Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh will receive a base salary of $7.05 million this fall and up to $7.6 million in the final year of his new contract, which runs through the 2026 season, according to a copy obtained by ESPN on Thursday.
Harbaugh, 58, signed the five-year deal following his most successful season as the Wolverines' head coach -- and after what has been arguably his most tumultuous offseason. The renewed commitment comes two weeks after Harbaugh's highly publicized Feb. 2 interview with the Minnesota Vikings on national signing day. Following the news that he did not receive an offer, Harbaugh and athletic director Warde Manuel agreed Harbaugh would continue to be the head coach at his alma mater.
The new terms also include a hefty fine if Harbaugh decides to leave early, though Harbaugh told the Detroit Free Press he assured Manuel his flirtation with the NFL would not be a recurring issue. If Harbaugh leaves prior to the end of this contract "for any reason," he would owe Michigan $3 million in the first year. The buyout then drops to $2.25 million in the second, $1.5 million in the third, $750,000 in the fourth and zero in the fifth and final year.
"I love Michigan Football, the University of Michigan and the Ann Arbor community," Harbaugh said in a prepared statement. "My family and I are excited to continue leading this football program, and we are thankful for the support that our athletic department and university administration have demonstrated toward the team. I appreciate all that our players, coaches and staff are doing to excel on and off the football field. My enthusiasm for tomorrow, the day after and every day following is as high as ever, and we are ready to get on the practice field and start preparations for the 2022 season. Go Blue!"
The contract also states that Harbaugh will provide the athletic director with written notice prior to engaging in any discussions about other coaching opportunities "at any NCAA member institution, professional sports team or any other coaching or non-coaching positions that could result in termination of his employment at the University."
The revised contract essentially restores Harbaugh's salary to what it was prior to his 2-4 finish in 2020, when the university slashed his base salary to $4 million for 2021. Most of the bonuses from last year have remained the same.
Harbaugh will receive $500,000 if Michigan wins the Big Ten East and plays in the conference championship game. He will receive $1 million if the Wolverines win the Big Ten title. He can earn an additional million if the team wins the national title. Harbaugh would receive $200,000 for an appearance in a New Year's Six bowl that's not a CFP semifinal, and $500,000 for a semifinal appearance.
Last fall, Harbaugh led Michigan to the program's first Big Ten title since 2004, with a 42-3 victory over No. 12 Iowa at Lucas Oil Stadium. The Wolverines made their first appearance in the College Football Playoff, losing to eventual national champion Georgia in the Orange Bowl. U-M finished the year ranked No. 3 in the final polls, its highest finish since 1997.
Michigan has also included an academic incentive, as Harbaugh can receive an amount no more than $150,000 if the team has an Academic Progress Rate of 960 or higher.
"Jim has done a great job coaching and developing the young men in our football program," Manuel said in a prepared statement. "Last season, Jim along with the staff and players delivered a memorable season that will remain with all of us for a long time. As coach said, this is just the beginning. Academically, our program has been one of the best in the Big Ten and among the leaders across the country. We have graduated our players and they have been young men of great character who have done the right things. I have the utmost confidence in the direction of the program under Jim's leadership."
Harbaugh agreed that Michigan can terminate his employment without cause before the contract expires. It also lists typical reasons Harbaugh can be fired for cause. The buyout reiterates that Harbaugh is allowed to leave Michigan before the contract ends "by giving the University reasonable advance written notice of the termination of his employment."
Michigan begins spring football Monday.