John Harbaugh

John Harbaugh
refer to caption
Harbaugh in 2014
Baltimore Ravens
Position:Head coach
Personal information
Born: (1962-09-23) September 23, 1962 (age 59)
Toledo, Ohio
Career information
High school:Pioneer (Ann Arbor, Michigan)
College:Miami (OH)
Career history
As a coach:
Career highlights and awards
NFL coaching records
  • Most road playoff wins (8)
Head coaching record
Regular season:137–88 (.609)
Postseason:11–8 (.579)
Career:148–96 (.607)
Coaching stats at PFR

John William Harbaugh (born September 23, 1962) is an American football coach who is the head coach of the Baltimore Ravens of the National Football League (NFL).[1] Previously, he coached the defensive backs for the Philadelphia Eagles[2] and served as the Eagles special teams coach for nine years. Harbaugh and his younger brother, former San Francisco 49ers and current University of Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh, are the first pair of brothers in NFL history to serve as head coaches. Jack Harbaugh, Jim and John's father, served 45 years as a college defensive coach, an assistant coach, and a running backs coach. [3] John and the Ravens beat his brother, Jim, and the 49ers at Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans on February 3, 2013 by a score of 34–31.

Harbaugh has led the Ravens to 145 wins (including playoffs) since his tenure began in 2008, the fourth-most wins in the NFL over that span, and has surpassed Brian Billick for the most wins by a head coach in Baltimore Ravens franchise history. In his thirteen-year tenure as Ravens head coach, Harbaugh has led the Ravens to ten winning seasons and only one losing season. His 19 playoff game appearances are the second most by any head coach in the NFL since 2008. Under Harbaugh, Baltimore is one of four teams (NE, GB & Sea.) to earn a playoff berth in nine of the past 13 seasons. The Ravens are also one of four teams (KC, Sea. & NO) to make the playoffs in each of the past three seasons (2018-20). Harbaugh is the only head coach in NFL history (since 1970 merger) to win a playoff game in each of his first four and five seasons. He is also the only head coach in NFL history to win a playoff game six of the first seven seasons of a coaching career. Outside of winning Super Bowl XLVII, Harbaugh has guided the Ravens to four AFC North division championships, three AFC Championship appearances and a franchise record 14-2 record in 2019.

Early life

John Harbaugh was born in Toledo, Ohio, to Jackie Cipiti and Jack Harbaugh.[4] John Harbaugh graduated from Pioneer High School in Ann Arbor, Michigan, during which time his father Jack was an assistant under Bo Schembechler at the nearby University of Michigan.

Harbaugh attended college and played varsity football as a defensive back at Miami University, where he graduated in 1984.[5][6] In college he was the roommate of the late Brian Pilman.[7]

Coaching career


Harbaugh worked as an assistant at Western Michigan (1984–1987), Pitt (1987), Morehead State (1988), Cincinnati (1989–1996), and Indiana (1997).

Philadelphia Eagles assistant

He was first hired in the NFL in 1998 by the Philadelphia Eagles' then head coach Ray Rhodes, and was one of four assistant coaches retained by new head coach Andy Reid in 1999. As such, he is in the Sid Gillman coaching tree. In 2004, he was mentioned as a possible candidate to replace Gary Darnell as the head football coach at Western Michigan, where he had earned a master's degree and was an assistant football coach from 1984–1987.

In 2007, after serving as Eagles' special-teams coach for nine years, he became their defensive-backs coach. This fulfilled his request to head coach Reid and improved his chances of landing a head coaching job since executives at that time viewed special teams coaches as unqualified to move up to head coach.

