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January 22, 2013 - Image 10

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2B - Tuesday, January 22, 2013
SPORTSTUESDAY COLUMN
Two weeks ago, Jim Har-
baugh arranged for
small laminated sheet to
be hung above every San Fran-
cisco 49ers locker.
Players from different decades,
from Randy Moss to Patrick Wil-
lis to Colin
Kaepernick,
peered above
their lockers
after ateam
meeting to
investigate.
Each sheet
was different. STEPHEN J.
The white
plaques had NESBITT
each player's
recruiting
rankings, college logo and a
grainy photo from high school.
Some, like Moss, had No.1
rankings splashed across the
sheet. Others, like Ray McDon-
ald, were nobodies, unranked
and forgotten. Harbaugh asked
only that the 49ers look back at
themselves and remember.
"Coach really wants us to tap
into what we wanted to be at that
time," safety Donte Whitner told
the Los Angeles Times. "When
you look at this picture, it's like,
'At this moment, what did I want
to be?"'
What they wanted to be was
never in question. They wanted
to be champions.
On Feb. 3, the 49ers will battle
the Baltimore Ravens in Super
Bowl XLVII in New Orleans. On
one sideline, Jim Harbaugh. On
the other, John Harbaugh.
The 49ers are right where they
want to be.
Harbaugh never made a lami-
nated sheet for himself. "They
didn't have the Internet back in
1982 that I'm aware of," he told
reporters with a laugh. But he
surely knows the answer to the
question he asked his team: What
didyou want to be?
Jim Harbaugh wanted to be a
champion.
He spent much of his child-
hood inAnn Arbor, around the
bend from Ann Arbor Pioneer
High School, where he and John
both starred on the dusty prep
football field across the intersec-
tion from Michigan Stadium.
The sons of a journeyman
assistant coach, Jack Harbaugh,
who found his footing as an
assistant coach under Bo Schem-
bechler at Michigan, the boys

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

The Making of a Champion

were born to coach. When their
father accepted a defensive coor-
dinator position at Stanford in
1980, the boys parted ways, John
to play defensive back at Miami
(Ohio), Jim to finish his last two
years of high school in Palo Alto,
Calif.'
Hold on. You know what hap-
pens next, sure, but just hold on.
Step back and think of what you
know about Jim Harbaugh right
now. What is he? Who is he?
Today, Jim is one of the fieriest
head coaches in the NFL. He's
gruff, he's tough, he's aticking
time bomb on the sideline. He
has an edge. Hisbrother is noth-
ing like that. His father really
wasn't either.
Jim was the son of a coach, the
brother of a coach, the brother-
in-law of a coach. Even one of his
babysitters was a coach.
But it came from somewhere
else, somewhere beyond the
reaches of the Harbaugh coach-
ing tree. If we're on the same
page here, you're thinking one
thing: It all comes back to Bo. It
always does.
Never a touted recruit despite
his peerless coaching pedigree,
Jim almost didn't return to Ann
Arbor. He isn't'your prototypical
'Michigan Man,' you see; maybe
it's hard to cultivate that death-
less loyalty when your father
coaches at five different schools
since you entered grade school.
No, Jim didn't come back for
the block 'M,' or for the winged
helmet or for the maize and blue.
He came back for Bo.
"I really didn't think I'd be
back here," Jim admitted in 1985.
"But, when I came here for my
visit, sitting in Bo's office, he said
he wanted me and I said, 'OK, I'll
come.' It was as easy as that."
It makes sense, really. Jim was
raised to understand the value of
a coach, a maker of men. And Bo
was the epitome of coach. He was
fiery, he had sideline antics. He
sure had an edge, too.
"He always seemed larger
than life to me. I put him on
a pedestal," Jim said after his
senior season. "Now, I view Bo
more as a human being. He's both
a coach and a friend.
"I still realize, though, that I'm
playing for a living legend."
He liked Schembechler's
style, his tenacity, his demand
for excellence. He once told the
story of when he overslept a team
meeting by five minutes during
his freshman year.
"Bo was mad," Jim recalled.

