dennis erickson

Report: Jim Harbaugh expected to accept head coaching job at Michigan

Jim Harbaugh has apparently decided to go back to school.

According to Jason Cole of Bleacher Report, Harbaugh will coach the San Francisco 49ers for the final time when the team takes on the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday. He is then expected to accept the head coaching job at his alma mater, the University of Michigan.

Michigan officials are believed to be in the Bay Area to formally present a six-year, $48 million offer to Harbaugh, who’s finishing out the fourth year of a five-year deal with the 49ers.

“That’s what everybody on staff believes is going to happen this week,” a source told Cole, which cited two of Harbaugh’s assistants and a league source.

“Jim has figured out that his style is best-suited for the college game. His shtick works better with young guys who are gone after three or four years.”

The Raiders, however, are expected to make a bid for Harbaugh once the 49ers (7-8) wrap up their season against the Arizona Cardinals (11-4). Other NFL openings also could occur and bring more suitors for the 51-year-old coach.

Harbaugh’s reign with the 49ers has included two NFC West titles, three NFC Championship games, a Super Bowl berth and an overall record of 48-22-1, including a 43-19-1 mark in the regular season.

Harbaugh’s regular-season winning percentage (.697) ranks fourth-best among those who’ve coached in the Super Bowl era, behind only John Madden (.763), Vince Lombardi (.738) and George Allen (.712).

When Harbaugh agreed to a five-year, $25 million deal to leave Stanford after the 2010 season, he joined a 49ers franchise in an eight-year playoff drought under former coaches Dennis Erickson, Mike Nolan and Mike Singletary.

Defensive line coach Jim Tomsula and defensive coordinator Vic Fangio are thought to be the 49ers’ top in-house candidates to replace Harbaugh.