Jan 19, 2014; Seattle, WA, USA; San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh reacts after guard Mike Iupati (not pictured) is helped off the field after an injury during the first half of the 2013 NFC Championship football game against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Is Jim Harbaugh's Coaching Style Conducive to Long-Term Success?

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Jan 19, 2014; Seattle, WA, USA; San Francisco 49ers special teams coordinator Brad Seely (left) and coach Jim Harbaugh during the third quarter of the 2013 NFC Championship football game against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field. The Seahawks defeated the 49ers 23-17 to advance to Super Bowl XLVIII. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Who is Jim Harbaugh?

Known for his over-the-top sideline antics, and somewhat strange media relations, San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh has transformed his team.  Over the course of his head coaching career, Harbaugh has been a polarizing force for each team he’s been a part of, constantly focusing the players towards a goal.

His History

With the University of San Diego, he turned around the program and eventually won two conference titles. After three years, he left for Stanford, where he took a team that hadn’t finished with a winning record since 2001, and with his staff and recruiting, turned it into a nationally ranked program before he left.  After just four years there, he took the head coaching job with the 49ers in a flurry of media uncertainty.

Onward to San Francisco

Through the colored lens of time and hindsight, pursuing Jim Harbaugh fervently like the 49ers front office did seemed like the perfect decision.  Jim Harbaugh’s hard-nosed, business first, blue-collar mindset spread through the locker room quickly, and transformed a talented (if somewhat underutilized) roster barely squeaking out an 8-8 season, into a conference championship team in just one year.  As he and his staff have accumulated new players, both through the draft and through free agency, it’s clear to anyone watching that they had an eye for very talented players.  Players like Colin Kaepernick, Chris Culliver, Aldon Smith, Eric Reid and Bruce Miller highlight this list.  Not far behind, are names like Kendall Hunter, Corey Lemonier and Quinton Patton.  Question marks still hang above the heads of players like Tank Carradine, Quinton Dial and Marcus Lattimore, but if names like these turn into the household names like the front office hopes, there shouldn’t be any question about the talent on the roster.  All these factors together, to me, point to a very successful implementation of Jim Harbaugh and his coaching style. With another 11 draft picks in the upcoming draft, and another year to implement the sort of team he wants to build, hopefully we’ll see Jim Harbaugh and his unorthodox coaching style lead the 49ers to their sixth Lombardi trophy.

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