"Urban Meyer's had a winning record - really phenomenal record - everywhere he's been," Harbaugh told The Athletic's Tim Kawakami on "The TK Show" podcast. "But also, controversy follows everywhere he's been."
Meyer announced his retirement after the 2019 Rose Bowl, citing health concerns. Issues with his health also prompted him to leave Florida in 2011.
At both schools, Meyer attracted scrutiny for his willingness to recruit players - and even coaches - who carried significant character risks, and for the way he handled their off-field incidents.
Meyer won two national titles at Florida but 31 of his players were arrested during his six seasons there. Ohio State suspended him for three games to begin the 2018 campaign for responding inadequately to a domestic violence complaint against wide receivers coach Zach Smith.
Harbaugh also told Kawakami that he aspires to both win championships and run a first-class program at Michigan.
With Harbaugh at the helm, the Wolverines went 0-4 against Meyer's Buckeyes.
Meyer, who won a third national championship at Ohio State, also coached two seasons apiece at Bowling Green and Utah.