Jim Harbaugh agrees to become Chargers head coach

The Los Angeles Chargers and Jim Harbaugh have reportedly agreed to terms to make him the next head coach as he heads back to the NFL after nine seasons with Michigan.

Jim Harbaugh agrees to become Chargers head coach

Jim Harbaugh is heading back to the NFL after accepting the head coaching job of the Los Angeles Chargers on Wednesday, the team announced on Wednesday night

ESPN reports Harbaugh agreeing to a five-year deal with Los Angeles.

"Jim Harbaugh is football personified, and I can think of no one better to lead the Chargers forward," said owner and chairman of the board Dean Spanos. "The son of a coach, brother of a coach and father of a coach who himself was coached by names like Schembechler and Ditka, for the past two decades Jim has led hundreds of men to success everywhere he's been — as their coach. And today, Jim Harbaugh returns to the Chargers, this time as our coach. Who has it better than us?"


The Chargers’ pursuit of Harbaugh has been heating up in recent days as NFL Network previously reported them reaching the final stages of a deal.

After nine years as the Michigan Wolverines head coach, where he most recently won a national title, Harbaugh is headed back to the West Coast to lead a Chargers team that went 5-12 during the 2023 regular season.

"My love for Michigan, playing there and coming back to coach there, leaves a lasting impact. I'll always be a loyal Wolverine," said Harbaugh. "I'm remarkably fortunate to have been afforded the privilege of coaching at places where life's journey has created strong personal connections for me. From working as an assistant coach at Western Kentucky alongside my father, Jack, and time as an assistant with the Raiders, to being a head coach at USD, Stanford, the 49ers and Michigan — each of those opportunities carried significance, each felt personal. When I played for the Chargers, the Spanos family could not have been more gracious or more welcoming. Being back here feels like home, and it's great to see that those things haven't changed.

"The only job you start at the top is digging a hole, so we know we've got to earn our way. Be better today than yesterday. Be better tomorrow than today. My priorities are faith, family and football, and we are going to attack each with an enthusiasm unknown to mankind. This organization is putting in the work — investing capital, building infrastructure and doing everything within its power to win. Great effort equals great results, and we're just getting started."

 NFL Network reported on Tuesday the Chargers were "in the zone where something can happen" soon. The Chargers’ deal to Harbaugh is expected to be an "extremely strong" financial offer. 

The Chargers weren’t the only team to interview Harbaugh for their head coach vacancy. The Atlanta Falcons brought him in for an initial interview and reportedly wanted him back for a second interview, but the Chargers clearly wanted to lock him in for 2024 and beyond. 


Harbaugh was among the top head coaching candidates that included Bill Belichick and Mike Vrabel.

However, Harbaugh had been speculated to be the next head coach of the Chargers since Brandon Staley was let go after a lackluster season without a playoff berth.

This isn’t the first time in recent years that Harbaugh was interested in a potential return to the NFL. He had serious talks with the Minnesota Vikings two years ago before Kevin O’Connell was hired as head coach. 

Last year, the Denver Broncos also entered talks with Harbaugh before Sean Payton was their choice. 

The Chargers, a team desperate for a turnaround after a star-studded roster underperformed this past season, now gets a head coach with a winning pedigree at both levels.

It's also a team Harbaugh knows well, having played the final two years of his NFL career with the team in San Diego from 1999 to 2000.

Harbaugh is coming off a national title season with the Wolverines, winning the university’s first championship since 1997. But there are NCAA investigations ongoing into Harbaugh and the Michigan program, which led some to believe he would return to the NFL to avoid complications the investigations could cause.

Harbaugh previously served as the San Francisco 49ers’ head coach, going 44-19-1 from 2011 to 2014 before heading to his alma mater.