ASSOCIAT ED PRESS
Former Michigan quarterback Jim Harbaugh (left) will face his brother, John (right), as head coaches in the Super Bowl.
"He made me go sit in the back,sous efforts to dismiss the guaran- years before landing in the NFL
said I'd never take a snap for tee, Jim's words were plastered as special teams coordinator for
Michigan, said he was going to throughout the football building the Philadelphia Eagles. He spent
call my dad - which he did. at Ohio State. In front of 90,674 a full decade with the Eagles in
"But if I had a dollar bill for frenzied faithful in Columbus, that position. But he was never
every guy Bo said would never Jim threw for 261 yards and engi- a head coach. Though the pieces
play a down at Michigan, I'd be a neered an offense that - thanks were in place, he was never a
rich man." to a 210-yard rushing effort champion.
As quarterback, Jim wanted for runningback Jamie Mor- Neither was Bo, you'll remem-
to be a champion, wanted to give ris, gained a total of 529 yards her. The Harbaughswere ball-
that living legend his deserved . against the Buckeyes. boys for him, they'd throw on the
ring. After an injury-shorted Michigan leapt Ohio State sideline during practices when
sophomore season, Jim led Mich- in the Big Ten standings with a their father was an assistant
igan to a 10-1-1 record, a Fiesta 26-24 victory and punched its coach at Michigan.
Bowl victory over Nebraska and ticket to the Rose Bowl. But they've been fighters,
a No. 2 ranking in the final polls And, most iniportantly Jim's innovators, winners every step of
in 1985 - the highest ranking in statement held. the way.
Schembechler's tenure. "I'd have said it myself if I had If you look at Jim's resume,
That wasn'tgood enough. Jim any guts," Schembechler told you'll see that he was an assistant
bolted into the Heisman Trophy Sports Illustrated the next week. coach for Western Kentucky
conversation after rattling off from 1994 to 2001. It doesn't
nine consecutive victories to match up, does it? He was in the
begin his senior season. NFL then, suiting up for India-
But the wheels fell off on Nov. The Harbaugh boys never napolis and Baltimore and San
15, 1986 and the dream came to were champions. Diego and Detroit and finally
an end. The lights on the Michi- They took vastly different Carolina before retiring in 2001.
gan Stadium scoreboardblinked: routes to the mountaintop - Jim was never on the sidelines
Minnesota 20, Michigan 17. The one carving outa lengthy NFL for the Hilltoppers, but he and
wild-eyed Harbaugh was beside career, the other was following his brother shaped the program.
himself. Two days later, he made a more difficult route, climbing Their father, Jack, was the coach,
a guarantee. He had to. the winding coaching ladder - and in 1994 his program lost
"I guarantee you we'll beat but that one, final victory eluded funding, scholarships and had to
Ohio State and be in Pasadena on both. dock two coaches.
New Year's Day," Jim said. "Peo- Jim finished third in the Heis- As they told Michael Rosen-
ple might not give us a snowball's than voting. He spent 15 years in berg of Sports Illustrated in this,
chance in hell to beat them in the NFL. He was one play away the definitive story of the Har-
Columbus. But we're goingto. from the Super Bowl with India- baugh brothers, they picked up
"We don't care where'we play napolis in 1995. But he was never the slack. John, working for Cin-
the game. I hate to say it, but we a champion. cinnati, helped create recruiting
could play on the parking lot. After injuries hampered his lists from afar while Jim signed
We could play at 12 noon or mid- career at Miami, John took to the on as an assistant coach to help
night. We're going to get jacked sidelines. The mild-mannered scout and recruit.
up, and we're going to win." older brother was an assistant "(Jim) saved us," Jack told
Despite Schembechler's furi- coach for five college teams int10 Rosenberg. "He saved the pro-

