Jim Harbaugh hasn’t been Frank Gore’s coach in nearly seven years and yet he was cheering for his former running back from the stands Saturday night.
Except he wasn’t at a soccer game but at a boxing match. Gore fought former NBA point guard Deron Williams in an exhibition fight on the Jake Paul-Tyron Woodley 2 card, and the Michigan coach, who trained Gore with the 49ers, was seen inside Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida. , the site of the fight.
– Karisa Maxwell (@KarisaMaxwell) December 19, 2023
MORE: Williams lands a big blow in win against Gore, but insists it’s ‘one and done’
Gore lost the four-round split decision bout (40-35, 38-37, 37-38).
Gore finished his NFL career tied for the most seasons played as a running back with 16. He had the third-most rushing yards with 16,000 on 3,735 carries and scored 81 rushing touchdowns. Ten of those seasons were spent with the 49ers.
MORE: Why did Frank Gore and Deron Williams fight?
Harbaugh was the 49ers head coach from 2011 to 2014. Gore made his only Super Bowl appearance with Harbaugh in 2012. With Harbaugh as his coach, Gore rushed 1,071 times for 4,659 yards and 29 touchdowns.
The 49ers and Harbaugh mutually decided to part ways at the end of the 2014 season, paving the way for Harbaugh to take over the Michigan show for the start of the 2015 season. Gore recently said on the “All the Smoke” podcast that he knew his Time with the 49ers was drawing to a close after the team selected Carlos Hyde in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft. Once Harbaugh left, he said, he knew the organization would want to see more of Hyde.
“They [were] trying to force the problem to make him play: upstairs, not the coaches, but like upstairs, they wanted to see his new toy. So they [were] forcing the issue to make it play, “said Gore.” That’s why I respect Harbaugh, man. Harbaugh just plays[s] the best man, and I was still the best man. But they fired him and upstairs he wanted his new toy. “
MORE: How did Deron Williams get into boxing?
Gore’s respect for Harbaugh has been mutual: After Gore set an NFL record for 14 consecutive seasons of at least 500 rushing yards, Harbaugh called him “my favorite player of all time.”
But not everyone in Tampa was excited to see the Michigan coach less than two weeks before the Wolverines’ college football playoff semifinal against Georgia.
Big pop for Frank Gore when he was shown warming up in the back. Jim Harbaugh, who’s in the front row here, was booed when they showed him. #PaulWoodley
– Marc Raimondi (@marc_raimondi) December 19, 2023