Larry Ledge

Michigan has once again made Jim Harbo one of the highest paid coaches in student football.

Harbo’s revised five-year contract with the school, obtained Thursday through a request for records, is valid for the 2026 season and guarantees he will earn more than $ 7 million annually.

Harbo’s salary starts at $ 7.05 million next season and grows every following year.

If Wolverines repeat themselves as the champions of the Big Ten in 2022 and return to the college football playoffs, Harbo will receive $ 2 million in bonuses. Harbo will receive another $ 1 million if he can lead the school to its first national title since 1997.

Harbo’s contract also includes the university’s contribution of $ 1 million a year to its retirement plan.

For the entire duration of the transaction, Harbo’s average annual salary will be more than 7.334 million dollars. Along with an annual contribution to the retirement plan, Harbo’s annual compensation of more than $ 8 million a year returns him to what he earned before lowering his salary to $ 4 million after the 2020 season.

The agreement returns Harbo to the top of the highest paid coaches in the country, although it is twice less than the recent extensions signed by rivals Big Ten Mel Tucker of Michigan (10 years, $ 95 million) and James Franklin of Penn (10 years, $ 85 million) ).

The announcement of the new deal was made two weeks after Harbo was interviewed for a coaching vacancy at Minnesota Vikings.

If Harbo had left Michigan after next season, he would have owed the school $ 3 million. Its buyout dropped to $ 2.25 million after the 2023 season and $ 1.5 million after 2024. After the 2025 season, Harbo would owe Michigan $ 750,000 if he left.

If Michigan fired Harbo for no reason during the term of the contract, the school would be required to pay the rest of the cost – although that amount could be reduced if Harbo takes on another coaching job in the NFL or college.

“My family and I are excited to continue to lead this football program and we are grateful for the support that our sports faculty and university administration have shown to the team,” Harbo said in a statement on Wednesday. “I appreciate everything our players, coaches and staff do to succeed on the football field and beyond. My enthusiasm for tomorrow, the day after tomorrow and every next day is as high as ever, and we are ready to go out on the training ground and start preparing for the 2022 season. Go Blue! ”

Harbo agreed to a pay cut in January last year after Wolverine won 2-4 in the 2020 shortened pandemic season. Michigan returned in 2021, winning the Big Ten for the first time since 2004 and receiving the school’s first application to the college football playoffs.

“Last season, Jim, along with staff and players, had an unforgettable season that will stay with us all for a long time.” This was announced by Michigan Sports Director Ward Manuel. “I’m quite confident in the direction of the program led by Jim.”

The Wolverines (12-2) broke a losing streak of eight games in Ohio before losing to possible Georgian champions in the Orange Bowl.

Harbo 61-24 with four double-digit wins seasons in seven years at his alma mater.

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AP College football writer Ralph Rousseau contributed to this report.

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