Super Bowl 2013 Brother vs. Brother

Jim and John Harbaugh become first Brothers to face each other in a Super Bowl as coaches

The Story Behind The Game

I wonder what Jack and Jackie Harbaugh will do on February 3rd.  They’ll be watching THE game, I’m sure of that, but how will they feel about their sons and their teams fighting it out on the biggest stage in sports?

Coach Jim Harbaugh’s San Francisco 49ers defeated the Atlanta Falcons and earned a trip to the Super Bowl on Sunday.  In the late game coach John Harbaugh led his underdog Baltimore Ravens into New England to defeat the Patriots.  For the first time, and maybe the last time, we will see brothers coaching against each other in professional sports’ biggest event.

Older brother John went to Miami University, where he played as a defensive back.  He coached in the college ranks as an assistant at Western Michigan University, Morehead State University, the University of Cincinnati, and Indiana University.  In 1998, then Philadelphia Eagles head coach Ray Rhodes hired John as an assistant coach.  When Andy Reid took over the team in 1999, he was retained.  He served as Special Teams coach for 9 years, and in 2007 he became the Defensive Backs coach at his request to place him in a position to be considered for a head coaching opportunity in the league.

In 2008, John Harbaugh was announced as the Head Coach of the Baltimore Ravens.  His regular season coaching record with Baltimore is 54-26.  After yesterday’s win, his post season record is 8-4.

Younger brother Jim played quarterback at the University of Michigan.  He played from 1983-1986 and led the Wolverines to the 1987 Rose Bowl.  He was a Heisman Trophy finalist in 1987.

Jim was drafted number 26 in the 1st round by the Chicago Bears in 1987.  He would play for Chicago, the Indianapolis Colts, the Baltimore Ravens, and the San Diego Chargers.  His playing career lasted 14 years.  In 1995 he led the Indianapolis Colts to the AFC championship game and was selected to the Pro Bowl.

His first coaching opportunity was at Western Kentucky University.  He was assistant coach to his father, Jack.  In 2002 he became the quarterback’s coach for the Oakland Raiders.  In 2004 he entered the college coaching ranks and became the head coach of the University of San Diego.  He coached them to consecutive Pioneer League championships.  He left San Diego to coach the Stanford Cardinals in 2007, taking them to two bowl games, including the Orange Bowl championship.  In 2011 Jim signed a five year contract as head coach for the San Francisco 49ers.  In 2 seasons with the 49ers, he has achieved a record of 24-7-1 in the regular season.  After defeating the Falcons yesterday, his playoff record is 3-1.  He has been in consecutive NFC championship games, losing in 2011 to the eventual Super Bowl Champion New York Giants.

Jack and Jackie will be riding an emotional roller coaster on February 3rd.  I know they can’t overtly favor one brother over the other, but deep inside I know there will be a small inclination to do so.  The good news is that they can’t lose.  On the night of Super Bowl Sunday, one of their sons will be hoisting the Vince Lombardi Trophy.

James Turnage

Columnist-The Guardian Express

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