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Fourteen years ago, Mike Hart, then Michigan’s senior running back, had strong words for then-Stanford head coach Jim Harbaugh. Harbaugh had spoken in the media of his school’s rigorous academic requirements and how he wished other programs — including his beloved Michigan — were of the same ilk.

He went so far as to stay he was steered into a general studies major when he wanted to study history.

Then-Michigan head coach Lloyd Carr stayed above the fray, mostly, offering little more than a shoulder shrug, probably a smart move. As former A.D. Don Canham once said, ‘never turn a one-day story into a two-day story.’

For a brash young Hart, though, it was too much to ignore.

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“That’s a guy I have no respect for,” Hart said at Big Ten Media Day. “You graduate from the University of Michigan, and you’re going to talk about your school like that, a great university like we have? To say that we’re not true student-athletes? I don’t know if maybe he wants to coach here, and he’s mad because he didn’t get a job.

“He says we don’t have great student-athletes, but he just accepted one of our transfers. What kind of sense does that make? Obviously, he wants guys like us at his school. I don’t know how he can say that.”

And then he dropped the bomb.

“He’s not a Michigan man. I wish he’d never played here.”

Fast forward 14 years. Hart is now a huge part of Harbaugh’s rebuilding project in Ann Arbor, having been hired as running backs coach, and the relationship is stronger than ever.

There’s a simple explanation, Hart said — he’s grown up, and in the coaching profession, sometimes stuff happens.

“It was 2007,” he said in response to the reporter trying to stir the pot in asking about the confrontation. “How old were you in 2007? 25? How old was I? 21? I’m pretty sure I was 21 years old.

“It’s been great. Ever since coach got the job here, we’ve stayed in contact … we’ve talked. We’ve done camps together when they were doing all the mega camps. We’ve had a great relationship.

Yes … stuff happens, he said.

“It is what it is, and you move on.”

And move on he has, to the point that there’s nowhere else he’d rather be. He’s loved every job he’s had, from Western Michigan to Syracuse to Indiana, but everyone knew his hear was in Ann Arbor.

Nothing that happened a decade and a half ago was going to prevent him from coming home when he got the call.

“I’ve said a lot of things in my life. You guys know that,” Hart said. “Youth, inexperience … I think people say things when they’re angry, and I’ve learned not to say things when I’m angry, I’ll tell you that.

“Me and Jim have been great. It didn’t just start when he hired me. We’ve had a relationship before that — he didn’t just call me out of the blue. We’ve talked over the years since he’s gotten here. We’ve texted about the Ohio State gam … we’ve played the same teams they’ve played. We’ve had a relationship.”

There’s no animosity and hasn’t been in a long time, he insisted, and it’s obvious.

“We’re good,” he said. “We’ve been good.”

And now he’s ready to help Harbaugh lead Michigan back to where they both know it should be … contending for Big Ten titles and competing at the highest level.