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Broncos interview Harbaugh a second time but again he stays at Michigan

Broncos owners Greg and Carrie Penner met Monday with Harbaugh in Ann Arbor. After he decided to stay put, DeMeco Ryans emerged as a top candidate.
Credit: AP
Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh during the first half of the Fiesta Bowl NCAA college football semifinal playoff game against TCU, Saturday, Dec. 31, 2022, in Glendale, Arizona. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

DENVER — On Jan. 16, Michigan president Santa Ono gleefully announced on his Twitter account that Jim Harbaugh "shared with me the great news that he is going to remain" the school's head coach.

Harbaugh followed it up with his own statement that included the words, "My heart is at the University of Michigan."

Nine days later, sources tell 9NEWS that Harbaugh agreed to a second interview with the Broncos, specifically team owners Greg and Carrie Penner in Ann Arbor, Michigan regarding Denver's vacant head coach position.

What changed from Harbaugh's perspective in the nine days since? What didn't change is Harbaugh still doesn’t have a new contract extension from Michigan. What did change is the NCAA reportedly accused him of misleading its investigators during its inquiry into minor infractions.

 According to sources, no offer was made. The Penners were conducting their in-person due dilligence after their first interview with Harbaugh on Jan. 9 was via Zoom.

That was Monday. On Wednesday, Harbaugh reiterated to Greg Penner what he told him back on Jan. 16. He was not going forward with the Broncos' head coach search.

The next day, Thursday, sources told 9NEWS that San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans was a top head coaching candidate for the Broncos. Ryans, though, is also a top candidate for the Houston Texans and his wife is from Houston.

More will be known about Ryans' decision after his 49ers play at Philadelphia against the Eagles on Sunday in the NFC Championship Game.

Meanwhile, the Broncos are considering candidates outside the eight they have already interviewed in-person. The eight, in chronological order of their interview with the Broncos:

Harbaugh (Jan. 9); the Broncos' own defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero (Jan. 10); former Stanford head coach David Shaw and former Lions and Colts head coach Jim Caldwell (Jan. 11); former Saints head coach Sean Payton and Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris (Jan. 17) in the Los Angeles area; Ryans (Jan. 19) in the San Francisco Bay Area; and Dallas defensive coordinator Dan Quinn (Jan. 20) in the Dallas area.  

 Quinn has since announced he's withdrawn from all head coach consideration to stay as the Cowboys' defensive coordinator for at least another year. And Harbaugh is apparently staying at Michigan. Although could a third time be the charm for the Broncos? National Signing Day for high school seniors is Wednesday.


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