MIAMI (CBS4) – Stanford University head coach Jim Harbaugh is the hottest commodity on the coaching market. He’s even attracting the attention of Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross.
CBS4 cameras captured Ross telling Harbaugh that he’s been trying to get in touch with the head coach for some time. That doesn’t mean that Ross and Harbaugh haven’t spoken already.
If Ross is indeed interested in talking to Harbaugh it’s to either get the head coach to take over the Dolphins, or to grease the wheels to get Harbaugh to be the next coach of Michigan.
According to NFL.com’s Jason LaCanfora, it’s the former. LaCanfora reports that league sources are telling him that the Dolphins will make a push to hire Harbaugh to take over the Dolphins and that the Fins have already had multiple conversations with Harbaugh about the position.
However, based on Ross’ comments to Harbaugh in front of CBS4 cameras, they have not talked as of yet, or at least not recently.
Harbaugh is a former University of Michigan star who also played for several NFL franchises. Besides the Dolphins and the University of Michigan, the San Francisco 49ers and Denver Broncos are expected to make a push for Harbaugh.
Carl Peterson, a close friend of Dolphins owner Stephen Ross and former general manager with the Kansas City Chiefs, was at the Orange Bowl Monday night and watched Harbaugh lead Stanford to an easy victory over Virginia Tech.
Ross has yet to speak publicly about Monday’s meeting with Sparano, but the fact that Ireland was at the game evaluating talent for the Dolphins means either Ross hasn’t made up his mind, or is delaying a decision until another commitment from Harbaugh can be secured.
According to LaCanfora’s report, an NFL source told NFL.com senior writer Steve Wyche that it’s going to be “hard for Sparano to survive” as Dolphins head coach. But, if Sparano is out, a decision will have to be made quickly about general manager Jeff Ireland.
If Ireland stays, it’s plausible that he and Ireland could work together on the same staff. But, if Ross wants to make a big splash with someone like Bill Cowher, Ireland will have to go.
Harbaugh does have ties to Ireland, according to NFL.com, and would be more willing to work with him than the less-established front offices in Denver and San Francisco.
Sparano has been given no timetable as to when a decision will be made about his future, according to LaCanfora’s report.