At kickoff of Super Bowl XLVII, some of the best matchups in football will commence, but none will be more visible than the battle of the brothers from Toledo.
John Harbaugh, head coach of the AFC Champions Baltimore Ravens, and his little brother, Jim Harbaugh, second year head coach of NFC Champs San Francisco 49ers, will make history on Feb. 3 as the first pair of siblings to coach against each other in the NFL's title game.
The Harbaugh's history with northwest Ohio spans generations. Father, Jack, born in Crestline, Ohio, played football for the Bowling Green State University Falcons from 1957-1960. After marrying in 1961, Jack and his bride, Jackie, settled in the Toledo-area, where John was born in 1962 and Jim 15-months later, in 1963. Youngest child, Joanie, came a few years later.
According to the Toledo Blade, the boys were born as Jack began his coaching career at Perrysburg High School. By 1964, the elder Harbaugh became a head football coach at Eaton High School in southwest Ohio. The family came back up state, to Bowling Green, in the late 1960's for Jack's two-year stint on the sidelines for the Falcons.
John Harbaugh graduated from Pioneer High School in Ann Arbor, where Jack coached for the Michigan Wolverines. Jim, after attending Pioneer, graduated from Palo Alto High School in Palo Alto, California, where Jack was then coaching the Stanford Cardinals.
John followed in his father's footsteps, after graduating from Miami (OH) University, by coaching under him at Western Michigan University. From there, he went on to coach a number of college teams before breaking into the NFL as an assistant coach with the Philadelphia Eagles. He has been head coach of the Ravens since 2008.
Jim came back to the midwest to attend the University of Michigan and play football for the Wolverines. He was drafted into the NFL in 1987, playing quarterback for the Chicago Bears before finishing his playing career for the San Diego Chargers. He became the 49ers head coach in 2011 after a number of successful years as head coach at Stanford University.
Both brothers made it as far as their conference championships last year. Both bowed out after tough losses to the New York Giants and New England Patriots.
Yet, this year was meant to be for the Harbaugh family. Jack and Jackie watched their boys fight their way into Super Bowl XLVII on Sunday, just the two of them, from their home in Wisconsin.
Surely, mom and dad, along with the rest of the famous football family, will watch first-hand in New Orleans as John and Jim lead their teams in the fight for the Lombardi Trophy.
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