The more things you can do, Harbaugh style

INDIANAPOLIS – Who was that intense and energetic guy sitting at the end of the Indiana bench during the Hoosiers’ basketball game against North Carolina Central on Wednesday night?

Jim Harbaugh. You might have heard of him – coach of the NFC West champion 49ers, former coach at Stanford and an ex-NFL quarterback. Harbaugh also is the brother-in-law of Indiana basketball coach Tom Crean, who is married the Harbaugh’s sister, Joani.

In typical Harbaugh fashion, he did more than just sit on the bench. During timeouts, it was Harbaugh who took the chairs onto the floor so the players could sit down. He also addressed the players in the locker room before the game.

“I think it goes to show why he’s a very successful leader as a player and certainly now as a coach,” Crean told the Indianapolis Star. “Because there’s no job above him and there’s no job beneath him and it’s all about winning.”

Which the Hoosier did, 75-56.

Asked about his evening of hoops during his podium stint at the NFL Scouting Combine today, Harbaugh offered: “One of the coolest things was sitting next to my nephew, Riley Crean. So that was great – 12-year old Riley Crean, who’s also a good quarterback. I was amazed by how much he had to explain to me about the game of basketball.

“I felt like I knew a lot about basketball. Well-documented outstanding high school player.”

Harbaugh paused and looked around after the comment, which was greeted by laughter.

“The schematics of the game, Riley was teaching me,” Harbaugh added. “And it was great to be a part of it.”

Harbaugh also holds Riley’s father in high esteem, referring to him as “just a star when it comes to coaching.”

Added Harbaugh: “Especially since I made the transition from playing to coaching, Tom was a great resource for me.”


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