Baltimore Ravens head coach

On January 19, 2008, Harbaugh was appointed the third-ever head coach of the Baltimore Ravens after Jason Garrett, the team's first choice, decided to stay with the Dallas Cowboys after receiving a raise and a promotion to assistant head coach.[8] He was not considered one of the favorites for the position because he had no head coaching experience at any level and had never been an offensive or defensive coordinator in the NFL.[9] He impressed team owner Steve Bisciotti and Vice President of Player Personnel/General Manager Ozzie Newsome. New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick also recommended Harbaugh to Bisciotti by phone during the interview process.[10]

On January 23, 2008, Harbaugh hired longtime NFL offensive coach (and former head coach) Cam Cameron as offensive coordinator. (Cameron had previously hired Harbaugh as an assistant at Indiana.) Cameron was also quarterbacks coach for John's brother, Jim, during their time at Michigan. On September 7, 2008, in his debut as a head coach, John and his Ravens beat the Cincinnati Bengals.

In his first season as a head coach, Harbaugh guided the Ravens to an 11–5 regular season record, good enough to qualify them for the playoffs as a wild card team. In the playoffs, he led the team to upset victories over the Miami Dolphins and Tennessee Titans before losing to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC Championship Game.

Harbaugh at 2009 Ravens training camp

On January 26, 2009, he named Greg Mattison the defensive coordinator for the Ravens, replacing Rex Ryan who had left to take his first head coaching job (with the New York Jets). Mattison had served as linebacker coach and defensive coordinator for Harbaugh's father, Jack, at Western Michigan University from 1981–86, when Harbaugh was a graduate assistant and assistant coach for his father.

In his second season as Ravens' head coach, he once again led the team to the playoffs with a 9–7 record during the regular season and improved his playoff record to 3–1 with an upset victory over the New England Patriots in the AFC wild card round on January 10, 2010 before losing in the AFC divisional game to the Indianapolis Colts. He once again took the Ravens to the playoffs in 2010, beating the Kansas City Chiefs in the wild card round on January 9, 2011, before losing to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the divisional round 31–24 on January 15 after starting the second half with a 14-point lead.

Harbaugh signed a three-year extension on February 14, 2011 that kept him under contract through 2014. The Ravens finished 2011 12–4, winning the AFC North division and sweeping the Steelers home and away before losing the AFC Championship Game to the New England Patriots after Lee Evans had a potential late game-winning pass knocked out of his hands by Patriots defensive back Sterling Moore and kicker Billy Cundiff flubbed a potential game-tying field goal. Neither Evans nor Cundiff made the 53-man 2012 roster.

John faced his younger brother Jim in Week 12 (2011) on Thanksgiving Day when John's Ravens beat Jim's San Francisco 49ers 16–6.

The 2012 Baltimore Ravens again met the Patriots in the AFC championship game (on January 20, 2013), got their revenge with a 28–13 victory (coming from behind with a 13–7 second half), and was the first time Tom Brady and Bill Belichick lost a home game after leading at halftime, giving John the opportunity to face brother Jim and the 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII on February 3, 2013.[11] Many have pegged Super Bowl XLVII as the "Harbowl". The Ravens were victorious, defeating the 49ers 34–31. Following the victory, John gave his entire staff replica Lombardi trophies to commemorate the victory.[12]

In 2012, Harbaugh was awarded the third-highest honor within the Department of the Army Civilian Awards, the Outstanding Civilian Service Award, for substantial contributions to the U.S. Army community while serving as the Baltimore Ravens Coach.

He was selected to be inducted into Miami University's "Cradle of Coaches" in 2013.[5]

On September 5, 2013, an hour before the Ravens played in the NFL regular season's opening game, it was reported that Harbaugh had signed a four-year contract extension in a deal that was reached "months ago."[13]

Harbaugh is the only head coach in NFL history to win a playoff game in each of his first five seasons, according to NFL Network.[citation needed]

In each of Harbaugh's first four seasons and again in 2014, every AFC Champion defeated the Ravens in the playoffs (although only the 2008 Pittsburgh Steelers and 2014 New England Patriots were able to actually win the Super Bowl).[citation needed]

In the 2014 AFC Wild Card round of the NFL playoffs, Harbaugh's Ravens beat the Pittsburgh Steelers in Heinz Field in a dominant 30–17 victory, which was the Ravens' first playoff victory against the Steelers in the history of the franchise. However, the next week, the Ravens lost 31–35 in the AFC Divisional round to the New England Patriots after the Ravens were unable to hold two separate 14-point leads. After the game, Harbaugh complained about the Patriots' uncommon but legal tactics of declaring receivers eligible and ineligible, saying "It was clearly deception."[14]

In 2015, Harbaugh had his first losing season with the Ravens. The Ravens lost many close games and key players like Joe Flacco, Justin Forsett, Steve Smith Sr., Eugene Monroe, and Terrell Suggs all suffered season-ending injuries. They finished third in the AFC North with a 5–11 record.

On August 28, 2017, Harbaugh signed a one-year contract extension, keeping him under contract through the 2019 season.[15]

On January 24, 2019, Harbaugh signed a four year contract extension, keeping him under contract through the 2022 season.[16]

External video
video icon Harbaugh's 2019 Coach of the Year acceptance speech, Ravens video

During the season, Harbaugh lead the Ravens to a 14–2 record in the regular season and secured the number 1 seed in the AFC playoffs.[17] In the divisional playoff game against the Tennessee Titans, the Ravens lost the game 28–12. For his work during the 2019 season, on February 1st, 2020, Harbaugh was honored as the Associated Press NFL Coach of the Year Award.[18][19]

In 2020, Harbaugh led the Ravens to a second-place in the AFC North with a record of 11-5, a wild card berth as the #5 seed, and their first playoff win since the 2014 season in a Wild Card win over the Tennessee Titans. The win not only helped the Ravens avenge their embarrassing playoff loss the year prior and brought reigning MVP Lamar Jackson to his first postseason win, it also broke the NFL record for most road playoff games won. In the Divisional Round the Ravens went on to lose to the Buffalo Bills.

In 2021 John Harbaugh was critisized in multiple occasions going for the two point conversion to win the game, instead of kicking the extra point. Such as against the Steelers in week thirteen and the Packers in week fifteen.

Head coaching record

Accurate as of Week 18 of the 2021 NFL season

TeamYearRegular seasonPostseason
WonLostTiesWin %FinishWonLostWin %Result
BAL20081150.6882nd in AFC North21.667Lost to Pittsburgh Steelers in AFC Championship Game
BAL2009970.5632nd in AFC North11.500Lost to Indianapolis Colts in AFC Divisional Game
BAL20101240.7502nd in AFC North11.500Lost to Pittsburgh Steelers in AFC Divisional Game
BAL20111240.7501st in AFC North11.500Lost to New England Patriots in AFC Championship Game
BAL20121060.6251st in AFC North401.000Super Bowl XLVII champions
BAL2013880.5003rd in AFC North
BAL20141060.6253rd in AFC North11.500Lost to New England Patriots in AFC Divisional Game
BAL20155110.3133rd in AFC North
BAL2016880.5002nd in AFC North
BAL2017970.5632nd in AFC North
BAL20181060.6251st in AFC North01.000Lost to Los Angeles Chargers in AFC Wild Card Game
BAL20191420.8751st in AFC North01.000Lost to Tennessee Titans in AFC Divisional Game
BAL20201150.6882nd in AFC North11.500Lost to Buffalo Bills in AFC Divisional Game
BAL2021890.4714th in AFC North

Coaching tree

Harbaugh has worked under eight head coaches:

Nine of Harbaugh's coaching assistants have become head coaches in the NFL and NCAA:

Two of Harbaugh's executives became a general manager in the NFL:

Personal life

Harbaugh is a Roman Catholic.[20][21] He is married to Ingrid Harbaugh, and they have one daughter.[22]

Harbaugh's younger brother, Jim, a former NFL quarterback and head coach, has been the head football coach of the Michigan Wolverines since 2015. Their father, Jack, is a former head football coach at Western Michigan University and Western Kentucky University. John's sister, Joani, is married to Tom Crean, head men's basketball coach at University of Georgia.[23] John was roommates with the late Brian Pillman of WCW, ECW & WWE fame while in college at Miami of Ohio.


  1. ^ "Coaches". Archived from the original on December 19, 2010. Retrieved January 8, 2011.
  2. ^ "Harbaugh's therapy for ailing Eagles coach Johnson: Talk ball". USA Today. May 21, 2009. Retrieved January 8, 2011.
  3. ^ Ken Murray (January 7, 2011). "Jim Harbaugh joins Ravens' John "Pizza Head"Harbaugh to form first pair of NFL head coaching brothers". Baltimore Sun. Archived from the original on July 23, 2012.
  4. ^ Doerschuk, Steve (July 16, 2013). "Around the NFL: Jack Harbaugh tells fascinating story of his start in Canton". The Repository. Canton, Ohio. Retrieved August 15, 2020.
  5. ^ a b "John Harbaugh of Baltimore Ravens to be inducted into Miami of Ohio's 'Cradle of Coaches'". February 26, 2013.
  6. ^ "John Harbaugh statue joins 'Cradle of Coaches' at Miami University (Ohio)".
  7. ^ "John Harbaugh of Baltimore Ravens to be inducted into Miami of Ohio's 'Cradle of Coaches'". February 26, 2013.
  8. ^ "Ravens hire Harbaugh as new head coach," The Associated Press, Saturday, January 19, 2008. Retrieved May 14, 2018
  9. ^ Stanmyre, Matthew. "Harbaugh Wowed Ravens Despite His Inexperience," The Washington Post, Sunday, January 20, 2008. Retrieved May 14, 2018
  10. ^ Battista, Judy (January 21, 2013). "Harbaughs Set to Meet Biggest Fan: Each Other". The New York Times. Retrieved December 12, 2014.
  11. ^ Hanzus, Dan (January 20, 2013). "Ravens roll by Patriots to advance to Super Bowl XLVII". National Football League. Retrieved January 20, 2013.
  12. ^ "John Harbaugh gives Lombardi replicas to staff",; accessed September 7, 2014.
  13. ^ Zrebiec, Jeff (September 5, 2013). "Ravens reward head coach John Harbaugh with contract extension". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved September 6, 2013.
  14. ^ "John Harbaugh: Pats' substitutions deceptive". Retrieved January 16, 2017.
  15. ^ Orr, Conor (August 28, 2017). "John Harbaugh receives one-year contract extension". Retrieved September 7, 2017.
  16. ^ Brinson, Will (January 24, 2019). "Ravens extend John Harbaugh with four-year contract, keep coach in place through 2022". Retrieved January 24, 2019.
  17. ^ Schad, Tom. "Ravens lock up AFC's No. 1 seed, home-field advantage with 31-15 win over Browns". USA TODAY. Retrieved August 26, 2020.
  18. ^ "NFL Honors: Who took home the league's biggest awards?". NFL Nation. February 1, 2020. Retrieved February 1, 2020.
  19. ^ "Jackson Wins MVP as Ravens Take 3 Awards; Harbaugh Top Coach".
  20. ^ "Catholics in the Super Bowl". Faithworks. January 31, 2013. Archived from the original on December 25, 2013. Retrieved January 12, 2014.
  21. ^ Trent Beattie (May 7, 2014). "Super Bowl-Winning Coach Makes the Most of Each Moment". Retrieved June 23, 2014.
  22. ^ ""Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh finds winning combination," The Catholic Review (Archdiocese of Baltimore), November 14, 2008". November 20, 2012. Retrieved January 27, 2013.
  23. ^ "John Harbaugh riled up brother-in-law Tom Crean by wearing a Michigan State hat". March 30, 2014.

External links