Stanford University's Jim Harbaugh has been named coach of the San Francisco 49ers, accepting a five-year deal worth a reported US$25 million (Dh92m).
Harbaugh led Stanford to a school-record 12 victories this season, including a 40-12 rout of Virginia Tech in the Orange Bowl on Monday night. Harbaugh, a former NFL quarterback, will replace the fired coach Mike Singletary. He said he had all but made up his mind to accept the 49ers' offer by midweek, but took a couple of days to make a final decision.
"I knew in my heart and my gut the right decision was with the San Francisco 49ers," he said. Harbaugh also said the move was not all about money; he reportedly had an offer for more from the Miami Dolphins.
"It wasn't the factor. I like a buck just like the next guy, but I love coaching and I love winning and I love football," he said. "The factor that dictated my being here is … the 49er organisation wanted me to be here and I wanted to be here as much or more than they wanted me."
Harbaugh went 58-27 as a college coach, including 29-21 in four seasons at Stanford. He took over a 1-11 team when he was hired in December 2006 and quickly turned the programme back into a winning one.
A college star at Michigan, he played 15 seasons in the NFL for the Bears, Colts, Ravens, Chargers and Panthers.