Jim Harbaugh salary: how much will the new Chargers HC earn?

Jim Harbaugh has returned to the NFL after a 10-year hiatus, and surprisingly, he has chosen the Los Angeles Chargers as his entry point back into the league. Following the disappointing 2023 season, the Chargers decided to part ways with Brandon Staley and appointed Jim Harbaugh as the head coach of the team.

In return, the team has presented Harbaugh with a lucrative deal, especially after his successful leadership at Michigan, where he guided them to a perfect 2023 season and won the National Championship.

How much will Jim Harbaugh make in his Chargers contract?

Jim Harbaugh, the brother of Ravens’ HC, John Harbaugh, has officially joined the NFL again as the head coach at the Los Angeles Chargers. The 60-year-old will make a return to the league after he spent nine successful seasons in college football at Michigan. 

He previously coached in the NFL during which he led the San Francisco 49ers to Super Bowl XLVII, and in 2011, he was named the NFL Coach of the Year. During his time with the 49ers, the head coach earned $25 million for a five-year contract, averaging $5 million per year.

This time the Chargers have offered him a lucrative deal of five years. Reportedly, the HC will be paid more than $12.5 million a year. Michigan was offering him a six-year contract extension worth $11.5 million annually.

Jim Harbaugh
Via Sporting News

Jim Harbaugh is considered one of the best coaches in College Football and now he has the chance to prove his worth in the NFL. The Chargers’ owner expressed hope and enthusiasm for the arrival of Jim Harbaugh.

“Jim Harbaugh is football personified, and I can think of no one better to lead the Chargers forward,” Los Angeles Chargers’ owner Dean Spanos said.

The Chargers’ president of football operations, John Spanos, added, “You don’t build a resume like Jim’s by accident, and you don’t do it by yourself. You need a team. And nobody has built a team more successfully, and repeatedly, in recent history than Jim Harbaugh. His former players swear by him, and his opponents swear at him.”

In the 2023 season, the Chargers had a record of 5-12, ranking as the second-worst team in the AFC. Over the last 10 seasons, the team reached the playoffs only twice and never secured a Super Bowl victory. They signed Jim Harbaugh with the hope of transforming the team.

How much does Jim Harbaugh owe Michigan as buyout?

Jim Harbaugh joined Michigan as a coach in 2015 and showed incredible coaching skills, leading the team to the national championship victory in 2023. But now that he has decided to move to the NFL, he owes Michigan a buyout for breaking his contract with the team. To be exact, he now owes $1.5 million for leaving the team and moving to the league.

Reportedly, the head coach tried to keep his buyout low and engaged in negotiations with the team. Michigan also made efforts to retain the coach. Ultimately, Harbaugh made the decision to join the Chargers and is now obligated to pay for breaking his contract.

Jim Harbaugh
Via Getty

Michigan’s athletic director wished the coach the best for his future and expressed understanding of his decision. He shared that they were discussing making Jim Harbaugh the highest-paid coach in College Football but he respects his decision to move to the NFL. 

“We can’t thank Jim enough for all he has done for our student-athletes, staff, and Michigan Football. He will always be a huge part of our rich history, and will be remembered as an all-time great Wolverine, as both a championship player and coach,” the athletic director added.

Despite the buyout amount the HC is now set to sign a new contract with the Chargers. Given the lucrative deal he will receive from the Chargers, the buyout amount will likely be a relatively small sum for him to pay.

Maheen Zaib

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Maheen is a writer for SportsZion. She's your go-to for all things NFL, from epic game highlights to trade scoops and breaking news. Navigating the sports scene with flair, join her on this thrilling journey through the NFL's wild ride. Let's score some great reads together!


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