College Coaches Going To the Pros in the NFL

Welcome to the first blog on SDG’s new website.

With the success of Jim Harbaugh and others, we decided to discuss the seemingly growing trend of college coaches switching to the NFL. This is Harbaugh’s second year coaching the San Francisco Forty-Niners.

From 1994 to 2001, Jim was an assistant coach at Western Kentucky University under his father and head coach Jack. After two years as quarterbacks coach for the Oakland Raiders, Harbaugh returned to the college ranks being named head coach starting in 2004 with the University of San Diego. After taking the Toreros to consecutive Pioneer League championships in 2005 & 2006, he moved up to Stanford University where he served as head coach from 2007 to 2010 and led the Cardinals to two bowl appearances that include the 2011 Orange Bowl 40 to 12 victory over Virginia Tech.

Immediately afterward on January 7, 2011, he signed a five-year deal as head coach of the NFL San Francisco 49ers and Harbaugh led the team to playoff appearances in his first two seasons there. He and his older brother, Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh, not only became the first pair of brothers to serve as head coaches in NFL history (John beating Jim 16-6 in Baltimore on Thanksgiving night 2011 for one of the 49ers’ three regular-season losses) but will face off against each other in Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans on February 3, 2013.

Not a bad start for the former Chicago Bears quarterback and college coach. Now many people are wondering if Chip Kelly can duplicate Harbaugh’s success. Chip Kelly, after a certain amount of indecision, became the head coach for the Philadelphia Eagles after turning around a mediocre program at Oregon. Only time will tell if this is the latest trend in hiring NFL coaches.

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