Harbaughs Stake Claim to Greatest Coaching Family With 3 Wins in One Day
Several weeks after Jim Harbaugh shocked the NFL by replacing a red-hot Alex Smith with Colin Kaepernick, the young quarterback set a record by running for 183 yards to crush the Green Bay Packers 45-31. On the same day, John Harbough's Ravens shocked the Broncos, and Joani’s husband Tom Crean crushed Minnesota in the only match-up of basketball Top 10 teams a few years after inheriting a Indiana team on probation.
Watching Kaepernick run the read option just a few years after Jim Harbaugh coached Stanford almost to the top of the college football world, it was hard to forget the criticism Jim Harbaugh took for benching Smith. The 579 yards San Francisco gained today followed up a crushing win at New England in the final month of the season--both games were made closer by late touchdowns.
It had been nine seasons since the 49ers had even had a winning record when Jim Harbaugh inherited the team last year. All he did was take them to a 13-3 mark and a play from the Super Bowl in an overtime loss to the Giants as he won NFL Coach of the Year.
Now he has made it two NFC Championship games in his only two pro seasons, as they will travel to Atlanta or stay at home to play Seattle next week.
When John Harbaugh took over the Ravens five years ago they had not been to the AFC championship in seven years and were coming off a 5-11 season, but he immediately improved them to 11-5 and made the AFC Championship game.
This year the team was given up for dead as they stumbled after Ray Lewis went down, but he turned them around to make it three AFC championships in five years--and winning records all five years.
Shortly after John took over the Ravens, their sister Joani moved to Indiana with Tom Crean to take over a team that had been put on probation and would have to play with a roster full of walk-ons.
Crean immediately started pulling in 5-star recruits, and within three years had Indiana in the Sweet 16 before they lost to eventual champion Illinois.
This year Indiana was No. 1 until an overtime loss to Butler, but today improved to 15-1 by blowing out #8 Minnesota in the only match-ups of Top 10 teams today.
With two Harbaughs among the final four coaches competing for the Superbowl next week, and a brother-in-law competing for a national championship in basketball, it will be hard to find a coaching family that has ever had a better day than Jan. 12.