John Harbaugh: Bio

The Ravens ended their 18-day coaching search with the hiring of John Harbaugh Friday. Here is a look at the career of the new head coach in Baltimore:

After a nine-year successful stint as the Eagles special teams coordinator, Harbaugh took over a new role as the club's secondary coach in 2007. Said Eagles head coach Andy Reid of Harbaugh's move, "John wants to be a head coach some day and maybe a defensive coordinator. This gives him a different responsibility. It gives him a professional opportunity to step out of that special teams mode and it strengthens our staff."

The new role gave the 45-year-old Harbaugh the opportunity to work with defensive coordinator Jim Johnson.

John Harbaugh was hired as the third head coach in Ravens team history on Friday, January 18th.

"This is a chance to grow as a football coach and a chance to contribute in a different way," said Harbaugh. "The biggest part of it, really, is to be with Jim Johnson and to learn his system more thoroughly. I want to learn the ins and outs and the details - how he attacks an offense. I can't wait to do that."

From 2000-04, Harbaugh's units were the only club to rank in the top ten in the articulate special teams ranking system by Dallas Morning News columnist Rick Gosselin. They finished first in those rankings following the 2001 and 2003 seasons and from 2000-05, his units cumulatively ranked first in the entire league.

Harbaugh was chosen as the league's special teams coach of the year in 2001 by a vote of his peers. Two of his assistants, Dave Toub (Chicago) and Ted Daisher (Oakland and Cleveland), have gone on to earn special teams coordinator jobs in the NFL in recent years.

Under Harbaugh's guidance, David Akers progressed from a street free agent pick-up in 1999 to a three-time Pro Bowl selection and one of the league's most reliable kickers. Punter Dirk Johnson, also a street free agent signing, recorded the two best net punting averages (38.4 in 2005, 37.4 in 2004) in team history.

In addition, Harbaugh's units have produced 15 NFC special teams player of the week honorees: Akers (7), Brian Mitchell (3), Sean Landeta (2), Brian Westbrook (1), Jevon Kearse (1), and Allen Rossum (1). Akers earned NFC Special Teams player of the month honors in November, 2000.

In 2005, Reno Mahe led the NFL with a 12.8 punt return average, while long snapper Mike Bartrum became the third Eagles special teamer to earn a Pro Bowl berth (Akers and Ike Reese were the others) under Harbaugh's tutelage.

Originally hired by Ray Rhodes on February 18, 1998, Harbaugh was one of just four assistant coaches to be retained by Andy Reid in 1999.

Harbaugh began his coaching career in 1984 at Western Michigan. Three years later, he joined the University of Pittsburgh staff, serving under Mike Gottfried (now a college football analyst for ESPN).

After a one-year stint at Morehead State, Harbaugh worked eight seasons (1989-96) as an assistant coach at the University of Cincinnati. Harbaugh then joined Cam Cameron's Indiana staff for the 1997 campaign as defensive backs and special teams coach.

The versatile Harbaugh coached on both sides of the ball throughout his collegiate coaching career and became the assistant head coach at Cincinnati.

The product of a football family, Harbaugh has been in and around the game his entire life. His father, Jack, is a 41-year coaching veteran and won the 2002 Division I-AA National Championship as head coach of Western Kentucky. In 2003, Jack was hired as Associate AD at Marquette where he oversees community affairs and public relations. John's younger brother, Jim, a former NFL quarterback, is the head coach at Stanford, and his brother-in-law, Tom Crean, is Marquette's head basketball coach.

Harbaugh (born 9/23/62) attended Ann Arbor (MI) Pioneer High School before earning a degree in political science from Miami (OH) where he also played defensive back. He went on to earn his master's degree from Western Michigan.

John and his wife, Ingrid, reside in suburban Philadelphia, with their daughter, Alison (6).


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