Just as Jim Harbaugh was about to punch his ticket to become the Minnesota Vikings head coach, he tossed it away. The Vikings didn’t offer him the job at the conclusion of the interview and he decided to remain the head coach of the University of Michigan.

Harbaugh told Mitch Albom of the Detroit Free Press that his desire to win the Super Bowl fueled him to look into NFL job openings. But he also explained that he needs to feel like he would receive the full effort from the Vikings’ front office, which he did not.

“There was a tugging at me that I was once that close to a Super Bowl and I didn’t get it. Some NFL jobs came open. I was contacted by the (Minnesota) Vikings.

“For better or for worse, it was something I wanted to explore. I went in thinking, ‘I’m gonna have 100 percent conviction on this, and if they (Minnesota) have 100 percent conviction on this, then it’s something I’m gonna do.”

But like many a job interview, somewhere in the process, he got a sinking feeling. It was all good. “A first-class operation,” he said. “First-class people.” But there wasn’t an equal match of enthusiasm. And for a man whose catch phrase is “an enthusiasm unknown to mankind” — well, that stuff matters.

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Despite only coaching in the NFL for four years, Harbaugh was wildly successful. He completed turned around the fortunes of the San Francisco 49ers, leading them to three consecutive NFC Championship Games.

Now, though, Harbaugh’s focus will remain on the Wolverines while Minnesota plans to hire Los Angeles Rams offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell.