Getting to know the Harbaugh brothers

Published On January 22, 2013 | By Kimberly Petalas

The San Francisco 49ers and the Baltimore Ravens will be moving on to play in the Superbowl in New Orleans. Jim Harbaugh, head  coach of the 49ers, will be facing none other than his own brother, John Harbaugh, head coach of the Ravens. 

The Harbaugh brothers are the first pair of brothers to serve as head coaches in the same season.

Born in 1963, Jim is the younger brother. His football career started when he played in junior leagues, as well as high school and college at the University of Michigan. As a quarterback, he finished his college career in the top five for passing attempts,completions, touchdown passes and passing yards in school history.

In 1987, Jim was drafted to the NFL, more specifically to the Chicago Bears. In his first few seasons with the Bears, he did not see much playing time, but in 1991, he became the starting quarterback and made his first postseason appearance.

In 1994, it was time for a change and Jim signed with the Indianapolis Colts. Jim led the team to the AFC Champsionship game, but they ultimately lost.

The Colts decided to trade Jim to the Ravens in 1998. After only one season, Jim signed on with the San Diego Chargers. He stayed there for two seasons before going to the Detroit Lions. Unfortunately, the night before the season started, he was traded to the Carolina Panthers, where he did not play at all. He ended his NFL career having played in 177 league games with 140 starts. He completed 2,305 of 3,918 passes for 26,288 yards with 129 touchdowns.

After his retirement from playing football, Jim decided it was time to coach. He started with assistant coaching for the Oakland Raiders: in  2002 he was an offensive assistant coach, and in 2003 he was the quarterbacks coach. He was then named head coach for University of San Diego for two years.

In 2006, Jim went on to coach Stanford University, where is father coached in the 80s. His best season was in the 2010 when his team had an 11-1 record and won the BCS National Championship Game.  Starting quarterback Andrew Luck (yes, THE Andrew Luck) was the runner-up to for the Heisman Trophy and Jim was named the winner of the Woody Hayes Coach of the Year Award.

Just after the Bowl series, Jim received and accepted an offer to coach for the San Francisco 49ers, which brings us to where we are today.

John, on the other hand, did not play football professionally like Jim did. He played for Miami University as a defensive back while he was a student there. He then went on to coaching.

He started off as an assistant coach for many colleges. John was the coach for Western Michigan University from 1984-87, Morehead State University in 1988, University of Cincinnati from 1989-96 and Indiana University in 1997. In 1998, he was  hired as an assistant coach in the NFL by the Philadelphia Eagles.

After nine years as special teams coach, John moved up to defensive backs coach. This ultimately helped him land the job of Ravens head coach in 2008. John recently signed a contract extension and is locked into the Ravens until 2014.

Nicknamed the Harbowl, the Superbaugh, and the Brother Bowl, Jim and John will face off against each other on Febuary 3 in Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans.

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About The Author

Kimberly graduated from Hofstra University in December 2012. She has been a sports fan her whole life and grew up around sports, whether it was playing or watching them. She started her writing career interning for her local newspaper, The Gardner News, where she currently works as a reporter. In college, Kimberly wrote for Long Island Report, as well as Her Campus Hofstra.