MagnUM Featured on ESPN After Convincing Football Coach Harbaugh to Attend Practice

The famous Michigan football coach attended the Ultimate team's most recent practice after an online social media push.

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Earlier this week, we wrote about Michigan MagnUM’s social media efforts to convince Michigan football coach Jim Harbuagh to attend their practice in the lead-up to Regionals.

Well, Harbaugh answered the call and — as documented in the photo above — attended MagnUM’s practice last night. ESPN’s Big Ten football coverage picked up the story:

With regional championships just two weeks away, the team implored Harbaugh to stop by, if he could.

As the team prepared for its workout at Elbel Field on campus Wednesday night, a surprise visitor appeared on the sideline.

“We were just warming up and he just kind of showed up,” team captain Eli Leonard told ESPN.com. “He was just there alone. It was pretty eerie at the beginning.

“We started to get a little energized and nervous, too.”

Leonard eventually approached Harbaugh and asked if he wanted to meet the team, which he did. Harbaugh ended up staying for almost the entire two-hour practice, poking his head into huddles. Afterward, he took pictures with the team, and they sang “The Victors” together.

“He was really personable,” said Leonard, a senior from Minneapolis. “He said he was admiring what we were doing. He was like, ‘Yeah, I wouldn’t want to play you guys.'”

Harbaugh even offered up Michigan’s cavernous indoor practice facility, the Al Glick Field House, and the team’s weight room to help the Ultimate team prepare for regionals. He didn’t know much about the sport, so Leonard and his teammates provided a crash course.

Of course, it’s unclear how much lasting effect the guest appearance will have on a Michigan squad that has struggled to replicate its 2014 success so far this year. The team is currently unranked in the Ultiworld Power Rankings. But it may be possible that MagnUM has added a new lifelong fan of the storied program, as Harbaugh took the team’s invitation to make a few throws on the sidelines:

Harbaugh even threw the disc a bit with MagnUM’s coach.

“I would call [his motion] a work in progress,” [MagnUM captain Eli] Leonard said. “He was definitely going with [the football-throwing] motion at the beginning and we had to tone that down a little bit.”

  1. Sean Childers
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    Sean Childers is Ultiworld's Editor Emeritus. He started playing ultimate in 2008 for UNC-Chapel Hill Darkside, where he studied Political Science and Computer Science before graduating from NYU School of Law. He has played for LOS, District 5, Empire, PoNY, Truck Stop, Polar Bears, and Mischief (current team). You can email him at stats@ultiworld.com.

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