Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh is a great football coach.
He also happens to be a total tree-climbing, Gatorade-in-his-cereal maniac.
I know this. You know this. But hearing stories about how genuinely wacky Harbaugh is never seems to get old.
With that in mind, NFL.com published an article earlier today that featured some NFL-bound Wolverines recalling their favorite Harbaugh memories. You can read the full piece there, but here are some of our favorite anecdotes.
The first one comes from offensive lineman Kyle Kalis and relates Harbaugh wearing his preferred footwear in a place of religious importance:
“Two years ago we played Utah in his first game, and it was at Utah. We took a visit to the Mormon Tabernacle. It was a mile-and-a-half walk and he made everyone get up early and we all walked over there. We get inside and we hear this ‘click, clack, click, clack,’ and coach Harbaugh’s in there with his cleats on. And the Mormon Tabernacle’s a pretty nice place, you know, marble floors. All the players are wearing sneakers, and we can’t believe Coach Harbaugh’s got his cleats on—he’s always got those things on.”
The Tabernacle now serves primarily as a concert hall for the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. According to TempleSquare.com, the structure is so acoustically sensitive that “a pin dropped at the pulpit can be clearly heard at the back of the hall, 170 feet away.” Can you imagine the racket Harbaugh’s spikes caused?
The next one comes from running back De’Veon Smith and defensive back Lano Hill. It involves an over-enthusiastic Harbaugh tweaking his hamstring during practice.
“He was showing us a pass route in practice my junior year, it was in fall camp. And he starts running really hard, and when he planted to cut, he pulled his hamstring. He tried to play it off like nothing happened, but we all saw the tweak. You could see on his face it was killing him. Finally by the end of the day, I think he had to see the trainer,” Smith said.
“It has to be the hamstring pull for me. I mean, we all knew he was hurt and he didn’t want anyone to know, but it was obvious. I think he limped on it for two weeks,” Hill added.
Of course the ultra-tough Harbaugh coached through the pain. Would you expect anything less?
Finally, we have the tale of Harbaugh pancaking a podium while trying to demonstrate how he wants his receivers to block. Offensive lineman Erik Magnuson spins the yarn:
“After our Utah game his first year, he was frustrated with the wide receivers’ blocking, so the Monday after the game, he tried to demonstrate on the podium. He gets a little running start, blocks the podium, and the whole thing just falls apart, wood shattered everywhere. I think he was as shocked as we were. We didn’t really start laughing until we saw he was making light of it himself.”
I have an idea for a book. Go interview every single player or coach who’s ever been on a team alongside Jim Harbaugh. Get their craziest Harbaugh stories. Compile them, put it on sale, sell a million copies.
With recruiting season right around the corner, we expect plenty more Harbaugh shenanigans on the horizon.
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