You are worth whatever they are willing to pay you, that’s how the saying goes. If a school is willing to pay you almost $40 million dollars over a span of seven years, then that is what you are worth to them.
Jim Harbaugh believes that he isn’t worth the money that Michigan has invested in him to be head coach in Ann Arbor, even though I think he won’t be turning away the checks any time soon.
Harbaugh signed a seven-year deal worth up to $38.1 million this offseason to coach his alma mater, but when asked if he is worth that kind of money, he told TV station Fox 2 in Detroit simply, “No.”
“I’m not doing five times as much work as somebody else or doing more work than someone who’s not the head football coach at the University of Michigan so, to answer your question, honestly, I would have to say no,” Harbaugh said Monday.
While Jim may downplay his success, his brother John, coach of the Baltimore Ravens, said the hype surrounding the Wolverines’ new coach is appropriate.
“I think it’s warranted,” John Harbaugh said at the NFL owners meetings on Tuesday. “His career has begun. He’s a great football coach. He was a great player at Michigan, obviously. … Great coach, great family man. I love him to death.”
Though Jim Harbaugh may think he’s not worth his salary, don’t expect him to relinquish any of it, either.
“Naw,” he said. “I like making a buck just like the next guy.”
Maybe Harbaugh is just being modest. I don’t think there is any question that that Michigan opened up their checkbook and money whipped Harbaugh into coming home to Ann Arbor, so while he may not feel he is worth that kind of money, he certainly didn’t shy away from it.
One thing to watch going forward will be how contracts like Harbaugh’s impacts the open market for coaches when it comes time to negotiate their deals. I doubt most will come close to what Harbaugh is making currently, it will certainly give them a bidding chip if they have achieved success and a school wants to keep them.