gram."
It was Jim's first taste of
coaching. But he never won that
championship. Jack did, but only
on account of his sons. The Hill-
toppers won the NCAA Division
I-AA title in 2002, when Jimwas
a quarterback coach with the
Oakland Raiders.
Jim jumped into the head-
coaching vacancy at Stanford
in 2007 after justthree years as
head coach at the University of
San Diego, a Division I-AA pro-
gram, and took.a 1-11 Cardinal
team to12-1 in just four years.
He walked to his ownbeat. He
ruffled some feathers, spoke his
mind just like he did before that
game against Ohio State.
Bo wouldn't necessarily have
liked the content, but he would
have liked the conviction and,
most importantly, the thick skin.
After leading the Cardinal to
an Orange Bowl victory in 2011,
Jim bypassed jobs like the Michi-
gan head-coach position to take
the helm of the 49ers.
And now the Harbaughs are
here, arrived at the summit of the
sportsworld. It should be no real
surprise.
John and Jim were brought
up with the perfect mixture for
a coach - raised on football,
raised by a coach, and babysat
by a coach. Yes, babysat. Dave -
McClain, alongtime Wisconsin
coach, was Jack's teammate
at Bowling Green, where their
wives were also roommates.
In 1984, when preparing to
face aMichigan team quarter-
backed by first-year starter Jim
Harbaugh, McClain grinned and
remarked, "I babysat Jim Har-
baugh. I hope he remembers his
old buddy." Jim remembered, but
he still bested the Badgers, 20-14.
Heck, even their sister, Joani,
married a coach - Indiana bas-
ketball coach Tom Crean.
The Harbaughs learned from
the best, taught by legendary
coaches from the beginning.
There's no reason to think
they would have ever failed.
And they haven't. Failure isn't in
their pedigree. No NFL team has
missed the playoffs with a Har-
baigh as head coach.
So, what didyou want to be?
These Ann Arbor boys only
wanted to be champions. Now
that's only a step away.
- Nesbitt can be reached
at stnesbit@umich.edu or on
Twitter: @stephenjnesbitt.

Despite Graj ales, Iowa dominates
struggling Wolverines at home

By MAX COHEN
Daily Sports Writer
The dejected faces that lined
the Michigan sideline said it
all. A Friday night that started
with an excited sellout crowd
packing Cliff Keen Arena ended
before all the wrestling even
finished, as the 18th-ranked
Wolverine'wrestling team (0-3
Big Ten, 6-4 overall) was-blown
out by No. 4 Iowa, 33-10.
Michigan - with the excep-
tions of 149-pound redshirt
junior Eric Grajales, who
earned a major decision over
his opponent, and heavyweight
fifth-year senior Ben Apland,
who earned a medical forfeit
over his opponent - struggled
all night against a dominant,
experienced Iowa team.
"We've got to learn some-
thing from this, that's for
sure," said Michigan coach Joe
McFarland. "We've got to get
better."
The Hawkeyes' lineup was
stacked from top to bottom
with nationally ranked wres-
tlers that thwa'ted any efforts
by the Wolverines whenever.
they threatened to score points.
From the first match - when
125-pound Michigan redshirt
junior Sean Boyle held his own
against top-ranked Hawkeye
Matt McDonough for the first
two periods before McDonough
closed with voracity to earn an
8-2 decision - Iowa countered
nearly everything the Wolver-
ines had.
'Everybody has their own
areas that they need to get a

