What a season it has been for the Michigan football team. The Wolverines have been one of the best teams in college football as they are 12-0 and ranked No. 2 in the country, and they have picked up half of their wins without head coach Jim Harbaugh. He missed the first three games of the Michigan season because of a situation regarding minor recruiting violations, and he missed the final three because of the ongoing sign-stealing investigation affecting the Wolverines.
Jim Harbaugh did get suspended because of the investigation, but there is no proof of him having any knowledge of illegal sign-stealing, and he says that he didn't know. It's up to you to believe that or not, but one person that does believe him is University of Michigan president Santa Ono.
“It’s true that he has been on the sideline for six games, but we won all six of those games,” Santa Ono said, according to an article from Click on Detroit. “I want to say: It’s really a credit to him. The coaches talked to me about that situation and have said he knows nothing about what happened, and I trust him. He’s a man of honor.
“Everyone who knows him knows that. It’s an ongoing investigation. We’ll see what happens. But I want to say very, very clearly, and it’s no secret to people, that I trust the guy. I think he’s one of the great coaches out there in the NFL or in NCAA, and the football team loves him, and his coaches love him. I think the greatest sign of a great coach is that the team wins whether or not he’s on the sideline.”
Ono has always showed his support for Harbaugh and this Michigan football team, and he thinks it's very clear how good of a coach and person Harbaugh is.
“I don’t know if you saw that interview right after the Penn State win — it’s a tough game, you know?” Ono continued. “They thought he was going to be there until that day.
“Then, did you see the interview with Sherrone (Moore)? He was crying. He said, ‘I love you, coach. I love you, coach.’ Then you listen to J.J. (McCarthy) in the Ohio State game. He said, ‘I love you, coach. We miss you.’ That means something. That speaks volumes as to the kind of coach he is.”
Harbaugh will be back this weekend as Michigan football takes on Iowa football in the Big Ten Championship game. Ono knows that he is a great coach, and he's excited to have him back.
“Coach told me that if you coach a team well, it’ll coach itself, and boy, did it ever do that,” Ono said. “He also said every single play that Sherrone called would have been the same plays that he would have called.
“That’s a tribute to the guys. We’ll just wait and see how this whole thing goes. He’s going to be back with us for the game this Saturday, and the next couple of games, and we’re going to get a win, a big win. They say three touchdowns, so I believe that.”
With everything that has been happening around the Michigan football program this year, many have speculated that Harbaugh might move on to the NFL when the season ends. Ono doesn't know his fate, but he wants Harbaugh at Michigan.
“I hope so,” Ono said when asked if he thinks Harbaugh will be back next season. “Like I said, we have to wait and see what happens with all these investigations. He is a great coach and means a lot to the institution.”
There is a lot to play for in the coming weeks for the Wolverines. If Michigan defeats Iowa this weekend, they will head back to the College Football Playoff with a chance to complete their ultimate goal: win the national championship.