The head of the family is Jack Harbaugh, who was the head coach at Western Michigan from 1982-1986 and Western Kentucky from 1989-2002. His sons are Jim and John, who are currently two of the most successful coaches in the NFL. And then there is Jay, 25, who is Jim’s son and already working in the NFL.
Jay is entering his third season as an offensive coach for the Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens’ website describes his job as this:
Works with the offensive coaching staff, providing statistical analysis, self-scouting reports
and breakdowns of opposing defenses. Was an undergraduate assistant at Oregon State before joining the Ravens in 2012.
Jay Harbaugh got his start on Mike Riley’s staff at Oregon State. His father, Jim, helped get him the job as Riley was Jim’s coach on the Chargers. But Jay didn’t want to be one of those kids who relies solely on his father for his career; he decided to go work for his uncle with the Baltimore Ravens first rather than his dad, and he even turned down his father for a job this offseason.
“I’m in such a good place and working with such good people, I didn’t see any reason to leave,” Jay told the San Jose Mercury News of his decision.
“The last thing I’d ever seek out is a short cut. I’m not looking for a more impressive business card every two years. When you’re a coach’s son, people assume you take handouts. I want to earn everything.”
Sure, you can probably look at the kid and see the favors he’s already received. He got the Oregon State gig thanks to his dad and the job with the Ravens thanks to his family, but it seems like he is definitely earning his keep. And how funny is it that he turned down his job? Regardless of what he says, getting turned down by his son has to be at least somewhat disappointing for Jim.