2009: 8-5 (Finishes tied for second in league and leads Stanford to first bowl appearance in eight years) 2008: 5-7 (Stanford finishes second in the Pac-10 in rushing offense) 2007: 4-8 (Victories over #2 ranked USC and defending Pac-10 Conference co-champion Cal)
The Harbaugh File Full Name: James Joseph "Jim" Harbaugh Pronunciation: HAR-baw Place of Birth: Toledo, Ohio Hometown: Palo Alto, California High School: Palo Alto High School, 1982 College: Michigan, 1986 (B.A., Communications) Wife: Sarah Children: Jay; James, Jr.; Grace; Addison NFL Draft: 1987/Chicago Bears/ 1st Round (26th overall pick) Playing Experience: College 1982-86, University of Michigan Professional 1987-93, Chicago Bears 1994-97, Indianapolis Colts 1998, Baltimore Ravens 1999-2000, San Diego Chargers 2001, Carolina Panthers
Since his appointment to the position of the Bradford M. Freeman Director of Football on December 19, 2006, Jim Harbaugh has instilled a new sense of passion, enthusiasm, energy and pride into Stanford's football program that continues to show marked improvement under his leadership.
From day one, Harbaugh set out to change the culture and raise the expectations of a program that was in search of its first winning season and bowl berth since 2001.
His mantra of "We bow to no program at Stanford University" was firmly indoctrinated into the minds of everyone associated with the Cardinal program.
Flash forward to present day and the Stanford football program hardly resembles the one Harbaugh inherited following a 1-11 season just four years ago, as the Cardinal has turned the corner to once again be a force in the Pac-10 Conference and on the national scene.
After posting records of 4-8 and 5-7 in his first two seasons at the helm, Harbaugh guided Stanford to an 8-5 overall mark and a second place finish in the Pac-10 Conference, culminating in a trip and to the Sun Bowl, marking the program's first bowl appearance since the 2001 season.
Among the eight victories last season included three wins over ranked opponents, including No. 24 Washington, No. 7 Oregon and No. 11 USC. In addition, Stanford spent four weeks ranked nationally, peaking at No. 14 in the Associated Press poll on Nov. 15, following its 55-21 win over USC in Los Angeles.
Harbaugh effectively transformed the Cardinal into one of the most exciting and productive offensive units in the nation, as Stanford finished the 2009 season ranked first in the Pac-10 and 19th nationally in total offense, averaging 427.6 yards per game. The Cardinal also set a single season records for total offense yardage (5,559), points scored (461) and rushing yardage (2,837).
Stanford's high-powered offense was at its best in wins over No. 7 Oregon (51-42) and No. 11 USC (55-21), as the Cardinal scored 50 points in back-to-back games for just the second time in the program's history.
Harbaugh's commitment to the running game has resulted in Stanford compiling two of the three program's highest rushing totals over the last two seasons. Led by 2009 Doak Walker Award winner and Heisman Trophy runner-up Toby
Gerhart, Stanford has averaged 209.2 yards a game on the ground over the last two campaigns. Last season, the Cardinal rushed for a single-season record 2,837 yards, breaking the previous mark of 2,481 set established in 1949. Gerhart blossomed under Harbaugh's watch. The Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Year earned consensus All-America honors as senior, claimed the Doak Walker Award as the nation's top running back and finished second in the Heisman Trophy balloting in the closest vote in the award's 75-year history.
Freshman quarterback Andrew Luck emerged as one of the best young signal callers in the nation this season under Harbaugh's tutelage. Luck engineered a Stanford offensive attack that averaged 36.2 points a game last season, which ranked first in the Pac-10 and 19th nationally. Luck's 2,575 passing yards were the highest total by a Stanford freshman quarterback in the program's history.
Stanford players continue to excel in the classroom, as well. A total of 18 Cardinal players earned All-Pac-10 Conference academic recognition this season, including eight players who earned first team academic honors. Wide receiver Ryan Whalen was an ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American second team selection.
Harbaugh wasted little time in serving notice Stanford is a program on the rise. After inheriting a team that finished 1-11 in 2006, the Cardinal have been one of the most improved teams in the Pac-10 Conference over the last three seasons. In 2007, the Cardinal posted a 4-8 overall mark and a 3-6 record in conference play, including an epic, 24-23 upset win over second-ranked USC and a convincing victory over defending Pac-10 Conference co-champion California, breaking the Bears five-game winning streak in the Big Game.
