The Michigan citizen who assisted Ann Arbor police officer Howard Cooper during an ice storm turned out to be one of the most famous sports figures in the state.
Wolverines football coach Jim Harbaugh got out of his vehicle and helped Cooper move a fallen tree that blocked the roadway, according to the Ann Arbor Police Department, which detailed the exploits in a Twitter thread calling Harbaugh a “good samaritan” and released body cam footage. Cooper gave Harbaugh a pair of work gloves, the police department said, and after 10 minutes, the pair cleared a lane by sliding the tree “inch by inch.”
“Thank you, sir, you’re a good man,” Cooper said to Harbaugh after he introduced himself as “Jim.”
“Feel free to spread the word on that,” Harbaugh joked, right before the bodycam footage ended. “Don’t feel like you gotta keep that to yourself.”
Cooper and Harbaugh struggled to rotate and move the tree, and they continued picking up the smaller branches after clearing enough room. The crunch of the falling precipitation — turning to ice — was audible throughout the clip as parts of Michigan dealt with an ice storm warning from Wednesday night into Thursday morning.
More than 650,000 businesses and homes in Michigan were without electricity Thursday, according to MLive.com.
Harbaugh, who has coached the Wolverines since 2015, recently led Michigan to a 13-1 record that included a berth in the College Football Playoff semifinals, where they lost to TCU, 51-45. He then embarked on an offseason of uncertainty, with another possible return to the NFL looming, and interviewed virtually with the Broncos before University of Michigan president Santa Ono announced that the head coach told him he’d return for the 2023 season.
“I love the relationships I have at Michigan — coaches, staff, families, administration, President Santa Ono and especially the players and their families,” Harbaugh said in a statement released by Michigan. “My heart is at the University of Michigan. I once heard a wise man say, ‘Don’t try to out-happy, happy.’ Go Blue!”