Posted December 04, 2013

49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh appears on regional cover of Sports Illustrated

NFC West, San Francisco 49ers
49ers coach Jim Harbaugh also appeared on the cover of SI alongside his brother prior to Super Bowl XLVII.

49ers coach Jim Harbaugh also appeared on the cover of SI alongside his brother prior to Super Bowl XLVII. (Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

Jim Harbaugh is just trying to win. Remember that the next time he comes off as a jerk.

Sports Illustrated senior writer Austin Murphy profiles the 49ers’ fiery head coach in this week’s issue of SI, detailing the ways in which Harbaugh is “softer” and “saner” than you think.

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“Since becoming an NFL head coach, Harbaugh has walled off that calm side of himself when dealing with the public. His demeanor during press conferences is often defensive, adversarial,” Murphy writes. “When asked about his attitude, Harbaugh explained, ‘I’m not trying to be a jerk. It’s just I’m more serious about winning, you know?”

Murphy also chronicles Harbaugh’s unlikely source of inspiration: Piura, a northern city in Peru.

“Every year Harbaugh is startled anew by the abject poverty in Piura. Every year he is inspired anew — ‘transformed,’ he says — by the joy and generosity of the locals, in the face of that poverty,” writes Murphy. “‘Something I learned down there,’ Harbaugh says. ‘They believe it’s a sin to give in to discouragement, to give up hope.’”

The 49ers, 8-4, host the Seattle Seahawks, 11-1, in a crucial NFC West matchup on Sunday.

12 comments
DennyCrane
DennyCrane

I just wish he would get serious enough about winning to...win. Since the Super Bowl slap down from his bro he seems to have difficulty focusing on the team. While this year's version of the team is really good at picking on the little kids on the block Coach Jimmy and staff seem to have trouble with the kids their own size. Sunday would be a good time for Coach Jimmy to show he's more than just the neighborhood bully.

SixPham
SixPham

All great coaches are a little crazy.  Look at Belichick.  Its the nature of the profession.  Man does a lot of charity work that the media doesn't pickup on. 

alex_martinez49
alex_martinez49

just like his brother    both cry babies if things do not go their way I hate them

ladybug1
ladybug1

It's true…Coach H has many facets to his personality.  He is a dedicated coach to his team, he is a family man, he has a Foundation that supports kids and sports and sportsmanship,  he travels to a 3rd world country every summer to help the village build schools, housing and community buildings.

On the field he is passionate and determined.  Joke about him if you will, he does a lot of good things that probably no one really knows about.  His expressions show his passion, and bet the people of that Peruvian Village really appreciate all the work he does there…and he has a bunch of people that go with him there, too.  Deep down he is giving and generous.  

bartleby'sdog
bartleby'sdog

Can't you see him on an annual pilgrimage in the off-season, arriving at the entrance to Piura in toga and sandals, staff in hand, making his way to the center of the village where he assumes the lotus position with that expression on his face for days at a time, not moving- eventually his jaw locking. The villagers ignoring him as they would a migratory bird.

Still Life in the tropics with Coach Jim, a coca leaf and lots of Andean sunshine.

bartleby'sdog
bartleby'sdog

Jim's fascination with an obscure, third world village below the equator begs so many questions. At least the photographer captured him in one of his more tranquil and reflective moments.

bartleby'sdog
bartleby'sdog

@SixPham "Great" coaches? He's a good coach, but just because he's your favorite teams' coach doesn't make him great junior. Coaches have to earn "great."