Harbaugh headlines expected attendees for 49ers' alumni weekend


The Jim Harbaugh era with the 49ers came to an end on Dec. 28, 2014.

The 49ers put the finishing touches on a 20-17 victory over the Arizona Cardinals at Levi’s Stadium to finish with an 8-8 record.

It closed the door on his memorable four-year run, which consisted of three trips to the NFC Championship Game and one Super Bowl appearance.

“I had the time of my life; I really did,” Harbaugh told the media from behind the lectern and before the word of his departure became official.

Within moments of Harbaugh stepping down from the podium, the 49ers blasted out a press release to announce the organization and Harbaugh “mutually agreed to part ways.”

And that was it.

Harbaugh has not been back to Levi’s Stadium.

Until now.

Harbaugh leads a group of 23 individuals from the 49ers’ 2012 NFC championship team who have confirmed to the organization they will attend a reunion this weekend in Santa Clara.

The group will be recognized Sunday, when the current team takes on the Kansas City Chiefs at home.

Although Harbaugh was a polarizing figure inside the organization, he was immensely popular with the fan base.

His regular-season record of 44-19-1 accounts for a winning percentage of .695, second only to two-time Super Bowl-winning coach George Seifert (.766) in franchise history.

Harbaugh, who was introduced as Michigan’s head coach two days after his departure from the 49ers, is on a bye week with his Wolverines (7-0) ranked No. 4 in the nation.

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The 49ers also expect standouts Alex Smith, Patrick Willis, NaVorro Bowman, Justin Smith, Aldon Smith, Mike Iupati and Joe Staley to attend the alumni weekend events.

Colin Kaepernick, a breakout star after replacing Alex Smith in the starting lineup that season, is not expected to attend, according to a team source.

More than 70 other former players from all eras are also expected to attend, including five members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame: Joe Montana, Jerry Rice, Charles Haley, Ronnie Lott and Bryant Young.

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