Jim Harbaugh knows just how important a sixth Vince Lombardi Trophy is to the 49ers franchise after coming close to hoisting one himself 11 years ago in Super Bowl XLVII.
Harbaugh and the 49ers suffered a heartbreaking loss to the Baltimore Ravens in New Orleans, La at Caesars Superdome, a defeat that still haunts the former San Francisco coach to this day.
In speaking to NBC Sports Bay Area's Matt Maiocco on Friday at Super Bow Radio Row, Harbaugh discussed how important a 49ers win over the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday in Super Bowl LVIII at Allegiant Stadium would be for team CEO Jed York and the entire organization.
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"I know what it means (to them)," Harbaugh told Maiocco. "To get that sixth one, that drive for six. Jed's done an incredible job, the entire York family, Paraag [Marathe] and John [Lynch] and Kyle [Shanahan] and the entire staff, the players and the incredible teamwork. And just good old-fashioned hard work that it takes to put themselves in this position.
"Jed's an incredible owner and Kyle's an amazing coach and John ... I mean they've already cemented their legacy, they're great at what they do, but yeah they want to put that exclamation point on it and be simply known as world champions."
Harbaugh is a big fan of 49ers second-year quarterback Brock Purdy, who put together an NFL MVP-caliber 2023 season while leading San Francisco back to the Super Bowl.
"There's no question he's built an incredible rapport with the team, the offense, the trust that Kyle has in him, the toughness he has shown, the confidence, the ability he plays with," Harbaugh said of Purdy. "That injury then overcoming that injury with grueling rehab. Nothing but respect for the job that he has done and wish him the best of luck and it's nothing but love and respect for what he's been able to accomplish."
San Francisco 49ers
Harbaugh coached the 49ers from 2011-2014, where he led the team to three NFC Championship Game appearances and one Super Bowl appearance before he and the organization agreed to mutually part ways following the 2014 NFL season.
While York refutes the notion the 49ers fired Harbaugh following an underwhelming 8-8 2014 season, there were plenty of reports detailing a strained relationship between the fiery coach and the front office, led by former general manager Trent Baalke.
While Harbaugh and York let bygones be bygones, it's not lost on the former 49ers coach how important a win over the Chiefs on Sunday would be to his old organization.