Jan. 12, 2005
Citing one of the most successful and popular players in the club's 21-year Indianapolis era, the Colts inducted former quarterback Jim Harbaugh into the team's Ring of Honor this past weekend. Harbaugh, who played from 1994-98 with the club, was inducted at halftime of the Colts-Denver Wild Card playoff game. Harbaugh started for the majority of his Colts career, completing 746 of 1,230 career passes for 8,705 yards and 49 touchdowns. He won the NFL passer rating title in 1995 at 100.7.
"Believe me, I'm truly moved by this honor," said first year USD head coach Jim Harbaugh, who guided the Toreros to a 7-4 record this past campaign, including five straight victories to end the season.
Dubbed `Captain Comeback' for his dramatic flair, Harbaugh engineered the Colts to two playoff appearances in four years with the team. "Jim Harbaugh was a scrapper and never-say-die fighter who endeared himself to this city and franchise. He was a great ambassador of the horseshoe, on and off the field, so I am pleased to honor Jim with this induction into our Ring of Honor," said Colts Owner and C.E.O. Jim Irsay.
The 1995 Colts posted a 9-7 regular-season record before embarking on a post-season journey that climaxed in a last-second finish in the AFC Championship Game in Pittsburgh on January 14, 1996. Harbaugh guided the club to a 35-20 Wild Card win at San Diego, then helped lead the Colts into arctic Arrowhead Stadium on January 7, 1996 to meet the AFC top-seeded Kansas City Chiefs. In inclement conditions (11-degree temperatures with -9-degree wind chill), Harbaugh and the Colts earned a 10-7 Divisional Playoff victory that was not decided, fittingly, until the final minute. The win in Kansas City sent the Colts to Pittsburgh to battle for a berth in Super Bowl XXX. The Colts and Steelers clashed in a game that never had more than a four-point margin. The Colts took a 16-13 lead midway through the final period on a 47-yard Harbaugh scoring toss to WR-Floyd Turner. After the Steelers scored with 1:15 to go to make the score 20-16, Harbaugh took the Colts on a final charge that reached the Pittsburgh 29-yard line with five seconds remaining. Harbaugh's desperation pass at the gun hung in the air before reaching the near grasp of WR-Aaron Bailey. With momentary possession, Bailey was unable to secure the pass when he hit the ground, and the Colts' Super Bowl hopes ended in dramatic fashion.
Harbaugh guided the Colts back to Pittsburgh the following season, but the club dropped a Wild Card game to the Steelers on December 29, 1996. Harbaugh played through the 1997 season with the Colts before ending his career with Baltimore and San Diego.
Harbaugh joins the late Robert Irsay, Bill Brooks, Ted Marchibroda and Chris Hinton in the Colts Ring of Honor.