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Jim Harbaugh is returning to the NFL.

After nine years as the head coach of the Michigan Wolverines, Harbaugh accepted the same position at the next level, becoming the coach of the Los Angeles Chargers on Wednesday.

Jim Harbaugh waves

Head coach Jim Harbaugh waves to fans after the Michigan Wolverines’ national title celebration on Jan. 13, 2024, in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Nic Antaya/Getty Images)

The move comes less than a month after Harbaugh brought a national championship to Ann Arbor, the first football championship for Michigan since 1997.

He’s reached the top of the mountain in college football and has now turned his sights toward the only peak he has yet to conquer.


The Super Bowl.

Harbaugh came as close as a coach can to winning a championship in the NFL when his San Francisco 49ers lost Super Bowl XLVII to the Baltimore Ravens, who were coached by his brother, John Harbaugh.

Harbaugh will give it another go as he looks to become just the fourth coach to win a national championship and a Super Bowl in a career.

Let’s take a look at the three coaches who reside in the exclusive club.

Pete Carroll

The legendary career of Pete Carroll is on pause for now after his 14-year tenure with the Seattle Seahawks came to an end in January.

Before Seattle moved on from Carroll, there was nothing but a lot of winning.

In his 14 seasons as head coach, Carroll amassed a record of 137-89-1 and brought Seattle its first Super Bowl in the 2013 season. Seattle demolished Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII, 43-8.

Pete Carroll holding the Super Bowl trophy

Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll holds the Vince Lombardi Trophy after winning Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, on Feb. 2, 2014. (David Bergman/Sports Illustrated via Getty Images)


Carroll’s time with Seattle was an NFL redemption tour after he was fired by the New England Patriots after three seasons as head coach from 1997 to 1999. 

In between his two most recent NFL coaching stints is where Carroll really made a name for himself.

Carroll was a surprising hire by the USC Trojans in December 2000 as the once-storied program had fallen on hard times.

Pete Carroll runs onto the USC field

USC hired Pete Carroll as head football coach in 2000. (Charles Baus/Icon SMI/Icon Sport Media via Getty Images/File)

In the 12 years prior to hiring Carroll, USC had failed to win more than nine games and had not won a national championship since 1978.

Carroll quickly brought the program back to national relevance. USC became one of the great dynasties under Carroll’s leadership, winning two national championships and going 97-19.

Jimmy Johnson 

Jimmy Johnson had three storied careers, two of which took place on the football field.

Johnson took over as head coach of the Miami Hurricanes in 1984 and made “The U” the most dominant program in the country. He became the head coach after Howard Schnellenberger won the title in 1983 before heading to the USFL.


Jimmy Johnson celebrates

Dallas Cowboys head coach Jimmy Johnson and Emmitt Smith celebrate after defeating the San Francisco 49ers in Irving, Texas, on Jan. 23, 1994. (John Biever/Sports Illustrated via Getty Images)

In his five seasons in Coral Gables, Johnson went 52-9, winning the title in 1987.

He became head coach of the Dallas Cowboys in 1989 and went 44-36 in five seasons. Johnson led Dallas to back-to-back Super Bowls in 1992 and 1993. He would go on to coach the Miami Dolphins from 1996 to 1999 and was selected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2020.

Johnson has gone on to have a successful career on TV as an NFL analyst.

Barry Switzer

Barry Switzer took over as head coach of the Cowboys following Johnson’s tenure, but Switzer was a legendary coach at the college level for years before heading to the NFL.

Switzer became a hero at the University of Oklahoma, leading the Sooners to three national championships.


Barry Switzer coaches the Cowboys

Barry Switzer of the Dallas Cowboys gives directions during a game against the Arizona Cardinals in Irving, Texas, on Nov. 9, 1997. (Stephen Dunn /Allsport)

Switzer and the Sooners won the national championship in 1977, 1975 and 1985, with Switzer compiling a record of 157-29-4 along the way.

In 1994, Switzer became head coach of the Cowboys and led Dallas to a 1995 Super Bowl victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers.

It was the last Super Bowl victory for the Cowboys, and Dallas has failed to reach the NFC Championship Game ever since.


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