The Chargers hired Jim Harbaugh as head coach last night in a franchise altering move. After years of flirting with NFL interest and winning the College Football Playoff National Championship at Michigan, he’s back in the NFL. But now, the focus shifts to “building infrastructure” as Harbaugh said yesterday. That will most likely start with the completion of the Chargers’ general manager search.
Brandon Brown completed a second interview yesterday for the position. Ravens Director of Player Personnel Joe Hortiz will also come back for a second in-person interview today. The Chargers first round of interviews included Hortiz and Brown as well as JoJo Wooden, Ian Cunningham, Terrance Gray, Jeff Ireland, Ed Dodds, Jeff King, and Dawn Aponte.
Of those candidates, quite a few have some connections to Harbaugh. Brandon Brown has been mentioned by Albert Breer as a candidate that could fit that mold. Per Benjamin Allbright, Michigan was a school Brown scouted while he was with the Colts and Eagles.
Joe Hortiz doesn’t have a direct connection to Jim Harbaugh himself, but obviously has worked directly with his brother John Harbaugh in Baltimore. The same is true for Ian Cunningham, who spent nearly a decade with the Ravens as a scout.
After missing out on the Raiders general manager job following the hiring of Tom Telesco, Ed Dodds is still available too. Dodds has long been viewed as a potential “Harbaugh GM” if he was to make a return in the NFL. The two reportedly have a strong relationship dating back to Harbaugh’s time as quarterbacks coach with the Raiders. Back then, Dodds was a Pro Personnel Intern in Oakland.
Harbaugh will presumably want to put together his staff and mobilize the Chargers’ offseason as soon as possible, so I’d expect the general manager search to quickly accelerate now that the former Michigan coach has finally put pen to paper.