Harbaugh heads 49ers’ turnaround

Parker Fox, Sports Editor

It’s fair to say that NFL head coach is a temporary job, with the average career lasting just a few years or less.  Coaches who can win consistently are as rare as elite quarterbacks, which is why NFL teams search wide and far for candidates.  Rarely do transitions from college to the pros work out (Butch Davis, Steve Spurrier, Nick Saban) but what Jim Harbaugh did in his first season in San Francisco was nothing short of remarkable.  In his first season with the team, Harbaugh led the 49ers to 13-3 after the team had gone 6-10 in 2010.  They reached the NFC Championship Game but lost to the Giants in overtime. 

            Looking at the roster, few major roster acquisitions were made in the off-season.  The team primarily relied on running back Frank Gore and a stingy defense, winning many close games.  Players point to their trust and belief in their coach when asked about the 13 win season. 

            A Harbowl was just a few plays from taking place, with Jim’s brother John losing to the Patriots with a missed 31 yard field goal as his Ravens watched their Super Bowl hopes miss wide right.  The brothers met during the regular season with John prevailing over Jim 16-6. 

            Harbaugh just has that winning attitude.  The mid-season handshake incident with Jim Schwartz was merely a lack of class to many fans, but what people don’t realize is that he is preparing his team for next week at that very moment.  It’s that kind of attitude (and quite frankly, poor sportsmanship) and swagger that have been reflected by his team this year.

            Although he has a short resume to go off of, Jim Harbaugh looks like he will be one of the few solid, consistent coaches in the NFL and will be mentioned with names like Bill Belichick and Sean Payton.  He groomed Andrew Luck into a number one pick when he was at Stanford and staged one of the best comeback stories of the year with the 49ers.