With the Denver Broncos firing head coach Nathaniel Hackett, Jim Harbaugh is an obvious replacement with dots already being connected.
Amid the tremendously disappointing season for the Denver Broncos, the seemingly inevitable decision was made on Monday as the organization fired head coach Nathaniel Hackett before he completed his first season at the position. And immediately, the talk began about what’s next.
Some have said that the team fired Hackett because they’re stuck with Russell Wilson after the trade and extension signed this past offseason. Perhaps that’s true, but it also often appeared as if Hackett was out of his depth. And one of the big topics is about who can first replace Hackett but, more importantly, recapture what Wilson showed in Seattle and get this team on the right track.
One name that’s starting to emerge in the first 24 hours since the firing is Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh. And the buzz is already gaining steam.
Broncos rumors: Jim Harbaugh to replace Nathaniel Hackett already gaining steam
For one part, Harbaugh was mentioned by both MMQB columnist Albert Breer as someone he’d heard in connection to the Broncos and by Denver insider Benjamin Allbright as he said the team would almost surely put out feelers about potentially hiring him away from Ann Arbor.
Breer mentioned that Harbaugh would be an ideal fit. He has a successful track in the NFL from his time with the 49ers where he compiled a 44-19-1 record while taking the team to a Super Bowl. Moreover, he’s the type of personality who wouldn’t allow Wilson to run the ship over his head.
Meanwhile, another aspect that is causing the Harbaugh to the Broncos rumor to start gaining early traction is the report that Condoleezza Rice will be part of the team’s search. Rice also has ties to Harbaugh from his time at Stanford as she is a graduate and big-time supporter of the athletics program, including reportedly helping Harbaugh land recruits at times.
When Jim Harbaugh was Stanford’s head coach, Condoleezza Rice would occasionally help Harbaugh recruit football players to the school.
Harbaugh and Rice have known each other for a long time.
Rice will help in the Broncos’ coaching search, where Harbaugh could be a candidate.
— Zac Stevens (@ZacStevensDNVR) December 27, 2022
Now, it has to be noted that it’s only been a day since Hackett was fired. Moreover, Harbaugh flirted with the Vikings last offseason before returning to Michigan and coaching the Wolverines to a second straight College Football Playoff berth. So there’s no guarantee he’d leave Ann Arbor for Denver.
But early in the process after Hackett’s dismissal, it seems as if the Michigan head coach has more steam than any other candidate.