They often say that a football team is like a group of brothers. For Jim Harbaugh and John Harbaugh, that term is quite literal. The two highly successful head coaches share a deep connection that dates back to birth, as the two of them have been together way before they dawned a headset on NFL sidelines.
Are Jim Harbaugh and John Harbaugh Brothers?
Yes, both Jim and John Harbaugh are brothers. They are the only pair of brothers who have made it to the NFL as head coaches. John, the head coach of the Baltimore Ravens, is 61 and is the older of the two brothers. Jim is 59 years old and the head coach of the Michigan Wolverines.
The two brothers have both shared immense success in the NFL ranks, though Jim opted for the college level in 2015. He chose to go back and coach his alma mater after his time as the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers.
John Harbaugh’s Career as a Coach
John first broke into the coaching ranks in 1984, when he was the running back and outside linebacker’s coach for Western Kentucky University. At the time, his father Jack Harbaugh was the head coach and gave his son his first job in the coaching industry.
John remained in the college ranks until 1998 when he finally broke into the NFL as a special teams coordinator for the Philadelphia Eagles. He remained in that position until 2006 before becoming their defensive backs coach in 2007.
The following year, John was hired by the Ravens to be their head coach and has been there ever since. He has since won a Super Bowl for the franchise, beating his little brother’s 49ers, and has been one of the most successful coaches in Baltimore’s history.
Jim Harbaugh’s Career as a Coach
Unlike his brother John, Jim played in the NFL before joining the family business of coaching. Jim played 14 seasons for four NFL teams, including the Chicago Bears and Indianapolis Colts. He threw for 26,288 yards and 129 touchdowns throughout his career and was selected to play in one Pro Bowl during that time as well.
Jim’s coaching career began in 2002 when he became the quarterbacks coach for the Oakland Raiders. Two years later, he joined the college ranks, where he got his first head coaching gig with the University of San Diego before eventually taking on the same role more famously for Stanford University.
In 2011, Jim jumped back into the NFL, where he was the head coach of the 49ers from 2011 to 2014. He had a 44-19 record during his tenure and made the NFC Championship Game twice and the Super Bowl once during the four years.
Jim would leave the NFL world after a dramatic 2014 season to be the head coach at Michigan. Jim has remained in position ever since and has his program as one of the college football’s best, even if controversy continues to follow him around.