Everybody wants Harbaugh

There's a big question on how long Harbaugh will stay at Stanford or where he might enter the NFL as head coach.

January 5, 2011 3:07:32 AM PST
The San Francisco 49ers are hoping to have some announcement for a head coach by the end of the week. They'd love to introduce Stanford head coach Jim Harbaugh in that position.

Meanwhile, the 49ers have received permission to interview Raiders offensive coordinator Hue Jackson. The dominos are lining up, but it all starts with Harbaugh.

Harbaugh may be the hottest head coaching commodity in the country. He led Stanford to its first 12 win season after Monday night's victory over Virginia Tech in the Orange Bowl. Stanford has offered him an extension and raise, but Harbaugh has yet to accept.

The 49ers have him at the top of their list, but wanted to hire a GM first. That announcement came Tuesday evening and Trent Baalke got that position.

Also, former Stanford great John Elway, who's now the director of football operations with the Denver Broncos was at the Orange Bowl and also has Harbaugh in his sights.

But when asked about his future, Harbaugh has been evasive.

"I'm the head football coach at Stanford University. We're going to go out there, play as hard as we can, as fast as we can for as long as we can Michele, that's about all I have to say about that," said Harbaugh to an ESPN reporter. When asked if he thought this was his final game that he coached at Stanford, he responded, "Oh please, please, give me a break."

49er players are anxious to find out who their new coach will be.

"Whoever gets the job, you know they will be extremely proud of the guys we have in this locker room and what we bring to the table," says 49er linebacker Patrick Willis.

If Harbaugh turns down the 49ers, they already have a list of coaches coming in for interviews including Raiders offensive coordinator Hue Jackson and Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell.

As for the Raiders, Tom Cable's contract is up January 18th, but it had an option for a multi-year extension. The Raiders decided Tuesday evening not to extend his contract so he's out. Raiders owner Al Davis may want Jackson as his head coach. If that's true, then he's already started paving the way to make that move. Still, Jackson is in demand and may not want to stay with the Raiders.

Before Tuesday, Cable read the rumors that he's gone.

"Am I surprised by it? No. I'd like it to go away and just have Al and I sit down and discuss it, which we will. Whoever says it or writes it doesn't really know what the hell they're doing," said Cable.

"I read it and that'll be a shame. I seriously believe that it will set us back again and I can't go thru another head coach. I just can't. I've been through too many of them," said Raiders punter Shane Lechler.

Stay tuned as the coaching carousel turns.