Love him, hate him or the rare indifference to him — Michigan Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh attracts attention unlike just about any head coach in football. After redefining what a media circus can look like at the 2015 Big Ten Media Day, Harbaugh managed to continue to steal the show at the 2016 version of the same event.
However, it wasn’t him holding up a jersey, getting testy with the media or . What Harbaugh brought to the table this time around was a much more comfortable, albeit still socially awkward, version of himself. There was much more talk of his team and even a few jokes at our expenses here in the media.
There were also no apologies for an offseason full of Twitter wars, 40 satellite camps and his take on SEC coaches and administrators trying their hardest to ban said satellite camps. Perhaps most telling was Harbaugh’s response to questions about his war of words with Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith.
Rather than apologizing, Harbaugh believes so strongly in his Wolverines that he believes he had every right to fire back at a perceived shot against his team a few months ago.
“I would put that in the category of ‘if somebody shoots one over your bow, then you shoot one back over their bow.'” Harbaugh said Monday, via MLive.com. “Usually, I subscribe to the ‘sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me’ philosophy. But when someone talks about somebody you love or something you love or makes a personal attack then you have the right to shoot one back over their bow.”
Then there was his debut in a rap video released just last week, and when asked about what he thought about doing it from the beginning, Harbaugh had a pretty perfect answer to that question — a simple “Yes.”
Harbaugh on his rap video: “My first instinct was to say yes.”
He then ends it w/ a “the cool people liked it.”
— Andy C (@AndyOnFootball) July 25, 2016
Let’s not even talk about his fashion choice…if only because it seemed to be the only thing people decided to talk about during and after his appearance at the podium in full suit and tie with the trademark block “M” hat on his head.
Whatever that was, Harbaugh rocked it with pride and continued to get the people talking about him and his program.
Consider that a master class in how to use the media to your advantage too.