Jim Harbaugh: “To us Toby Gerhart is the Heisman Trophy Winner”

December 23, 2009 – 9:15 am by Zach Krantz

The first question was will he take the Kansas job? Or maybe the Notre Dame job? Is he going to stay at Stanford, or maybe even take a NFL job when they open? That’s the life of a hot college coach these days and that man is Jim Harbaugh, head coach of the Stanford Cardinal. Stanford is making its first bowl appearance in eight years where they will face Oklahoma in the Sun Bowl. The Cardinal and Harbaugh finished the season 8-4 with a couple big wins versus USC and Oregon in consecutive weeks before losing to Cal.  The loss to Cal was huge because it took away the shot for the Rose Bowl for Stanford. Harbaugh in the third year of a five-year deal has guided Stanford to a cumulative 17-19 record in his first three seasons, with the Sun Bowl remaining.

Harbaugh has resurrected the football program at Stanford. They were 1-11 the season before Harbaugh was hired and were still trying to recover from a Rose Bowl bid that truly ended in Notre Dame scooping up Tyrone Willingham and a loss. It has the sniff of that again when Harbaugh was getting courted by Kansas and Notre Dame after the regular season was over, but Harbaugh stayed and signed an extension through 2014. He will remain a Cardinal until then, or is he stays a hot commodity maybe until at least next season.

Jim Harbaugh joined Petros and Money on Fox Sports Radio to talk about the Sun Bowl, some of the big wins this season, the Heisman run with Toby Gerhart, and his name being thrown around at every vacant coaching job in the country.

Asked how close he was to taking the Kansas head coaching job:

“There are rumors that were out there and really kind of starting swirling the day of the Heisman. The kind of got blown way out of proportion. That’s why I stepped in and made a statement. It’s a policy not to talk about any other job other than the one I have. When things start to swirl out of control like that, I just thought it was important to state that I was the Stanford coach, I am staying at Stanford and that is where it precipitated at.”

Asked what it meant to him and Toby to have the Heisman vote so close:

“It struck me when I was at the Heisman because in the front row there were the five finalists sitting there. In one seat there is McCoy from Texas and you’re thinking Earl Campbell from Texas and the great Longhorn teams. In the next seat is Alabama and Bear Bryant and Stabler and that tradition. Then there is Nebraska and Tim Tebow from Florida, probably one of the greatest college football players of all time. And Toby Gerhart was sitting there at the end from Stanford University and it was fitting to me that there was Stanford among some of the elite programs in all of college football. It struck me that here was a man, Toby Gerhart, who literally took his team on his back this year and a program and university. Leading them back to their rightful place in college football, a legendary place in college football. It was biblical to me; Toby Gerhart was John the Baptist, out into the wilderness making things straight and being called back into the wilderness to bring Stanford football back. I thought he did everything he possibly could do to win that award; there was not one more thing Toby Gerhart could have done to win that award. But this is a vote and you have no control over voters and how that outcome is going to be. I think he made his case; here is a guy, who rushed for the most yards in college football, scores the most touchdowns in college football and does it against top 10 defenses. To us, Toby Gerhart is the Heisman Trophy winner.”

Listen to Jim Harbaugh with Petros and Money on Fox Sports Radio

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  1. One Response to “Jim Harbaugh: “To us Toby Gerhart is the Heisman Trophy Winner””

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