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NFL Team Requested Permission to Talk With Jim Harbaugh: Report

Photo: Stephen Dunn

The Minnesota Vikings are reportedly interested in speaking with one of college football's biggest names regarding their vacant head coaching position.

A source told ESPN's Pete Thamel that the Vikings have requested permission to speak with University of Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh.

Harbaugh spent four seasons (2011-14) coaching the San Francisco 49ers before returning to his alma mater in 2015 and is reported to have developed a strong relationship with new Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, who spent seven seasons in San Francisco, including two during Harbaugh's tenure.

A source told ESPN's Courtney Cronin -- who covers the Vikings -- that the relationship between Adofo-Mensah and Harbaugh is a primary driver in Minnesota's interest in Harbaugh, who was the 2011 NFL Coach of the Year and led San Francisco to playoff appearances during each of his first three seasons, all of which resulted in NFC Championship Game appearances and a Super Bowl XLVII berth in 2013.

Harbaugh enjoyed his best season at Michigan in 2021, finishing with an 11-2 record, a Big Ten title, defeating arch-rival Ohio State for the first time, and earning a College Football Playoff berth before losing to eventual national champion Georgia in the semifinal.

The former NFL quarterback took a pay cut ahead of the 2021 season after the Wolverines finished with a 2-4 during a limited 2020 season.

Michigan has yet to formalize a new agreement with Harbaugh, which is even more likely to be offered given the Vikings' reported interest.

Harbaugh has a 44-19-1 record as an NFL head coach and a 119-51 record as a collegiate head coach, which includes Michigan (61-24 (41-17 Big Ten)), Stanford (29-21 (21-15 Pac-12)) and San Diego (29-6 (14-1)).

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