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Dolphins coaching search 2022: Jim Harbaugh returning to Michigan

Playoff Semifinal at the Capital One Orange Bowl - Georgia v Michigan Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

University of Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh will be the University of Michigan head coach in 2022, according to ESPN. Harbaugh interviewed for the vacant Minnesota Vikings head coach position on Wednesday and was considered a possibility for the Dolphins’ head coach vacancy but it now seems he will not be returning to the NFL.

The Dolphins previously pursued Harbaugh as a head coach in 2011, just after Harbaugh had finished an 11-1 season at Stanford, leading to the school’s first BCS Bowl victory as they beat Virginia Tech in the Orange Bowl. Quarterback Andrew Luck was the runner up for the Heisman Trophy and Harbaugh won the Woody Hayes Coach of the Year award. Over four days, Harbaugh let it be known he was looking to move to the NFL and the chase was on. Ross and Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland flew out to California to meet with Harbaugh, but ultimately Harbaugh chose to join the San Francisco 49ers. After four seasons, which included three NFC Championship game appearances and one Super Bowl appearance, Harbaugh moved to his alma mater at the University of Michigan, where he has been since 2015.

Dolphins owner Stephen Ross clearly is a fan of Harbaugh, but is also a Michigan alumnus and mega-donor to the school. Immediately after firing Brian Flores following the end of the 2021 regular season, Ross met with the media and stated he would not be the person to take Harbaugh from the school. While the Dolphins need a head coach, it appears Ross has remained true to his word and did not attempt to pull Harbaugh out of Michigan.

Miami continues to look for their next head coach. The team is currently conducting a second round of interviews, focused primarily on San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator Mike McDaniel and Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore.