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Coach Jim Harbaugh returns to Chargers with God as his guide

Jim Harbaugh introduced as San Diego Chargers new head coach on Feb 1, 2024

RONALD MARTINEZ / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / GETTY IMAGES VIA AFP

Cerith Gardiner - published on 02/24/24

The team's head coach uses his devout faith to guide him and his players on and off the pitch.

In a move that many have been expecting, head coach Jim Harbaugh, famed for leading the Michigan Wolverines to their first national championship since 1997, is making his way back to the NFL. Less than three weeks from the momentous victory, Harbaugh bid farewell to his alma mater to helm the Los Angeles Chargers, a team in need of revival after a challenging 5-12 season.

“Jim Harbaugh is football personified, and I can think of no one better to lead the Chargers forward,” expressed Chargers Owner and Chairman of the Board Dean Spanos, as reported by the team’s official site in Sports Spectrum.

Harbaugh’s journey has been marked by triumph and transition. Following a stint with the San Francisco 49ers, which ended after an 8-8 season in 2014, he answered the call to return to Michigan, where his football odyssey began as a quarterback from 1982 to 1986.

His tenure in Michigan was nothing short of remarkable, restoring the Wolverines to collegiate football’s zenith during his nine-season reign. Despite facing challenges, including suspensions and a tumultuous final season, Harbaugh’s leadership propelled the team to a historic national championship on January 8.

“A spiritual journey”

Reflecting on the victory, Harbaugh acknowledged the spiritual aspect of the journey. “It was a journey — a spiritual journey,” he shared with ESPN’s Rece Davis. “I just took counsel from God, the Holy Spirit. This team, everybody, unanimous support for each other.

His faith permeates not only his coaching but also the lives of his players. Astonishingly, Harbaugh revealed that 70 of his players on the championship team were baptized during the 2023 season, underscoring the spiritual unity within the locker room.

Harbaugh’s unwavering faith extends beyond the field, evident in his involvement in mission work in Peru and his contemplations on faith’s role in sports:

I have a feeling that if Jesus would have come back now in this era, I suppose that many of the biblical analogies and teachings would be about sports.”

He continued to muse: “Jesus would have been a five-star player, no doubt about it. He would have been a Hall of Fame coach,”

As Harbaugh embarks on this new chapter with the Chargers, he carries with him the assurance that amidst uncertainty, the Lord’s guidance remains steadfast. His journey is a testament to the intertwining of faith and football, reminding us that even on the gridiron, the spirit moves in mysterious ways.

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Catholic LifestyleFaithInspiring storiesSports
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