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Despite Michigan's apparent interest in John Harbaugh, coach not pursuing job, source says

The Baltimore Sun

When the University of Michigan football team lost again this weekend, NFL coaches and brothers John Harbaugh and Jim Harbaugh were quickly linked to the Wolverines. Michigan coach Brady Hoke is under fire after a 2-3 start.

An unconfirmed NFL Network report Sunday stated that Michigan is highly interested in Ravens coach John Harbaugh and prefers him over San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh.

While Michigan may be interested in him, John Harbaugh isn't expected to pursue a job currently held by his friend, Hoke, according to a source with knowledge of the situation.

The source said there are multiple reasons why John Harbaugh wouldn't be inclined to go after the job beyond his friendship and loyalty to Hoke. A big reason is that Harbaugh is content as coach of the Ravens (3-1), with whom he won Super Bowl XLVII just two seasons ago over Jim Harbaugh's 49ers. 

John Harbaugh has not commented on being linked to Michigan.

Harbaugh recently denied an ESPN report that he was at odds with the Ravens front office over whether the organization should keep former running back Ray Rice after a domestic violence incident. His denial was included in the Ravens' rebuttal to the ESPN report.

Earlier this month, a video surfaced of Rice punching his then-fiancee and his $35 million contract was terminated with the NFL indefinitely suspending the three-time Pro Bowl runner.

Harbaugh has compiled a 65-35 win-loss record in seven seasons with the Ravens, who gave him his first head-coaching position at any level in 2008 as the replacement for Brian Billick. Harbaugh has gone 9-4 in the postseason. He reached the playoffs for six consecutive seasons before not making the postseason last year when the Ravens finished 8-8.

Harbaugh was signed by the Ravens to a four-year contract extension before last season that averages $6.5 million per year and made him one of the highest-paid coaches in the NFL. Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti gave Harbaugh a one-year extension after last season. He is under contract through the 2017 season.

The Harbaugh brothers do have strong ties to Ann Arbor, Mich. John Harbaugh graduated from Pioneer High School there, and his brother starred at quarterback for the Wolverines. Their father, Jack Harbaugh, was an assistant coach under the legendary Bo Schembechler.

Hoke's job status is regarded as precarious after a 30-14 defeat to Minnesota on Saturday that gives the Wolverines three losses in September for the first time in the Big Ten program's history.

awilson@baltsun.com

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