Carr Praises Harbaugh's Competitiveness

Former U-M coach Lloyd Carr gives his thoughts on Michigan's newest coach Jim Harbaugh.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- When describing newly hired Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh, words like “respect” and “competitive” come to mind, says former Michigan coach Lloyd Carr.

And Carr would know, considering he was an assistant coach during Harbaugh’s time as player at U-M from 1982-86. And has also taken deep appreciation of what Harbaugh has been able to accomplish with his previous stints with the San Francisco 49ers, Stanford and University of San Diego.

“I have always had great respect for Jim,” Carr said. “I’m just happy this day has come. Because I think these things don’t happen for a guy who means this much to this program to come back from the NFL is a wonderful thing.”

When asked if Harbaugh could turn around Michigan quickly, Carr pointed out what Harbaugh was able to accomplish in four years at Stanford, where he turned the Cardinals from worst to first and into one of the more consistent programs in the Pac 10.

”I am deeply respectful of what he has done,” Carr said. “You look what he did at Stanford. This guy, he gets it. He’s a great motivator. He’s very smart. Very tough. Very competitive. He’s excited, passionate about what he’s going to change in the new year. All of us who know him are excited that he’s back.”

Carr went on to mention Harbaugh’s most notable victory at Stanford, when the Cardinals upset then No. 1 USC, 24-23, in the biggest upset of 2007.

“You’ll see great competitiveness,” Carr said. “And that’s how you win. You may lack this, you may lack that. But if you are competitive and Jim Harbaugh’s teams if watch them at Stanford. That game against USC they were 42 point underdogs and found a way to win. You don’t do that unless you’re competitive.”

But what made Carr believe this was ultimately the right hire for the Wolverines, was the way Harbaugh practiced when he was the quarterback of U-M in his college days.

“On the practice field is where you whether a guy is a great competitor or not, our defense would line up against our offense everyday and some way or another in every single day Jim Harbaugh was trying to win,” Carr recalled on his days of coaching Harbaugh. “He wanted to get the first down. He wanted to complete the pass. He wanted to get the ball in the end zone.”

In the end, Carr always knew Harbaugh would be back at Michigan.

“I said before this whole process began, I said to myself, ‘I think there is an excellent chance he’ll come back,’” Carr said. “He’s always had a great love for this place.”

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