James Harbaugh has made headlines for doing several interviews detailing what it is like being the son of Jim Harbaugh. On both the Two Outs podcast and an interview with Out Sports, James detailed the process of coming out as gay to his father.
While the sports community has not always had the greatest track record of acceptance, James is adamant that his father has been nothing but supportive. He explained the process on the Two Outs podcast (via The Detroit News).
It was actually after the election. It was the night of it, it was like at 2 a.m., I texted him and said something like, I don’t know … I just told him, I was really nervous and I was scared about how things were going to be now, because I didn’t feel comfortable about stuff. He said something very encouraging back.
And I wasn’t sure if like, because him and I had never talked about it, if he knew what I was trying to say, so I just flat-out verbatim told him, ‘dad, I’m gay, do you know that?’
And he just said something else back. It was another, like, encouraging, uplifting response … ‘As long as you do what you feel is right in your mind and you live your truth, blah, blah, blah, everything will end up being OK.’ Something like that.
I know he’s supportive of me. I feel like I’m lucky in that regard, that my entire family is supportive of me.
James is one of Jim’s seven children. Jim has three children through his first marriage with Mia Harbaugh. He has four children with his current wife, Sarah Harbaugh, including a son that was born in 2017.
Learn more about James and the Harbaugh family.
1. James Came Out as Gay to His Father After Donald Trump Won the Election
James admitted to having a hard time after Donald Trump won the election. In the midst of a late-night text exchange after the election was over, James officially came out to his father. James detailed the conversation to Out Sports.
It’s only been in the last year that he came out to his dad. Dismayed by election results last November, he told his father that he was scared for himself and other people like him. When dad wrote back a vague message of support, James went all in.
“I just it blurted out –– and told him for the first time verbatim –– ‘Dad, I’m gay. Do you know that? And because of that, this is why X,Y, Z. I’m scared because of this, that and the other.’
“And he just said something else back, it was an encouraging and uplifting response about how you just need to keep your head up. ‘As long as you do what you feel is right in your mind, you live your truth. Everything will end up being OK.'”
2. Jim Harbaugh Wants to be Remembered As a Father Before Being Known As a Coach
College football head coaches wear multiple hats, especially when you are the man in charge at Michigan. Jim not only coaches the team, but is also involved in recruiting, fundraising and host of other responsibilities. It is one of the reasons being a coach can take its toll on their family life.
Jim is going out of his way to ensure that things are different for his family. He spoke about the importance of fatherhood with The Detroit News.
“There’s nothing I’d rather be defied as than as a dad,” Jim told The Detroit News. “People define us men in a lot of ways — a doctor, a lawyer, a dentist, a construction worker, teacher, a coach, but being called a dad is the defining moment.”
3. James Brother, Jay Harbaugh, Is on the Michigan Coaching Staff With His Father
James is one of three children that Jim has through his first marriage. James’ brother, Jay Harbaugh, works with his father on the Michigan coaching staff. Jay started as a tight ends coach, and now coaches running backs.
Jay recently got married, and his proposal video went viral. Jay told his then-girlfriend she was invited to a photo shoot at the rooftop of a popular restaraunt, and it turns out she was there for his proposal as the video below shows.
James may not want to join his brother on the coaching staff, but he is still an avid football fan. James noted on the Two Outs podcast he attends all the Michigan games.
“I challenge you to find anyone at this university who is as into football as I am,” James said on Two Outs (via Out Sports). “I am at those games –– I come home with bruises from cheering so loud. I am on top of those bleachers, I’m like throwing myself around recklessly. I am endangering myself for the sake of the game.”
4. James Is a Theater Major at Michigan
Being a student at Michigan has allowed James to be even closer with his dad. According to Out Sports, James is earning a BFA in directing at Michigan.
Wolverines fans may not be aware their coach is quite the theater buff. James credits his father for introducing him to theater. He spoke about first seeing Wicked with his father on the Two Outs podcast.
“I can kind of credit my dad for getting me into theater a little bit, oddly enough,” James told the Two Outs podcast (via Out Sports). “In 2005, when he was at Stanford, he took the family — my sister, stepmom and I — we went and saw ‘Wicked’ in San Francisco. I was blown away by it. I was probably 12 at the time. I remember thinking, ‘Wow, this is so incredible. I would love to be a part of something that makes people feel this way, something that feels so magical and amazing.'”
5. James Admits His Father Does Outlandish Things to Stay in the News
James confirmed what we have expected for quite some time. Everything from the shirtless photos to the rap videos is a ploy by Jim to keep his name in the news. According to James, there is a reason behind everything. This does not mean his son is able to watch all the stunts without cringing.
He detailed some of his dad’s antics in his interview with the Two Outs podcast (via Detroit News).
I know every single day when I scroll a couple scrolls down with your finger, I’m gonna see something stupid and ridiculous about my dad doing something crazy, and I’m just always scared to see what it’s gonna be. I’m in New York City in May, and there’s a picture of him with the Pope, like, that’s a new thing, that’s weird.
Then it gets to ridiculous crap. … The other day there’s a video of him jumping off a diving board in, like, full-on khakis and everything in the pool here, and I refused to watch it because I just didn’t want to subject myself to that. … I was telling other people, ‘Just tell me what happened, spare me. Does it go badly? How bad is it?’…
It’s genius of him to keep himself in the news the way he does. That’s what he wants. He does it on purpose. Being talked about at all is better than nothing.