Sources – Jim Harbaugh Accepts Chargers Head Coach Job

LOS ANGELES — Jim Harbaugh is leaving the national champion Michigan Wolverines to take the head coaching job with the NFL's Los Angeles Chargers, sources told ESPN's Adam Schefter on Wednesday.

Harbaugh was considered one of the Chargers' most desirable prospects this coaching cycle, as he excelled at every level. Since his head coaching career began at the University of San Diego in 2006, Harbaugh has had success at Stanford, Michigan and in the NFL with stops with the San Francisco 49ers. There's also Harbaugh's Chargers connection: He played quarterback for the team for two seasons (1999-2000).

As a college coach, Harbaugh has a 144-42 record, won three Big Ten championships and won Michigan's first national title since 1997.

Harbaugh spent four seasons (2011-14) as coach of the 49ers, where he was named NFL Coach of the Year in his first season. Harbaugh led the 49ers to Super Bowl XLVII, where they lost to the Baltimore Ravens, who were coached by his brother John.

Harbaugh left the 49ers after the 2014 season with a 44-19-1 regular season record.

The Chargers are scheduled to play the Ravens next season at Sophie Stadium, which will now officially be a rivalry between John and Jim Harbaugh.

When Harbaugh took over the 49ers, he rebuilt a team that had fallen from the NFL's elite and missed the playoffs for eight straight seasons.

He will face a similar challenge with a Chargers team that finished 5-12 last season and has three playoff wins since 2008. Another task for Harbaugh is to build the Chargers roster next season, as the team is projected at $27.5 million. million over the league salary cap, according to ESPN's roster management system.

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Harbaugh and the Chargers have been linked since the offseason began. However, one of the potential challenges to a Harbaugh-Chargers reunion is if owner Dean Spanos is willing to pay Harbaugh a competitive salary that could lure him away from Michigan and other NFL teams.

While the Chargers have signed players to record-breaking contracts, the organization has developed a reputation for not paying coaches. The Spanos have denied that claim, with team president John Spanos telling reporters in December that he didn't know “where the stories came from” and that the team never had limits on spending.

Following a 63-21 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 15, Dec. 15, the Chargers fired coach Brandon Staley and general manager Tom Delesco.

The Chargers conducted an extensive search after firing Staley, interviewing a league-high 15 candidates. Former Bills defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier, 49ers defensive coordinator Steve Wilks, Bengals offensive coordinator Brian Callahan, Raiders D.C. Patrick Graham, Raiders D.C. Patrick Graham, former co-ordinator of Bengalston D.C. Patrick Graham, Bengalston, started in-house with interim head coach Kiff Smith and offensive coordinator Kellen Moore before interviewing former Bills defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier. Vrabel, former Stanford coach David Shaw, Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson, Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn, Ravens offensive coordinator Todd Mongan and Ravens defensive coordinator Mike McDonald.

Staley finished his 48-game Chargers tenure with a .500 record, along with one playoff appearance that ended in a historic loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars.

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