Jim Harbaugh ahead of the 2021 Orange Bowl. Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh takes the field for warmups before the Orange Bowl against Georgia on Friday, Dec. 31, 2021, in Miami Gardens, Florida.

This college football offseason saw a lot of discussion about Michigan Wolverines‘ head coach Jim Harbaugh possibly going to the NFL, particularly after he interviewed with the Minnesota Vikings. How much fire there was with that smoke is a matter of debate, especially after claims that many of those reports originated with Harbaugh’s camp, but it’s certainly notable to hear further Harbaugh commentary on the NFL. And we got some of that this weekend.

Harbaugh signed a contract extension at Michigan in February that will take him through the 2026 season. But that deal has a buyout provision that starts at $3 million and decreases every subsequent year. So there are certainly still ways for him to leave the Wolverines if he gets a NFL offer. And in a sit-down interview with ESPN’s Gene Wojciechowski that aired on College GameDay Saturday, Harbaugh had some interesting comments on what drove him to examine that NFL opportunity with the Vikings, including the “unfinished business” he feels he has in that league. Here’s a transcription of the key parts of that from Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk:

“I don’t apologize for taking a look,” Harbaugh told Wojciechowski. “And the one that doesn’t get printed is I don’t apologize for wanting to be at Michigan. Seem to cut off that last part of it. And that’s where [I’m] at, happy as can be.”

…What happens if some other NFL team offers Harbaugh a job?

“One of the things that was really kind of driving me is, you know, we were in San Francisco, we got that close to winning the Super Bowl,” Harbaugh said. “That’s always been a thing. There’s unfinished business there. But, hey, winning the national championship, [I] could be really happy with that, too. So that’s the goal. That’s the one we’re chasing.”

That interview definitely has Harbaugh saying he’s “happy as can be” at Michigan and “chasing” the goal of winning the college football national championship. And elsewhere in there, he talks about how he could see himself finishing his career with the Wolverines (who started this season with a 51-7 home win over Colorado State Saturday). But the “unfinished business” remark in particular sure makes it sound like he hasn’t necessarily given up on trying to win the Super Bowl.

How much NFL interest there actually is in Harbaugh (seen above ahead of last year’s Orange Bowl) can be debated. But he definitely was linked to a wide variety of teams last offseason, and he did land that interview with the Vikings (who ultimately chose Kevin O’Connell). And there seems to still be some NFL interest in him. And while he may be focusing on winning at Michigan for now, he definitely didn’t shoot down the idea of further NFL jobs in this interview.

[Pro Football Talk; photo from The Detroit Free Press, via USA Today Sports]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.