Chain crew, chores, fast food: Suspended Jim Harbaugh has ‘productive day’ during Michigan win

ANN ARBOR – Since 2015, Jim Harbaugh has spent his fall Saturdays on the sidelines as head coach of Michigan’s football team.
The 59-year-old is currently serving a three-game suspension to begin the 2023 season and wasn’t permitted to be at the Wolverines’ contest against UNLV on Saturday, but that didn’t stop him from being on the sidelines elsewhere, albeit in a different capacity.
Harbaugh, wearing a striped Michigan polo and block ‘M’ hat, attended his 10-year-old son Jack’s youth football game and worked as part of the chain crew.
“You go to the games and you’ve got to ask the parents to do something, do some kind of job,” Harbaugh said at his weekly Monday news conference. “Last week was a Friday game and we were responsible for the Gatorade and some of the snacks. This week they needed somebody on the chains.
“It was good. Got to get right close to the field and watch the game.”
Harbaugh, a noted football junkie, immersing himself into the action shouldn’t come as a surprise. Linebacker Michael Barrett said his head coach is always lively during practices.
“He’s our referee, our chains man,” Barrett said. “He pretty much does it all. He works the clock a lot. He’s always spotting the ball throughout the practice. He pretty much runs a lot of things.”
Just like the Wolverines, Jack’s team, the Ann Arbor Saints, were victorious Saturday.
“Fun to watch,” he said. “Fun to watch the practices. They do a really good job training the guys. We lost a couple of close (games), and this week, we broke through with a big win. It was neat to see the kids’ enthusiasm and confidence as they left the field. It makes them want to come back, and it makes them like football. It was cool to be a part of it.”
Harbaugh watched Michigan’s opener against East Carolina at Sherrone Moore’s house. But with Moore, the Wolverines’ offensive coordinator, returning against UNLV after serving his one-game suspension, Harbaugh watched Saturday’s game at home with his 6-year-old son, Johnny, and 12-year-old daughter, Katie.
He also had time to check a few chores off his to-do list.
“Got the front lawn cut pregame, and then got the back lawn cut after the game was over,” Harbaugh said. “Good, productive day.”
During Michigan’s first game, Harbaugh and Moore ordered sandwiches from Panera Bread. The ninth-year Michigan head coach and his family changed it up last week and went to McDonald’s at halftime.
This Saturday against Bowling Green will be Harbaugh’s final game of his suspension, which was self-imposed by Michigan amid an NCAA investigation into alleged recruiting violations.
Harbaugh couldn’t be on the sidelines for the opener, but Moore said that didn’t temper his enthusiasm while watching the game.
“It was phenomenal to watch it with him,” Moore said. “He was awesome. It was like a fan. He was jumping up and down when the players made plays, just like anybody would. Just super excited for our guys, and it was awesome to watch it with him.”

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