With college football season under a month away, Wolverine head coach Jim Harbaugh offered up another one of his unorthodox beliefs that he thinks leads to success. Harbaugh, widely known for his outlandish antics in the name of football and toughness, might be the quirkiest coach in all of America on any level. Milk and steak might be his favorite thing to talk about in the entire world.
“I take a vitamin every day. It’s called a steak,” he said in Nov. 2015. “I truly believe the No. 1 natural steroid is sleep, and the No. 2 natural steroid is milk, whole milk. Three would be water. Four would be steak.”
Along with his deep passion for milk and steak, Harbaugh has also made headlines for a sleepover at a recruits house, jumping into pools fully clothed in his trademark Khaki pants, and admission to national media that he ate cereal with Gatorade instead of cold milk (if anybody I know has ever eaten cereal with anything other than milk just know that we are no longer friends).
But Harbaugh might have outdone himself with his new declaration: DON’T EAT CHICKEN.
His rationale: “It’s a nervous bird.”
In a UM football season preview from Bleacher Report focused on new QB Shea Patterson, Harbaugh left former UM QB Wilton Speight this golden nugget:
After reading that, one has to ask the obvious question: Have the players secretly been eating chicken the past three years, thus making them nervous for the biggest games of the season?
Harbaugh is beloved by Wolverine diehards and football fans across the world precisely due to headlines like this. But if the Wolverines continue its grisly record against top teams, specifically the 1-5 record against top rivals Michigan State Spartans and Ohio State Buckeyes, Harbaugh won’t get a pass for much longer.
He comes off as an approachable coach who has a knack for relating to a generation of recruits whose attention is lost at a snap of the fingers. Now, Harbaugh is under perhaps the most pressure of his career as Wolverine fans are clamoring for a season in which the head coach truly earns his $7 million (3rd highest in the country behind National Championship-winning coaches Dabo Sweeney of Clemson and Nick Saban of Alabama).
Harbaugh still has yet to log a season better than former UM head coach Brady Hoke’s first in 2011 when the team went 11-2 with a victory in the Sugar Bowl to cap the season. Harbaugh, who has two 10-3 seasons followed by his most recent, and most disappointing, 8-5 record, isn’t worried about the past.
“It drives us quite a bit,” Harbaugh said during Big Ten media days about his record versus the Spartans and Buckeyes. “We want to win at football…we want to win championships.”
The Wolverines have not finished higher than 3rd in the Big Ten East Division since Harbaugh took over the program.
In Harbaugh’s fourth season as head coach, it will take more than a few quirky quotes and antics to keep the hearts of Wolverine fans this season. Michigan football is ranked 11th in the country in ESPN’s preseason poll directly behind the Spartans and seven behind the Buckeyes.