John Harbaugh trying to live up to the Cradle of Coaches

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Thursday January 24, 2013

Posted by: Chris Vannini on January 24, 2013

While John Harbaugh's upcoming battle with his brother Jim is the major story of the Super Bowl, there's another family Harbaugh is in.

The Cradle of Coaches.

John Harbaugh is the latest football coach with ties to Miami (OH) to find major success. Harbaugh is a bit different, though, as he never coached there, compared to many notable coaches whose careers went through Oxford at some point. He was only a player.

"It's a great pride in Miami," Harbaugh said Thursday. "You look at the tradition at Miami. That's something, when you go there, they make sure you understand pretty well. Players, coaches and the football tradition there just means so much. What Don Treadwell's doing there is something I'm proud of.

"I can't support that enough. Love and honor to Miami. I love that school, I love the people there."

Harbaugh was a defensive back at the school, not earning a letter until his senior season and graduating in 1984. He played with two current Miami (OH) coaches: head coach Treadwell and defensive coordinator Jay Peterson.

The Cradle of Coaches mostly includes notable college coaches, but former Redhawks offensive coordinator Sean Payton won the Super Bowl with the New Orleans Saints in 2010.

Harbaugh is the second Miami (OH) alumnus to be a head coach in a Super Bowl, joining Weeb Ewbank, who won Super Bowl 3 with the New York Jets.

"I'm just trying to live up to that in some way," he said. "That's the pressure in this game. You look at the names that are up there. Maybe some of you guys know. You go back to Ara Parseghian and Sid Gillman, and you keep going back through Bo (Schembechler) and Woody (Hayes). Earl 'Red' Blaik, that's a pretty good coaching name. We take great pride in that."





Chris Vannini is the lead writer for and has covered Michigan State sports for The State News, The Oakland Press and He writes a weekly column for the Detroit Free Press on behalf of SB Nation. Vannini lives in Big Ten country, so his foot speed is far from SEC caliber, but his pulse on coaches is hard to match. Be sure to follow @CoachingBuzz on twitter and send your feedback to

Chris Vannini is in his fifth year with and serves as its managing editor. He has previously written for the Detroit Free Press, The Oakland Press, The State News,, 247Sports and SB Nation.  A graduate of Michigan State University, Chris now lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  Be sure to follow @coachingsearch and send emails to

Recent Articles

Related Articles