John Harbaugh announces launch of Harbaugh Coaching Academy

Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh announced the launch of the Harbaugh Coaching Academy on Tuesday. Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- It was about five years ago when John and Jim Harbaugh were sitting around talking about how they've heard their father, Jack, tell the stories that shaped their coaching careers dozens and dozens of times.

"These lessons that you learned, it's like ... It can't just be us," John said. "We're going to forget these stories. We need people to hear these stories."

The conversation jump-started the idea for the Harbaugh Coaching Academy. On Tuesday, John announced the launch of a resource that provides advice, motivation, methodology and techniques for coaches of all sports.

This endeavor is a family project that includes John, a Super Bowl-winning coach who enters his 16th season with the Baltimore Ravens; Jim, who is now the head coach of the Los Angeles Chargers after guiding Michigan to a national championship; Jack, a 41-year coaching veteran who won the 2002 NCAA Division I-AA title at Western Michigan; and Tom Crean, the brother-in-law of John and Jim who was previously the head college basketball coach at Georgia, Indiana and Marquette.

"We want to help coaches be a force for good and make a lasting positive impact," John said. "The HCA coaching family is made up of some of the most recognizable and influential leaders in sports, business, military and the media to have meaningful discussions about the relevant coaching subjects from tactical instruction and leadership skills to inspirational stories, mental health and even advice for parents who want every coach to be effective, both on and off the field."

The Harbaugh Coaching Academy currently uses a website as its central hub for accessing videos that includes interviews and stories from Super Bowl champion coaches such as Andy Reid, Bill Belichick and Sean McVay. The topics covered on the site include handling losses, how to build mental toughness in young athletes and constructing a staff.

"I'm proud to work alongside my family on the Harbaugh Coaching Academy," Jim said. "I'm delighted we can share what we've learned with other coaches, of all levels, to help them develop and mentor young athletes."

The announcement of the Harbaugh Coaching Academy was made in the auditorium of the Ravens' Under Armour Performance Center, which was packed with college coaches.

Belichick was a panelist during an hourlong discussion about coaching where he tackled topics that ranged from whether you should have different rules for star players to how to build leadership within your team.

The former New England Patriots head coach brought up his time as the defensive coordinator for the New York Giants in the 1980s and told coach Bill Parcells that All-Pro linebacker Lawrence Taylor was 15 minutes late for a meeting. Parcells responded, "Why did you start the meeting before he got there?"

Afterward, Belichick addressed the other coaches in the room.

"You develop players, you develop people and you develop the National Football League," Belichick told the coaches. "It's just a couple levels below, but that's where it starts. And those guys appreciate it. I always tell them, 'Go back and tell the people that helped you get where you were because you were no good when you started.' And especially I tell the defensive players, 'Go thank a coach who moved you to defense because if they left you on offense, you wouldn't be in this position.'"

The Harbaugh Coaching Academy has about 400 videos on its website, and John believes the brand could expand to include clinics in the future.

"I don't know where it's going to go," John said. "I'm excited about where it can go. It's a work in progress right now. The possibilities are pretty amazing. You start thinking about, there's never been really anything quite done like this before. This is a really unique deal."