Some coaches shine in interviews on radio and TV. Those coaches manage to sell their program at any given opportunity, knowing exactly what to say to offer a positive spin on the team and its fortunes. Others are not cut out for being interviewed. Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh is one of those people, and that’s OK.
Harbaugh joined Colin Cowherd on ESPN Radio Wednesday morning for one of the more awkward radio interviews that has hit the college football world in some time. Cowherd tried his best to get anything out of Harbaugh with his questions about his personality, the state of Michigan football and the Big Ten as a whole. Harbaugh offered pretty much nothing in his responses, almost seeming like he had no interest in the line of questioning. Hey, maybe that was ultimately the case. It is not as though the questions were all that original, and he’s likely answered similar questions multiple times before. Frustrated with the lack of back-and-forth conversation, Cowherd aborted the interview and went to a Subway promo on the way out.
Cowherd said when he brings coaches like Nick Saban and Urban Meyer on his show, those coaches “figure out how to sell their program.” Harbaugh, for whatever reason, was not on the mark in this particular moment. That’s not Harbaugh’s game or his style. Harbaugh is certainly not one lacking in confidence, and he doesn’t feel a need to impress Cowherd to make his points. As long as Harbaugh is communicating more effectively with his coaches,players and recruits, then he will in fine shape. His track record would suggest that is exactly what happens off the air, and that is why Michigan is investing big money in him. You do not have to be a good radio interview in order to be a good head football coach
The following video was originally shared by The Big Lead, so you can catch the interview yourself in case you missed it in all its awkwardness.
UPDATE: Hours later, Jim Harbaugh has taken to Twitter to share his reaction to the interview. In it, he takes half of the blame for the terrible interview.
In my experience of participating in interviews, I’ve found it takes 2 to produce a clunker! I’ll take 50% responsibility 4 this clunker.
— Coach Harbaugh (@CoachJim4UM) July 1, 2015