MEN'S TENNIS
'M' impresses early
By THEO DUBIN victory.
DailySports Writer "They (the crowd) were so
helpful," said Franks. "It was
The 2013 regular season got ' probably so difficult for my
off to an exciting start for the opponent to play at our place
Michigan men's tennis team as with all the kids there."
it knocked off"TCU, 4-3, at the Added King: "The score kept
Varsity Tennis Center on Satur- getting closer and closer. It
day. turned into a war and it was just
Bucking the trend of the past me and Barrett. The home-court
few years, the Wolverines' sea- crowd definitely helped with
son started off against a high- everything."
quality opponent, instead of a With King cruising to vic-
warm-up match. Both teams tory, the outcome of the match
competed with high intensity, depended on Franks winning a
evidenced by all three opening tiebreak in the third set. Despite
doubles matches going into tie- playing from behind for most of
breaks. the last set, Franks was able to
The doubles combinations of showcase his most focused and
junior co-captain Shaun Bern- aggressive tennis to pull out the
stein and senior Evan King, as crucial tiebreak points.
well as sophomores Michael Zhu "I thought (Franks) was
and Alex Petrone, both won to amazing," said Berque. "He's had
secure the doubles point in the a couple doozies, but I haven't
best-of-seven points dual-match seen anything better than this.
format. Under pressure like that, we
"I think the energy and fight needed his match. I thought
was really good in doubles," said it was an incredible effort. He
Michigan coach Bruce Berque. played really good tennis and he
"But I don't think our execution competed like a beast.
was as consistent as it needs to "I've seen it before so I can't
be." say I'm shocked, but this is a
After the drama of the close very special win for him."
doubles matches, the crowd Michigan's victory did come
became a factor - frustrat- at a cost, as nagging back and
ing the Horned Frog players stomach injuries forced Bern-
and coaches, and boosting the stein to miss his singles match.@
energy level for the Wolverines' Bernstein's availability will
singles lineup. be a question mark going into
"It's definitely a positive to next week's ITA Kickoff match
have that kind of energy in the against Santa Clara.
building," said Berque. "The The Wolverines will look to
energy is great, and the cheering capitalize on the unusual early
is terrific." test TCU gave them and prema-0
Down 3-2 in team points, the turely shake off the typical early
dual match came down to King season cobwebs.
and junior co-captain Barrett "Competitively and compo-
Franks. Once again, the crowd sure-wise, I give (the team) an
spurred the Wolverines towards A-plus," said Berque.

Redshirt junior Eric Grajales was one of the few bright spots for the Wolverines on Friday in a loss to Iowa.

little bit better at," McFarland
said. "We've got to keep plow-
ing forward and keep our nose
to the grindstone."
Against Iowa, Michigan's
lineup featured five wrestlers
who either had never started in
Big Ten competition before this
season or who are not a regular
part of the lineup and started
because of injuries, making the
adjustment to facing a top team
like the Hawkeyes very diffi-
cult.
The inexperienced Wolver-
ines provided brief glimpses
of hope on a night where little
seemed to exist for Michigan.
One example was 141-pound
redshirt junior Mike Hillock,
who wentinto his match against
No. 9 Mark Ballweg having

competed in only one dual meet
this season for the Wolverines.
Hillock provided a jolt through
the packed arena with an early
takedown to take the lead in
the match. But as the trend of
the night continued for Michi-
gan, Hillock failed to capital-
ize on a near fall opportunity
to pin Ballweg, who responded
to a deficit at the end of the first
period by taking a lead in the
second period and never look-
ing back on his way to an 18-10
major decision. The lone Michi-
gan wrestler to capitalize on the
opportunities given to him on
Friday was Grajales.
Ranked No. 11 in his weight
class, Grajales continued to
serve as a steady hand for the
Wolverines, garnering three

takedowns and a near-fall while
accumulating 2:17 of riding time
on his way to a 12-3 major deci-
sion. The win improved Grajales
to 3-0 in Big Ten dual meets this
season.
As a team, Michigan can only
continue to work hard until
wrestlers get healthy and gain
experience.
"We have these last two
months of the season to figure
out what we're doing wrong,
tweak it, get better," Grajales
said. "And hopefully finish out
the season (well)."
The Wolverines will look
for their first Big Ten dual-
meet victory of the season next
Sunday as they take on No. 21
Northwestern at Cliff Keen
Arena.

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