PARAMUS, N.J. — When the president of Paramus Catholic High in a northeastern corner of New Jersey decided to hold a football recruiting camp, he didn’t expect it to be a particularly complex endeavor.

But Jim Vail made one significant oversight: He didn’t realize that having Jim Harbaugh there, and also inviting Michigan’s football coach to deliver the school’s commencement address the next day, would spark commotion beyond his imagination.

Tumult seems to follow Harbaugh and it often works for him. What happened in New Jersey a few months ago provided a glimpse into how his bombastic style can court controversy, attract a national audience and dominate a sports news cycle.

The reaction to his appearance at Paramus Catholic began before he even showed up. Rutgers, a Big Ten Conference rival, viewed Michigan’s invitational into its backyard as a betrayal, a way to steal local recruits. Ohio State, Michigan’s archrival, teamed up with Rutgers for a competing camp nearby.

It didn’t matter. Harbaugh and Michigan was the big draw. Hundreds of youngsters signed up for the Paramus camp, more than the school was expecting.

Then, Vail recalled, “We had that incident the night before.”

A Rutgers secret society vandalized Paramus Catholic’s fields, then released a statement declaring “war” on Harbaugh and Michigan.

Who knew that chaos could be great for business?

Journalists from 30 to 40 media outlets, including the New York Times and ESPN, covered the event. Some 650 campers and coaches from about 45 schools attended.

If not for the swirl ignited by Harbaugh and Michigan, Vail concluded, “we might have had a couple hundred.”

This is the most well-known of Harbaugh’s recruiting tactics, in which he or assistants swarm the country, invading other schools’ territories. They are called “satellite camps,” possibly a misnomer, implying that Harbaugh is orbiting the college football world when in fact it’s been the other way around.

Among recruits, Michigan has “become kind of the cool, hip school,” said Brandon Huffman, national director of recruiting for Scout.com. “And that’s almost 100 percent attributed to Harbaugh.”

Harbaugh is considered among the best football minds in college or the NFL – Michigan had a record of 10-3 in his first season, up from 5-7 the year before – but his approach to coaching tends to the conservative.

His rebellious side comes out in recruiting, and he has changed the way college programs operate. Harbaugh’s innovations come at a rapid speed, and some explore the boundaries of NCAA rules, but they all share the same aim: to stay in the news and therefore in the consciousness of top recruits.

That approach, Huffman said, has made Michigan a recruiting powerhouse.

Harbaugh was among the first to employ a football creative director, devoted to targeting recruits with slick, shareable social media graphics. (Michigan did, however, lose a recruit this week over a mistakenly sent thank-you card.) Michigan’s satellite camps dominate offseason discussions and have blown up the recruiting calendar.

A season that once extended from mid-April to the end of May has now metastasized to June, with multiple camps each day spanning the country. Assistant coaches are effectively compelled to attend.

“This is where Harbaugh has rankled some folks because he’s making people work, and not just his own coaches,” Huffman said.

Harbaugh’s tactics feed a sports media machine that in many regions depends on college football for revenue. During the barren offseason, Harbaugh delivers. An abbreviated list of Harbaugh’s extracurricular activities include:

 A Twitter beef with Ohio State’s athletic director (among others).

• Slumber parties at recruits’ houses.

• Naming Michael Jordan an honorary captain for Michigan’s season opener.

• Throwing a signing-day gala, live streamed on Derek Jeter’s the Players’ Tribune, that featured guests such as Jeter, Tom Brady, former WWE wrestler Ric Flair, NASCAR driver Brad Keselowski, former Notre Dame coach Lou Holtz, Heisman Trophy winner Desmond Howard and ESPN NFL draft analyst Todd McShay.

Recently he starred in a rap video.

“My default is usually ‘yes.’ Action,” Harbaugh said at last month’s Big Ten Media Days, explaining the rap video. “Why not? And the reaction has been very good. I’ve gotten multiple texts, phone calls, comments from people that really liked it. And I think the cool people liked it.”

Paul Finebaum, the Southern radio personality, has called Harbaugh “the Donald Trump of college football.”

Harbaugh’s antics are calculated. Paramus Catholic has been a fruitful recruiting target for Michigan, producing three current Wolverine players, including two of the program’s best recruits in recent years.

To keep the pipeline pumping, Michigan added Paramus Catholic Coach Chris Partridge to its staff. Paramus also was invited to play its season opener at Michigan Stadium – legal under NCAA rules, though Harbaugh is not allowed to attend.

And then there was the camp and speech in June.

Harbaugh has all but dared the NCAA to change its rules. Responding to Finebaum’s Trump comparison, Harbaugh told the Detroit Free Press, “The thing I like about Donald Trump is he’s not afraid to fight the establishment.”

One day, Vail told Harbaugh, “If the speed limit is 50 miles an hour and you’re driving 50 miles an hour consistently, are you complying with the law or pushing the law?

“He kind of liked that,” Vail said.

So far, governance has failed to rein in the coach. An April vote of conference commissioners to ban satellite camps was overturned by the NCAA board of governors, after USA Today reported the U.S. Department of Justice had begun an informal inquiry into the ban.

Other coaches have adopted some of Harbaugh’s tactics. Teams have beefed up their social media and graphics departments. Satellite camps have flourished.

Rutgers Coach Chris Ash admitted that he wished he was the one giving Paramus Catholic’s graduation speech.

After Harbaugh delivered the address, a large scrum of reporters asked Vail why he went through all the trouble.

“You’re all here,” he said. “Doesn’t this prove my point?”

It later was suggested to Vail that he sounded a lot like Harbaugh.

He did not disagree.