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"This gives Michigan a chance to catch up," DiNardo said.
Harbaugh went 58-27 overall as a college coach at San Diego and Stanford, including a 29-21 record in four seasons with the Cardinal. He took over a 1-11 team when he was hired in December 2006 and quickly turned the program back into a winner and bowl contender.
The 49ers hired Harbaugh four days after the bowl, and he went 44-19-1 with two NFC West titles in four seasons.
Harbaugh's first Stanford team went 4-8 in a season highlighted by a 24-23 win over No. 1 Southern California, a game in which the Cardinal was a 41-point underdog. Stanford was 5-7 the following season, then improved to 8-5 and earned a Sun Bowl berth in 2009 — the school's first bowl appearance since 2001. They won the Orange Bowl with quarterback Andrew Luck his final season.
Under Brady Hoke, Michigan dipped to 5-7 this season and was among only four Big Teams to not earn a bowl bid. The Wolverines were 31-20 in Hoke's four seasons and declined steadily after an 11-2 mark in his first year.
"I think it gives the Big Ten great credibility,Wholesale China NFL Jerseys
," said Lou Holtz, the former coach and an ESPN analyst. "I've always felt the real evaluation of a conference is strength of coaches. When you look at the SEC, there's Nick Saban, there was Urban Meyer (at Florida), Steve Spurrier, Mark Richt, Les Miles. Now in the Big Ten you've got an Urban Meyer, a Jim Harbaugh,Wholesale Jerseys China
, a Mark Dantonio."
"I think we'll have some comments tomorrow," Harbaugh told The Michigan Daily, the student newspaper in Ann Arbor.
"I wish him nothing but the best and appreciate everything he did for us," 49ers fullback Bruce Miller said. "Had a great run and wish nothing but good things for him at Michigan."
Still, Michigan's new coach has his work cut out for him in a Big Ten East Division that's only getting tougher.
He played 15 years in the NFL,Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale
, earning the nickname "Captain Comeback" for leading fourth-quarter playoff rallies for the Indianapolis Colts. Harbaugh later coached quarterbacks for the Oakland Raiders in 2002-03 before returning to the college ranks.
Former San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh has signed a deal to become the new coach at Michigan, a person with knowledge of the discussions told The Associated Press on Monday.
The idea of the Michigan-Ohio State rivalry spiced up with Harbaugh vs. Urban Meyer harkens to the league's glory days, when Bo Schembechler and Woody Hayes ruled the conference.
"You don't pay someone millions of dollars and tell him what jersey number the quarterback should wear," DiNardo said. "This coach has to be left alone, whether that's the size of the recruiting staff or facilities or non-conference schedule. All those decisions have to be Jim Harbaugh's. No one told Bo Schembechler what to do. He sees the big picture."
Harbaugh's leadership showed up during his playing days in Ann Arbor. He is well remembered for delivering a victory he guaranteed over Ohio State in 1986, the same season he was Big Ten player of the year and finished third in Heisman Trophy voting.
A day later, his name was the buzz of the Big Ten.
"He's basically Michigan royalty right now," said former Wolverines quarterback Denard Robinson, now a Jacksonville Jaguars running back. "He's the man right now. I think he's going to do a great job and help out recruiting. He's had success at every school he went to. I think it's a great fit for Michigan."
The person spoke on condition of anonymity because there was no formal announcement from the school or Harbaugh, who did not return calls or text messages. But not long after Harbaugh arrived at the Detroit Metropolitan Airport on Monday night, Michigan scheduled a Tuesday news conference for a "major" football announcement.
Big Ten Network analyst and former college coach Gerry DiNardo said Michigan, the only school with more than 900 all-time wins, would be bringing in a "rock star" capable of returning the Wolverines to elite status in a short time.
Early media reports had Michigan offering Harbaugh $49 million over six years. DiNardo, whose coaching resume includes stops at LSU, Indiana and Vanderbilt, said he doubted Harbaugh would have taken the job if he weren't promised to have full