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Fmr. Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh says championship team was on 'spiritual mission'

Head coach Jim Harbaugh of the Michigan Wolverines walks on the field after winning the Big Ten Football Championship game against the the Iowa Hawkeyes at Lucas Oil Stadium on December 04, 2021, in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Head coach Jim Harbaugh of the Michigan Wolverines walks on the field after winning the Big Ten Football Championship game against the the Iowa Hawkeyes at Lucas Oil Stadium on December 04, 2021, in Indianapolis, Indiana. | Justin Casterline/Getty Images

Jim Harbaugh says the National Championship-winning University of Michigan Wolverines were on a "spiritual mission” this season.

Jim Harbaugh, the former head coach of the Wolverines football team, was one of several speakers at the 51st annual March for Life gathered on the snow-covered National Mall in Washington, D.C., last Friday. As Harbaugh introduced former National Football League player and outspoken pro-life activist Benjamin Watson, he remarked, “It’s a great example that you’re setting.” 

After praising the crowd’s “testimony for the sanctity of life,” he proclaimed, “It’s a great day for a march” and “this is football weather,” to resounding cheers. He then touted Watson as a “helpful warrior for the sanctity of life” before clearing the way for the former football star to give a speech at the rally. 

Harbaugh elaborated on his Christian faith in an interview with Christian podcaster Jon Root at the March for Life. After noting that “70 players got baptized on your team this season,” Root asked Harbaugh, “What led to kind of like that mini-revival inside of the Wolverine locker room?”

“It’s our players and their parents, our coaches, our staff,” Harbaugh responded. “There’s a spiritual mission … to our team.”

Harbaugh explained that he was “inspired” by members of his team, whom he described as “incredible examples.” The football coach also called on people to “have the courage to let the unborn be born,” reiterating a comment he made while speaking at a 2022 dinner for Plymouth Area Right to Life in Plymouth, Michigan. 

When asked what keeps him “grounded” as he finds himself at the center of recruiting efforts by NFL teams, Harbaugh replied, “I just take the counsel from God and the Holy Spirit.” He also gave special thanks to the influence of his father, Jack, and wife, Sarah. 

Reflecting on his pro-life position, Harbaugh declared, “There’s no right without the right to be born. No other rights matter if you don’t have the right to be born.”

Harbaugh isn't the only member of his family who has embraced his faith in the public eye.

Harbaugh’s brother, John, the head coach of the Baltimore Ravens, began his press conference following the NFL team’s Saturday victory against the Houston Texans that enabled its advancement into this weekend’s American Football Conference Championship by giving thanks to God and reading aloud from Scripture. He recited the Bible verse 1 Chronicles 29:11, which states, “Greatness, power, glory, victory, and honor belong to you, because everything in heaven and on earth belongs to you!” 

“The kingdom belongs to you, Lord!” Harbaugh continued. “You are the head, the Ruler over everything.”

Harbaugh also expressed gratitude for the “amazing spirit on this team” and highlighted what he viewed as the need to give “honor and credit where it’s due.” Should Harbaugh’s Ravens emerge victorious in the AFC Championship, they will head to Super Bowl LVIII. This year’s Super Bowl match will be held on Feb. 11 in Las Vegas, Nevada. 

As for Jim Harbaugh, he predicted to Root that his brother’s team would come out on top during his interview at the March for Life that was held the day before the big game. While part of the March for Life interview focused on speculation as to the former Michigan head coach’s next career moves, Harbaugh received a definitive answer about his future five days later. 

The Los Angeles Chargers announced in a statement Wednesday that the team had hired Harbaugh to serve as the NFL team’s head coach. Harbaugh previously played for the Chargers when they were based in San Diego from 1999-2000, and the team’s owner, Dean Spanos, maintained that “I can think of no one better to lead the Chargers forward.” 

“Being back here feels like home, and it’s great to see that those things haven’t changed,” Harbaugh said as he reacted to his career move. “My priorities are faith, family, and football, and we are going to attack each with an enthusiasm unknown to mankind.”

Harbaugh was head coach of the San Francisco 49ers from 2011 to 2014. 

Ryan Foley is a reporter for The Christian Post. He can be reached at: ryan.foley@christianpost.com

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