ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Jim Harbaugh spoke to reporters on Tuesday for the first time since his flirtation with the Minnesota Vikings in January and February. Harbaugh ultimately signed a new contract with the Wolverines, but the process brought about questions of whether or not this would be a recurring theme and an annual offseason topic.
Harbaugh confirmed to reporters that he told Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel that he does not want these rumors to persist beyond this year, and expressed to Manuel that he has ended his interest in the NFL for the duration of his new contract.
Harbaugh had an interest in going back to the NFL to win the Super Bowl, which was reported as a driving factor to pursuing a new opportunity. He said on Tuesday, however, that he is focused on the possibilities at Michigan.
"We can win college football's greatest trophy, that we could win a national championship; that's plenty good," Harbaugh said. "That would be great to win the Super Bowl, but completely focused on winning a national championship."
He acknowledged his interest in the NFL, but said what he and the team are building in Ann Arbor was exciting and has refueled his energy, saying he could coach forever with this type of team.
"Just ultimately decided this is where I want to be and really a lot of gratitude for that," Harbaugh said. "Like I said earlier, right now it's scary good. You can try to define what that is, you know the law of averages is going to catch up with you at some point, but that's the place where you want to be."
The Wolverines just made their first trip to the College Football Playoffs this past season after winning the Big Ten championship, and despite losing offensive coordinator Josh Gattis and defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald, Harbaugh said the program is continuing the momentum from last season.
Quarterbacks coach Matt Weiss and Sherrone Moore are now the co-offensive coordinators and are returning most of the team's offensive starters. That includes quarterbacks Cade McNamara and J.J. McCarthy, but McCarthy is dealing with lingering arm soreness from the season.
Doctors were consulted on the issue, which will not require surgery, but does have him resting his arm at the moment. Harbaugh said there is a short-term plan and a long-term plan for his arm, but did not anticipate it impacting the season as of now.
Given what he has returning, Harbaugh expressed his excitement for the program and that the team has put any uncertainty about his NFL future behind them. He has mentioned building this team around players and coaches who love football, getting rid of players who don't love football, and spoke similarly about this current team as it heads into spring ball.
"Just the whole state of the program. I know there's people that want to keep different stories going or love to hate us or hate to love us, but we're having a blast," Harbaugh said. "The word tumultuous was used in the offseason, and if guys are bringing the energy and having fun and the momentum that the program has. Whatever word you want to put on that, that's what we're having."