Former 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh reportedly considering return to NFL

In the aftermath of his most successful season yet as head coach of the Michigan Wolverines, Jim Harbaugh is reportedly considering a return to the NFL.

According to The Athletic, Harbaugh, 58, could be tempted to pursue one of the NFL head coaching vacancies this offseason rather than remaining at his alma mater, which he led to a College Football Playoff appearance this season.

The report connected Harbaugh to the Las Vegas Raiders, who have an opening in their organization after head coach Jon Gruden resigned in October following reports that he wrote offensive emails that included racist, misogynistic and homophobic language.

Harbaugh is reportedly close with Raiders owner Mark Davis, but Las Vegas may not be the only potential fit for the former 49ers head coach. The only other job currently open is in Jacksonville with the Jaguars, but it’s safe to say Harbaugh will not be a candidate to work under general manager Trent Baalke after the pair had a tumultuous relationship during their tenure together in San Francisco.

Once other vacancies are established — the Bears, Broncos and Vikings are teams reportedly weighing head coaching changes — a clearer picture of possible landing spots for Harbaugh should emerge.

The Raiders were Harbaugh’s first coaching stop, when he led their quarterbacks room for two years, beginning with Rich Gannon’s 2002 MVP season.

Harbaugh went 44-19 during a four-year run as head coach of the 49ers from 2011-2014.

Harbaugh joined the 49ers following a successful stint at Stanford where he went 29-21 as the head coach including 12-1 in his final season with the Cardinal. Upon returning to coach at the college level in 2015, Harbaugh has posted a 61-24 record at Michigan including a 12-2 mark this season, which ended last Friday with a loss in the playoff semifinal to Georgia.

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