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Lesson from John Harbaugh: 'Don't force things professionally'

John Harbaugh got his first head coaching job just five years ago with the Ravens, shortly after being passed up for the UCLA job. After last night, it looks like things worked out in his favor in the long run.

"I came in No. 2 for the UCLA job, but they gave it to Rick Neuheisel." Harbaugh explained in a CBS Sports article today.

"I got close on a couple of other jobs, but with other jobs you couldn't even get an interview. It was funny because the UCLA thing didn't work out, but it wasn't a great fit for us. It would've been a great thing, but then a week later [Ravens GM] Ozzie [Newsome] calls about the Ravens.

Baltimore took a chance on the former special teams coordinator, which Harbaugh attributed to owner Steve Bisciotti's forward thinking and unique approach. Looking back on it helped show Harbaugh that everything happens for a reason, and that you can't force things professionally.

"To me, it goes to show you that in life you just can't look at it like you've got to push things professionally or whatever. God's got plans and things -- that's why I keep saying it; at least that's my experience -- beyond your own ability to even dream or imagine what could happen. I can't even believe we're having this conversation, in all honesty."

During a time of year when coaches around the country are vying for open spots, those words of wisdom couldn't come at a better time. One day you're being passed up for a job, the next you're winning the Super Bowl.

It's a wild profession.

Author: Doug Samuels
Doug Samuels has been with FootballScoop since 2011. Samuels joined the FootballScoop staff after serving as a college scout as well as an assistant coach at the college level, where he was fortunate enough to have coached every offensive position by age 24. Samuels is a lifelong Michigan State fan, no huddle enthusiast, and currently coaches high school football in West Michigan.