Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh told the "Inside Michigan Football" radio show on Monday night that he plans to donate all his bonus pay for this season back to athletic department employees who took pay cuts amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Harbaugh secured a $500,000 bonus Saturday by clinching an outright Big Ten East title. A victory for Michigan against Iowa in Saturday's Big Ten Championship Game would net Harbaugh a $1 million bonus, and he could be in line for nearly $3.5 million in total bonuses if the Wolverines win the national title.
Michigan instituted salary reductions of between 5-10% for most employees in 2020 during the first year of the pandemic, according to the Detroit Free Press. Harbaugh's popularity rating was already doing well among the Wolverines' faithful after his win over Ohio State on Saturday, but the gesture should earn him even more goodwill within the fan base.
"Whether it's folks that work here in football or at the ticket department or baseball coaches...there's so many people that my wife has gotten very close to, kids have, really just our family contribution to those that have had some financial strain through the last 18 months," Harbaugh said, according to the Detroit News.
Harbaugh also took a pay cut recently. Michigan announced a new contract for the 57-year-old coach in January that pays Harbaugh roughly $4 million annually, which was about half of what he made before. The new contract came after a 2-4 season for Michigan in 2020, which was Harbaugh's sixth season.
Harbaugh announces he and wife Sarah are giving whatever incentive bonus money he earns this season back to the athletic department to distribute to those in the dept who had to endure pay cuts last year because of Covid — “Inside Michigan Football” radio w @JonJansen77 ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/aMGuUsBZfM— angelique (@chengelis) November 30, 2021
Harbaugh's seventh season has been a banner season for the program under Harbaugh, who played quarterback for the Wolverines in the 1980s. At 11-1 and with their first victory over Ohio State since 2011, Michigan is in line to secure a spot in the College Football Playoff with a win over the Hawkeyes in Saturday's conference title game.