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Michigan's Jim Harbaugh says Vikings interview 'the last time' he'll chase NFL coaching job

University of Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh said he doesn't plan to seek another NFL head coaching job.

Following an interview with the Minnesota Vikings, Harbaugh told Mitch Albom of the Detroit Free Press that the allure of a Super Bowl pulled him toward pursuing another NFL shot but contends he's done seeking a return to the pros.

"Sure, the Super Bowl is the greatest prize in our sport," Harbaugh told Albom. "But winning a national championship, that's pretty darn great. Let's do that.

"There was a pull to the NFL because I got that close to the Super Bowl, but this was the time (to try and return.) And this is the last time. Now let's go chase college football's greatest prize."

Harbaugh met with the Minnesota brass this week, and while he said he was enthusiastic about returning to the NFL, the Vikings never offered the job. The Vikes are expected to hire Los Angeles Rams offensive coordinator Kevin O'Connell following Super Bowl LVI.

"There was a tugging at me that I was once that close to a Super Bowl and I didn't get it, " Harbaugh said to Albom. "Some NFL jobs came open. I was contacted by the 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.'"

Harbaugh led the San Francisco 49ers for four seasons from 2011 to 2014, going to three NFC Championship Games and losing Super Bowl XLVII to his brother John's Baltimore Ravens.

The 58-year-old's pro success has kept his name as a potential NFL coaching candidate for years, but the Vikings had shown the most interest this offseason. After striking out in Minnesota, Harbaugh insists he's committed to Michigan.

"I called (Michigan athletic director) Warde (Manuel) and I asked him if he wanted me to be the head coach," Harbaugh added. "And he said, 'Yes, 100 percent.' And I said, 'OK then. That's what I want to do.'

"And I told him, 'Warde, this will not be a reoccurring theme every year. This was a one-time thing.'"

It's easy to say now that Harbaugh is done pursuing that Super Bowl dream -- for recruiting purposes, it's the smart stance to take. But the truth is, it's impossible to know if down the road his tune could change, especially if Michigan builds on its 2021 success and NFL clubs continue to hound the former quarterback.

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