10 then followed Harbaugh to the San Francisco 49ers (2011-’14) and served as offensive coordinator. Roman most recently worked as the Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator (2019-’22), before being dismissed by head coach John Harbaugh last offseason.

Under Roman and Harbaugh, the Chargers will likely become a more run-heavy team. While this would theoretically take the football out of Herbert’s hands more, it could create a far more effective passing game. Harbaugh will likely also look to poach some other assistants from the Michigan coaching staff for smaller roles with the Chargers.

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Jay Harbaugh, 34, started his coaching career as an undergrad assistant at Oregon State (2008-’11). He then worked on his uncle’s coaching staff in Baltimore (2012-’14), working as an offensive quality control coach. In 2015, he joined Michigan’s coaching staff first as assistant special teams coach (2015-’16) before taking over the full-time position in 2017.