Hackett praises Harbaugh’s leadership in Michigan revival

NCAA Football

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Michigan fans had high hopes when Jim Harbaugh agreed to become the Michigan head coach in December of 2014.

But it took some time to get to the level of success many anticipated.

Harbaugh took a pay cut before this season began, and some wondered how much longer Michigan would stick with him.

Jim Hackett was Michigan’s interim athletic director when he hired Harbaugh to return home to lead the program. Despite the ups and downs the program has experienced since Harbaugh took over, Hackett said his faith in him never wavered.

“You’re witnessing the guy I hired,” Hackett said. “This happens, as the former CEO of big companies, the pressure can be such that you begin to think, ‘Well, maybe I need to listen to this or listen to that,’ and you might lose your internal sense of why you are where you are.”

He said he got the chance to encourage Harbaugh this past spring.

“I got to talk to him in the spring, and I said, … ‘Your instincts in this sport are some of the best I’ve ever been around, and I want to make sure you feel like there’s people like me that believe you ought to return to those,” Hackett said. “I think the whole offensive scheme and the way he’s playing defense is Jim Harbaugh. Everybody has said that to me, it looks like what we saw when we were really high on bringing him in.”

No. 2 Michigan is preparing to face No. 3 Georgia in the College Football Playoff semi-final on Friday. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m. in Miami.

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