Harbaugh says he's close to extension with Stanford

Updated: November 18, 2008, 4:22 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

SAN FRANCISCO -- Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh said Monday that he is close to finalizing an agreement for a contract extension that he hopes would end speculation that he could leave for another job.

Speaking at a news conference for this week's Big Game against rival California, Harbaugh said he hoped the new deal would be completed shortly.

"We're close. We're closer," Harbaugh said.

A person with knowledge of the talks told ESPN.com's Joe Schad on Tuesday that the deal will be worth in excess of $1.25 million per season.

Harbaugh's name has been floated for potential openings in the NFL with the Oakland Raiders, where he once served as an assistant, or for a bigger college job following the rebuilding job he has done at Stanford.

"Let me be clear on this. I'm 100 percent committed to Stanford University," Harbaugh said. "I love my job at Stanford. I have a great wife, a new baby, I love my job, I love the guys I coach for. I could not imagine coaching anywhere else."

Harbaugh took over a team that went 1-11 in 2006 under coach Walt Harris and has quickly turned the Cardinal around. Stanford went 4-8 in his first season, including the memorable upset over then-No. 2 Southern California, and had the school's first victory in the Big Game since 2001.

The Cardinal have been even better this season, taking a 5-6 record into the regular-season finale against the Golden Bears. With a victory Saturday at Cal, Stanford would qualify for a bowl game for the first time since Tyrone Willingham's final season as coach in 2001.

Harbaugh is currently in the second year of his five-year contract. He previously coached three seasons at San Diego, which was a non-scholarship Division I-AA school. Harbaugh previously was a quarterback for 15 seasons in the NFL, leading the Indianapolis Colts to the 1995 AFC Championship Game.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.