Harbaugh agrees to four-year contract with USD

Updated: December 27, 2005, 9:02 PM ET
Associated Press

SAN DIEGO -- Jim Harbaugh agreed Tuesday to a four-year contract to remain as coach at the University of San Diego.

Harbaugh was courted by three Division I-A schools in recent weeks, but chose to stay at the small Catholic Division I-AA university.

In his second season as head coach, Harbaugh led the Toreros to a school-best 11-1 record and their first Pioneer Football League title. The Toreros also won the Sports Network Cup after finishing ranked No. 1 in the I-AA Mid-Major poll.

"My vision is to win multiple PFL championships," said Harbaugh, who played quarterback in the NFL for 15 seasons, including two with the Chargers. "We've done one and we want to continue to build on that.

"I know we're going to have a big challenge to do better than what we did last year, but I feel we have the team to do that," Harbaugh said. "We want to win with numbing repetition."

Harbaugh interviewed for the head coaching job at Rice before pulling his name out of contention, and interviewed at San Diego State, which hired Chuck Long. He also was a candidate at Temple.

"I definitely weighed some options," Harbaugh said. "I felt like this is the best thing. I'm very happy here. This is a school that does things right, and wins. We've had so much success here due to our players, our coaches and our administration. I just want to continue that."

The Toreros had only eight senior starters last year. Senior running back Evan Harney, who sustained head injuries in a freak accident just before the start of training camp, has applied for a medical redshirt season, and Harbaugh said he's gotten good responses while recruiting.

Athletic director Ky Snyder was glad Harbaugh decided to stay.

"I think there's always a concern you have with very successful people moving on," Snyder said. "But at the same time, one of the things I hear from Jim all the time is about his vision and how much he likes it here. That's why I always thought we would get something done."

Harbaugh is 18-5 in two seasons, and the Toreros have a 13-game home-winning streak. Harbaugh also guided USD to its first win over an Ivy League school, a 17-14 victory over Yale.

"Our goal here is to win conference championships on a regular basis without sacrificing academic integrity, and we're certainly in position to start doing that with the football program," Snyder said.

Harbaugh was arrested on a charge of driving under the influence on Oct. 30, and pleaded innocent on Dec. 15. A trial was scheduled for Feb. 16.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press