May 24, 2024

In just six days, Michigan Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh will achieve a remarkable feat, becoming only the twelfth individual in history to both play and serve as a head coach in the Rose Bowl. This places Harbaugh in an exclusive category that includes national champions and hall-of-famers. Among these twelve, Harbaugh stands out as the fifth to return to the Rose Bowl after experiencing it as a player, aiming to emulate the success of coaching legends like Bob Stoops and John Robinson, who secured victories in their inaugural trips to Pasadena as head coaches.

Jim Harbaugh, Michigan football coach and former QB, through the years

Harbaugh’s connection to the Rose Bowl extends further, as he is the third individual with ties to Michigan to achieve this dual role of player and head coach in the prestigious event. He is only the second person to accomplish this feat while representing the Wolverines, following in the footsteps of Pete Elliott. Pete, who initially reached the Rose Bowl as a Michigan player, later guided California and Illinois to the same stage as a head coach. Notably, Bump Elliott, Pete’s brother, also achieved the rare distinction of participating in the Rose Bowl both as a player and coach for the Wolverines.

The following list outlines every individual who has achieved the remarkable milestone of reaching the Rose Bowl as both a player and a head coach:

1. [List of individuals]

Jim Harbaugh (Michigan)

As a player: 0-1; Lost to Arizona State, 22-15, in 1987

As a coach: TBD

Bret Bielema (Iowa, Wisconsin)

As a player: 0-1; Lost to Washington, 46-34, in 1991

As a coach: 0-2*; Lost to TCU, 21-19, in 2011 – Lost to Oregon, 45-38, in 2012 (Wisconsin qualified for a third Rose Bowl under Bielema in 2013, but he left before the game to take the head coaching position at Arkansas)

Rick Neuheisel (UCLA, Washington)

As a player: 2-0; Defeated Michigan, 24-14, in 1983 – Defeated Illinois, 45-9, in 1984

As a coach: 1-0; Defeated Purdue, 34-24 in 2001

Bob Stoops (Iowa, Oklahoma)

As a player: 0-1; Lost to Washington, 28-0, in 1982

As a coach: 1-0; Defeated Washington State, 34-14, in 2003

Terry Donahue (UCLA)

As a player: 1-0; Defeated Michigan State, 14-12, in 1966

As a coach: 3-1; Defeated Michigan, 24-14, in 1983 – Defeated Illinois, 45-9, in 1984 – Defeated Iowa, 45-28, in 1986 – Lost to Wisconsin 21-16, in 1994

John Robinson (Oregon, USC)

As a player: 0-1; Lost to Ohio State, 10-7, in 1958

As a coach: 4-0; Defeated Michigan, 14-6, in 1977 – Defeated Michigan 17-9, in 1979 – Defeated Ohio State, 17-16, in 1980 – Defeated Northwestern 41-32, in 1996

Pete Elliott (Michigan, California, Illinois)

As a player: 1-0; Defeated USC, 49-0, in 1948 (Michigan)

As a coach: 1-1; Lost to Iowa, 38-12, in 1959 (California) – Defeated Washington, 17-7, in 1964 (Illinois)

Bump Elliott (Michigan)

As a player: 1-0; Defeated USC, 49-0, in 1948

As a coach: 1-0; Defeated Oregon State, 34-7, in 1965

Tommy Prothro (Duke, Oregon State, UCLA)

As a player: 0-1; Lost to Oregon State, 20-16, in 1942 (Duke)

As a coach: 1-2; Lost to Iowa, 35-19, in 1957 (Oregon State) – Lost to Michigan 34-7, in 1965 (Oregon State) – Defeated Michigan State, 14-12, in 1966 (UCLA)

Chuck Taylor (Stanford)

As a player: 1-0; Defeated Nebraska, 21-13, in 1941

As a coach: 0-1; Lost to Illinois, 40-7, in 1952

Jess Hill (USC)

As a player: 1-0; Defeated Pittsburgh, 47-14, in 1930

As a coach: 1-1; Defeated Wisconsin, 7-0, in 1953 – Lost to Ohio State, 20-7, in 1955

Charles ‘Shy’ Huntington (Oregon)

As a player: 1-0; Defeated Penn, 14-0, in 1917

As a coach: 0-1; Lost to Harvard, 7-6, in 1919

As a coach: 0-2*; Lost to TCU, 21-19, in 2011 – Lost to Oregon, 45-38, in 2012 (Wisconsin qualified for a third Rose Bowl under Bielema in 2013, but he left before the game to take the head coaching position at Arkansas)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *