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Jackie Harbaugh, the Foundation of a Coaching Family

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Dan CarsonTrending Lead WriterFebruary 1, 2013

The No. 1 rule for aspiring coaches? 

“Marry wisely,” says Jack Harbaugh.

Jack and Jackie Harbaugh, parents of NFL coaches John and Jim, sat down with the media in New Orleans this past Wednesday to answer questions regarding themselves, their children and what it was like living in a competitive household of aspiring coaches. 

Before answering questions, Jack Harbaugh, former head coach at Western Michigan and Western Kentucky, told a story about the most pivotal advice he ever received about coaching. In 1952, when he and Jackie were freshmen at Bowling Green, he attended a “Football 101” class at the university.

His teacher, Hall of Fame coach Doyt Perry, told the class, "If you want to be a coach someday, marry wisely.”

“I guarantee the only lesson I know I listened and followed through on... was the marry- wisely part,” said Jack.

Jack and Jackie’s media interview also shed light on Momma Harbaugh as the glue that kept the family together through its many transitions.

“She’s the one that moved us 17 times over a 43-year coaching career,” said Jack. 

“She sold houses at every stop and she bought houses at every stop. She took [Jim and John] in to school and out of school.”

Although less outspoken than Jack, Jackie was excited to be in New Orleans and tried to keep things in perspective concerning where this Super Bowl ranks in the all-time moments for the Harbaugh family.

“I would honestly have to say that the birth of our own children and our grandchildren are the most important... This is just icing on the cake.”

Keeping it real, Jackie. I like it.


Follow me on Twitter @Dr__Carson if you want to go Harbaughnkers (sorry).

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