In 2008, Stanford improved by one more game to finish 5-7 overall. Only two last second road losses at UCLA and Oregon stood in the way of the Cardinal and a bowl berth. Along the way, Stanford amassed its second highest single-season school rushing total in school history and again proved to be one of the most aggressive pass rushing teams in the conference, as the Cardinal finished 11th nationally in sacks-per-game for the second straight season.
A tireless and passionate recruiter, Harbaugh and his staff landed nationally-recognized recruiting classes each of the last two seasons.
Harbaugh came to Stanford from the University of San Diego, where he guided the Toreros to an impressive three-year overall record of 29-6 (.829), including back-to-back 11-1 seasons that netted a pair of Division I-AA Mid Major national titles in 2005 and '06.
Success is no stranger to Harbaugh. A product of nearby Palo Alto High School, he was one of the most highly-sought after recruits in the nation. He enjoyed a storied career at the University of Michigan, where played for legendary coach Bo Schembechler and helped lead the Wolverines to three bowl appearances, garnering Big Ten Player of the Year and first team All-America honors. As a professional, Harbaugh finished his career ranked among the NFL's top-50 in several passing categories and was named the AFC's Offensive Player of the Year in 1995. During his brief coaching career in the NFL, he helped the Oakland Raiders reach the 2003 Super Bowl as the team's quarterbacks coach.
As a collegiate player, Harbaugh led the Maize and Blue to a 21-3-1 record and three bowl appearances as a full-time starter from 1984-86. As a senior, he quarterbacked the Wolverines to a Rose Bowl appearance and earned first team All-America and Big Ten Player of the Year honors while finishing third in the Heisman Trophy balloting. As a junior, he led the Wolverines to a Fiesta Bowl victory and a No. 2 ranking in the national polls.
He finished his collegiate career completing 387-of-620 passes for 5,449 yards and 31 touchdowns. Harbaugh became the first Wolverine quarterback to throw for 300 yards in a single game, accomplishing the feat against Indiana on October 25, 1986.
A first round draft pick of the Chicago Bears in 1987, Harbaugh played for five teams over 15 seasons, including the Chicago Bears (1987-93), Indianapolis Colts (1994-97), Baltimore Ravens (1998), San Diego Chargers (1999-2000) and Carolina Panthers (2001). He racked up 26,288 passing yards to go along with 129 touchdown passes, completing 2,305-of-3,918 passes in 177 career games, including 140 starts. Harbaugh ranks among the NFL's all-time top-50 in career completions (#35), pass attempts (#39) and passing yards (#48).
In Chicago, Harbaugh passed for over 2,000 yards in four consecutive seasons and led the Bears to back-to-back 11-5 seasons in 1990 and '91. He passed for a career-best 3,121 yards and led Chicago to an appearance the NFC Wild Card game. He also quarterbacked the Bears to a playoff win in 1990.
Harbaugh enjoyed some of his most productive seasons as a player with the Indianapolis Colts from 1994-97. In 1995, he led the Colts to the AFC Championship Game and earned AFC Offensive Player of the Year and NFL co-Comeback Player of the Year honors, while landing a spot in the Pro Bowl. He was also the runner in the NFL's MVP voting and finished as the league's top-rated passer. Harbaugh turned in another strong season in 1996, passing for 2,630 yards and leading the Colts to a second straight playoff appearance.
In January of 2005, he had his name placed in the Colts Ring of Honor as one of the top players in franchise history.
In 1998, he started in 14 games in his lone season with the Baltimore Ravens. In 1999, he passed for 2,761 yards, the second-highest total of his career, while starting for the San Diego Chargers. He completed 60.9% of his passes with San Diego in 2000 before finishing his career with the Carolina Panthers in 2001.
His uncanny ability to lead his teams, particularly during his time with the Colts, to fourth quarter comebacks earned his the nickname of "Captain Comeback."
Following his retirement from pro football, Harbaugh spent two seasons (2002-03) as the quarterbacks coach of the Oakland Raiders. In his first season, the Raiders posted an 11-5 regular season record and won the AFC Western Division title and advanced to Super Bowl XXXVII following playoff wins over the New York Jets and Tennessee Titans.
He laid the groundwork for his coaching career while he was still a competing as a player in the NFL, serving as an NCAA-certified unpaid assistant coach at Western Kentucky, where he worked with his father and Hilltopper head coach Jack Harbaugh from 1994-2001. As an offensive consultant, Harbaugh scouted and recruited prep prospects in several states, including Florida, Illinois and Indiana and was involved in recruiting 17 players on WKU's team that captured the 2002 Division I-AA National Championship.
Harbaugh comes from a family of coaches. In addition to his father, Jack, who coached for 41-years, including 14 at Western Kentucky, his brother John is the head coach of the Baltimore Ravens. His brother-in-law, Tom Crean, is the head basketball coach at Indiana University.
Harbaugh is co-owner of Panther Racing in the Indy Racing League, which won the 2001 and 2002 IRL championship. In addition, he has been actively involved in community service ventures, including the Harbaugh Hill Foundation, the James Whitcomb Riley Hospital for Children (Indiana University), the Jim Harbaugh Foundation, the Uhlich Children's Home and the Children's Miracle Network.
Jim and his wife Sarah reside in Palo Alto with their daughter Addison. Jim also has three children, Jay, James, Jr. and Grace.
Stanford University--Head Coach (2007-09) 2009: 8-5 (Finishes tied for second in league and leads Stanford to first bowl appearance in eight years) 2008: 5-7 (Stanford finishes second in the Pac-10 in rushing offense) 2007: 4-8 (Victories over #2 ranked USC and defending Pac-10 Conference co-champion Cal)
Stanford Year-by-Year Under Jim Harbaugh
San Jose State
Arizona State (23)
@ USC (2)
@ Oregon State
@ Washington State
@ Arizona State (15)
San Jose State
@ Notre Dame
@ Wake Forest
San Jose State
@ Oregon State
(25) @ USC (11)
(19) vs. Oklahoma (Sun Bowl)
University of San Diego - Head Coach (2004-06) 2006: 11-1 (Division I-AA Mid Major National Champions, Pioneer Football League Champions) 2005: 11-1 (Division I-AA Mid Major National Champions, Pioneer Football League Champions) 2004: 7-4 Overall Head Coaching Record: 38-21 Stanford Head Coaching Record: 9-15
Oakland Raiders - Quarterbacks Coach (2002-03)
Oakland reached the 2003 Super Bowl following the 2002 campaign Western Kentucky - Assistant Coach (1994-2001) Served as an NCAA-certified unpaid assistant for his father, Jack, for eight seasons while still playing in the NFL
Playing Career - Highlights
National Football League (1987-2001) Played for 15 NFL seasons with five different teams, racking up 26,288 passing yards and 129 passing touchdowns while completing 2,305-of-3,918 passes in 177 games and 140 starts Selected the AFC Offensive Player of the Year, NFC Comeback Player of the Year and a Pro Bowl selection in 1995 when he led the Indianapolis Colts to the AFC Championship Game Member of the Indianapolis Colts Ring of Honor Ranks among the NFL's all-time Top 50 in career completions (#35), pass attempts (#39) and passing yards (#48)
Carolina Panthers (2001) 2001: Finished his playing career by participating in six games
San Diego Chargers (1999-2000) 2000: Completed 60.9% of his passes 1999: Threw for 2,761 yards (second most in his career) Baltimore Ravens (1998) 1998: Played in 14 games in his lone season with the Ravens Indianapolis Colts (1994-97) 1997: Threw for over 2,000 yards for the third straight campaign 1996: Led team to second straight postseason appearance and passed for his Indianapolis career-best 2,630 yards 1995: AFC Championship Game. AFC Offensive Player of the Year, NFL Co-Comeback Player of the Year, Pro Bowl Career-high 17 TD passes 1994: First season with Indianapolis Chicago Bears (1987-93) 1993: Posted fourth straight season with over 2,000 passing yards in his seventh and final campaign in Chicago 1992: Played in all 16 regular season games for the second consecutive season 1991: Career-high 3,121 yards in the air and led Chicago to NFC Wild Card game after 11-5 regular season 1990: Reached an NFC Divisional playoff contest after winning Wild Card game and posting 11-5 regular season 1989: Part-time starter 1988: Third string QB behind Jim McMahon and Mike Tomczak 1987: Saw limited action as an NFL rookie after being selected in the first round of the 1987 NFL Draft
College Football (1982-86)
Michigan Wolverines Threw for 5,449 yards and 31 touchdowns in his career, while completing 387-of-620 passes Added 12 career touchdowns on the ground Led Michigan to a 21-3-1 record as a full-time starter in final two collegiate seasons First Michigan quarterback to ever throw for over 300 yards in a single game
1986: Led team to 11-2 record, a share of Big Ten regular season title and Rose Bowl appearance Third in voting for Heisman Trophy, Big Ten Player of the Year, First Team All-American Second-ranked quarterback in the nation in passing efficiency School record 2,729 passing yards 1985: Led team to a 10-1-1 overall record, a second place Big Ten finish and Fiesta Bowl victory 1984: Co-led the club with five starts 1983: Saw limited action as a redshirt freshman 1982: Redshirted as a true freshman