Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh and brand loyalty
ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh is a faithful Walmart shopper.
His spending exploits were chronicled in 2014, when his wife, Sarah, told a San Francisco radio station that Harbaugh bought khakis at the NFL combine in Indianapolis after she threw away all his old ones. Soon, photos of Harbaugh purchasing khaki pants by the armful made its rounds on social media.
Michigan broadcaster Jim Brandstatter took a few minutes Monday on Michigan’s weekly coaches radio show to tell a story about crossing paths with Harbaugh on a summer day in a small town in Michigan. In a Walmart.
“Jay was, what, about 9 or 10 years old, it was probably 2007 or 2008,” Brandstatter said.
“Jim Harbaugh walks down the aisle. I looked at him and said, ‘What the hell are you doing here?’ ”
Harbaugh, who was wandering the aisles in search of pool toys and flotation devices for his children, was quick with a retort.
“He looked at me and said, ‘What the hell are you doing here?’ ” Brandstatter recalled.
Tawas City, in fact, is a small town on the western shore of Lake Huron, about 80 miles north of Saginaw.
“Nice town,” Harbaugh said of Tawas City. “I love that movie theatre and the ice cream shop. It’s great to have a brother who has a lake house!”
Harbaugh also fielded a few questions from online participants during his weekly radio show. An offbeat smattering:
Question: Were you anything in your past life?
Harbaugh: “Like another person or something? I’ve never got a sense or a vision of being anybody else or anything else.”
Question: Will you eat steak and milk for lunch?
Harbaugh: “Sometimes, when you’re lucky.”
Question: What’s the most important trait for a running back?
Harbaugh: “It’s like asking what’s more important for a carpenter. A saw or a hammer? … Vision, instinct, toughness, the ability to play low, speed.”
Question: What sports did you play, growing up?
Harbaugh: “I played a lot of sports. In high school, football, basketball and baseball. As a youth, I wrestled, played baseball, soccer, hockey.”
Rachel Lenzi covers Michigan sports for Landof10.com. You can follow her on Twitter at @RLenziAJC