IU's Crean, x-Colts QB focus of film

May 5, 2009
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creanIndiana University basketball coach Tom Crean—and his connection to the Harbaugh family—will be the focus of a documentary produced by NFL Films.

An NFL Films crew visited Bloomington last week to film Crean with some IU players for the documentary to be released as part of the weekly NFL Films Presents series. The Crean-Harbaugh feature will air in September or October on ESPN2. At the NFL owners meetings in March in Dana Point, Calif., NFL Films President Steve Sabol shot a roundtable conversation with Crean, Crean’s father-in-law Jack Harbaugh and brothers-in-law John and Jim Harbaugh.

Jack Harbaugh is a retired college football coach, while Jim, a former Indianapolis Colts quarterback, is now head coach at Stanford and John is the head coach of the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens.

“We thought it’d be interesting to talk to these guys about what it takes to be a successful coach, what drives them,” said NFL Films Producer Chris Barlow. “If you like sports and are interested in what drives people at the highest level of their game, this is a show you’re going to want to see.”

Barlow said Crean is just the second basketball coach to be the focus of an NFL Films production. “We did a show 10 years ago with (former San Francisco 49ers and Detroit Lions coach) Steve Mariucci and (Michigan State basketball coach) Tom Izzo,” Barlow said. “That’s the only other time something like this has been done.”

The dynamics between Crean and the Harbaughs is what drew NFL Films to the project, Barlow said.

“It’s really interesting how big an impact these guys have had on each other,” Barlow said. “When one succeeds, they celebrate together, and it’s a huge inspiration to the others. And when one is met with defeat, they all feel it. It’s an extremely close family.”

NFL Films officials said Crean “was terrific,” and could have a future as a TV commentator or analyst some day. Jack Harbaugh told NFL Films Crean could have just as easily been coaching in another arena.

“With his competitive drive,” Jack Harbaugh told NFL Films, “he could have been a great linebackers coach.”
  • Under normal circumstances, this would be a pie-in-the-sky idea. These aren't normal circumstances. Jim Harbaugh would be the breakthrough Football hire IU could use to catapult the Football Program forward. Major Renovations to Memorial Stadium are a huge boost to Football Ops, the players morale, and in terms of facilities, but if Bill Lynch can't get it done and, let's just say, gets the ax, then IU would be foolish not to try to lure Harbaugh here.

    I'm sure a series of skeptics will comment below and included will be drive by jabs at IU Football. Not sure there any other programs in the State that are actually in great standing going into next year. So other in-state program fans please keep that in mind.

    However, Harbaugh knows Indiana very well, knows Indiana Sports, has a good reputation here, his Brother-In-Law and likely longterm tenure Coach Tom Crean is just getting started and of course Harbaugh's Sister/Family are in Bloomington, and Stanford isn't exactly the type of can't leave job. IU would have to ante up, but keep in mind they've poured tens of millions into the Memorial Stadium project, how can you justify major upgrades there and not step up in terms of equating that cost with a big name Coaching hire?

    Harbaugh and Crean in Bloomington would be an ideal pairing and when you boil it down, it is not that far fetched. If Lynch gets canned, Harbaugh's name will be very high on the fans wish list and you'd have the most influential voice Harbaugh could have in both ears... his family and Tom Crean.
  • I was actually calling for Jim Harbaugh even before the Crean hire. And so were several others. His strong recruiting base and his ties to Michigan and Indiana make him a natural. But Harbaugh would have to buy into athletic director Fred Glass' vision. And I'm not sure anyone knows yet what that vision is. One thing is certain, the clock is ticking on Billy Lynch. Nice guy, yes, but ...
  • IU Football - zzzzzzzzz
  • As for the clock ticking, you know the doomsday clock that is like 3 minutes to midnight? Lynch is closer than that. As for Harbaugh that would be EXCELLENT !!!
  • I wonder if Steve Sabol broached the subject in his documentary of Jim Harbaugh possibly someday teaming with Tom Crean at IU. Probably too un-PC with Lynch still in place.
  • I am an IU football fan and have been for over three decades. I have had friends and relative play for the Hoosiers. I was there in '87 for the wins over Michigan and Ohio State. i was there for the Sam Wyche experiment. I was there for the give-away to Michigan in '78. I have seen about all there is to see with IU football and I still love it. A day in bloomington on fall saturdays is just great. It can get better, but only if the administration commits to a top-down build with the coaches. How many kid's college football careers are under-served by the administration's lack of focus and comfort? There is no reason IU can't be a stronger force in football, except for the 40 years of cruising by the AD and board of directors. If Illinois, a real dirty program in all respects, can get into the top-tier of the Big Ten, why do we sit back and not try to compete? Not dirty, but aggressively, we can compete and be a real force with influence and pride. I think of it this way... why do we have to be referred to as the next Northwestern? Time was Northwestern was the joke we all laughed at and now...? Harbaugh won't come here for all the above reasons. We had our coach and he sadly passed away before his time could rally come around.

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