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As the head coach of the University of Michigan football team, Jim Harbaugh has not had the best time in the state of Ohio. Or really with anything Ohio related. Let’s just say that in recent years, Coach Harbaugh and Ohio have gone together like sand paper and tuna fish. But winless record against Ohio State aside, Harbaugh finally got himself a W in the Buckeye State when the mayor of Toledo presented him with a key to the city.
However, it turns out the whole rolling out the red carpet for a Michigan coach didn’t sit all that well with a little team that’s kind of sort of set up shop in the Ohio city known as the Toledo Rockets.
From 247 Sports:
Harbaugh was in Toledo last week speaking at an event called the Access to Justice Awards dinner to advocate for legal justice. Prior to the event, Toledo mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz awarded Harbaugh the key to the city. That seems like a well-intentioned gesture, but it came off as a little tone deaf — and not only because a majority of Ohio residents likely despise Harbaugh and the University of Michigan.
That’s because Jason Candle, the head coach of the MAC’s Toledo Rockets, won 2017 MAC Coach of the Year after leading Toledo to an 11-3 record and a MAC Championship. This spectacular season came a year after Candle led them to 9-4 record in the 2016 season. Candle is one of the top coaches in the Group of Five. However, he has yet to receive a key to the city.
On Monday, Jordan Strack of WTOL-11 in Toledo tweeted, “There is some serious frustration at the University of Toledo. Administrators are upset that Harbaugh got a key to the city & the MAC Coach of the Year & MAC Champs at UT didn’t even get that treatment.”
Not long thereafter, the City of Toledo swooped in to repair the negative PR they were getting for giving the Michigan head coach a key to the city before honoring the MAC champions. They responded to Strack, “The mayor does plan to honor UT in the same way and we are planning other events later this year to highlight how great UT athletics and academics are.” It sounds like the public backlash got to the city. The city has not specifically stated how they plan to honor Candle and Toledo.
It’s great that the state that gave us King James is ready to welcome some new royalty in the form of King Jim. Really gracious of Lebron to share the throne like that. Now, while it may seem a little random that Harbaugh would receive a key to the city of Toledo of all places, he was born there, lived there until he was four, and his dad was an assistant coach at nearby Bowling Green State for like two years. Which, if you know anything about anything, totally trumps a MAC Championship and all-around stellar coaching record.
Sorry, Coach Candle. But hey, maybe they’ll get you a nice commemorative plaque or something..
[via 247 Sports]
Image via Wikimedia Commons