Jack Harbaugh

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Jack Harbaugh
refer to caption
Jack Harbaugh attends the 2015 press conference introducing son Jim Harbaugh as Michigan head coach.
Position: Defensive back, quarterback
Personal information
Date of birth: (1939-06-28) June 28, 1939 (age 77)
Place of birth: Crestline, Ohio
Career information
College: Bowling Green
Career history
As player:
As coach:
Career highlights and awards
Head coaching record
Career: 116–95–3

Jack Avon Harbaugh[1] (born June 28, 1939) is a former American football player and coach, and the father of the first pair of brothers to serve as NFL head coaches and the first pair of head coaching brothers to face off in a Super Bowl: John and Jim Harbaugh.

Early life and playing career[edit]

Harbaugh was born in Crestline, Ohio, to Marie Evelyn (née Fisher) and William Avon Harbaugh. He is of German and Irish descent.[1] He played college football for the Bowling Green State University Falcons from 1957 to 1960, where he was a three-time letterman. In his junior year, the Falcons finished the season 9–0 and were named the small college division national champions.[2][3] Harbaugh played professionally for one season, 1961, in the American Football League for the New York Titans, a team that would be renamed the New York Jets two years later.[4]

Coaching career[edit]

Harbaugh began as an assistant coach to Jack Donaldson at Perrysburg High School in Perrysburg, Ohio, southwest of Toledo. (Donaldson later went on to coach the University of Toledo and in the NFL.) Both sons were born while Harbaugh was in Perrysburg. In 1964, Harbaugh was the head coach of Eaton High School football team in Eaton, Ohio. His record was 5–4–1, their first winning season in many years. In 1965 the team went 6–4. In 1966, Harbaugh was the head coach of the Xenia High School football team in Xenia, Ohio. His record for the one year that he coached was 8–1–1.[5] He received championship honors in the Western Ohio League and was named conference Coach of the Year.[6]

From 1982 to 1986, he served as the head football coach at Western Michigan University and compiled a 26–26–3 record. From 1989 to 2002, he was the head football coach at Western Kentucky University. During his tenure with the Hilltoppers he posted a 91–68 record, including three 10-win seasons. In 2002, the WKU squad won the NCAA Division I-AA national football championship.

After leaving Western Kentucky, Harbaugh served as an associate athletic director at Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where his son-in-law, Tom Crean, was the head coach of the men's basketball team. Harbaugh has also served as an assistant coach at Morehead State University, Bowling Green State University, the University of Iowa, the University of Michigan, Stanford University, the University of Pittsburgh, and the University of San Diego.

Harbaugh retired in 2006, but served as Stanford's running backs coach in the 2009 Sun Bowl under his son, Jim. Jack filled in for Willie Taggart, who had recently been hired as the new head football coach at WKU.

Personal life[edit]

Harbaugh married his wife, Jacqueline M. "Jackie" Cipiti in 1961. They have three children: John, Jim and Joanie. Jack and Jackie settled in Mequon, Wisconsin, when he took the position as Associate Athletic Director for Marquette University in Milwaukee.[7] Harbaugh is a member of the Bowling Green State University chapter of Phi Delta Theta Fraternity.

Their two sons, Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh and Michigan Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh were the first pair of brothers to serve as head coaches in the National Football League (NFL):[8] The brothers coached their teams in a game unofficially nicknamed the 'Harbaugh Bowl' on Thanksgiving Day, 2011, one day before Jack and Jackie's 50th wedding anniversary. They faced each other again in a second 'Harbaugh Bowl' when Baltimore beat San Francisco February 3, 2013 at Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans by a score of 34–31.[9]

Their daughter Joani's husband, Tom Crean, is head basketball coach for the Indiana University Hoosiers. They met while Jack was the head football coach at Western Kentucky University and Crean was an assistant basketball coach to Ralph Willard.

Head coaching record[edit]

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs
Western Michigan Broncos (Mid-American Conference) (1982–1986)
1982 Western Michigan 7–2–2 5–2–2 2nd
1983 Western Michigan 6–5 4–5 6th
1984 Western Michigan 5–6 3–6 T–8th
1985 Western Michigan 4–6–1 4–4–1 T–4th
1986 Western Michigan 3–8 3–5 8th
Western Michigan: 25–27–3 19–22–3
Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (NCAA Division I-AA Independent) (1989–1998)
1989 Western Kentucky 6–5
1990 Western Kentucky 2–8
1991 Western Kentucky 3–8
1992 Western Kentucky 4–6
1993 Western Kentucky 8–3
1994 Western Kentucky 5–6
1995 Western Kentucky 2–8
1996 Western Kentucky 7–4
1997 Western Kentucky 10–2 L NCAA Division I-AA Quarterfinal
1998 Western Kentucky 7–4
Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (Ohio Valley Conference) (1999–2000)
1999 Western Kentucky 6–5 4–3 T–3rd
2000 Western Kentucky 11–2 7–0 1st L NCAA Division I-AA Quarterfinal
Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (Gateway Football Conference) (2001–2002)
2001 Western Kentucky 8–4 5–2 T–2nd L NCAA Division I-AA First Round
2002 Western Kentucky 12–3 6–1 T–1st W NCAA Division I-AA Championship
Western Kentucky: 91–68 22–6
Total: 116–95–3
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title


  1. ^ a b http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/%7Ebattle/celeb/harbaugh.htm
  2. ^ "Player Bio: Jack Harbaugh". Stanford University. Archived from the original on February 19, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Bowling Green Is Voted No. 1," Lincoln Evening Journal, November 27, 1959, p. 14
  4. ^ http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2013/01/20/ravens-49ers-win-to-set-up-harbaugh-vs-harbaugh-super-bowl/ Ravens, 49ers win to set up Harbaugh vs. Harbaugh Super Bowl
  5. ^ "Coaches Records". Xenia High School. Retrieved 2010-01-19. 
  6. ^ "Jack Harbaugh Bio". WKU. Retrieved 2015-11-20. 
  7. ^ Wolfley, Bob (January 21, 2013). "Why Jack Harbaugh and his wife, Jackie, live in Mequon". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. 
  8. ^ Ken Murray (January 7, 2011). "Jim Harbaugh joins Ravens' John Harbaugh to form first pair of NFL head coaching brothers". Baltimore Sun. 
  9. ^ Hanzus, Dan (2013-01-20). "Ravens roll by Patriots to advance to Super Bowl XLVII". National Football League. Retrieved 2013-01-20. 

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