An attempt to diffuse the hostility - a short summary of the feelings of those underwhelmed by the Hoke hire
Brady Hoke is the head football coach at the University of Michigan. All Michigan fans wish him and the team (or should) nothing but the greatest success. However, several of us are not convinced that he will deliver on that hope. We're not rooting for him to fail; we're not trying to undermine him; we're not saying he shouldn't have taken the job; and we're not criticizing him as an individual. We're expressing disappointment and will ultimately move on.
At his press conference Hoke was asked whether Michigan was still an elite job, still an elite program. He expressed incredulity at the notion that a sane minded person could consider Michigan anything else. And we all feel that way about Michigan. For that reason, we expected the university to hire a football coach whose track record indicates with a high degree of certainty that he would succeed at Michigan.
Let's take a step back to the moment before Hoke was hired and consider whether Bob Stoops would have been a good hire. He has won a national championship, recruited nationally at a place that doesn't produce a lot of talent regionally, continually produces teams that win conference championships and contend for national championships and has done so while avoiding NCAA violations. In short, there's no reason to believe that if he coached at Michigan that he couldn't maintain that level of success. On the contrary, the evidence indicates that but for some unforeseen circumstances, the probability of his success at Michigan would have been high.
Let's next consider Tim Brewster. Brewster failed to recruit at Minnesota, he produced consistently poor teams and his coaching performance prior to Minnesota contains no evidence that he would have been a success had he been hired by Michigan.
In short, most all candidates fall somewhere on the scale between Brewster and Stoops. They all come with a certain amount of evidence that increases or decreases the likelihood that they could win at Michigan.
If we believe that Michigan is an elite job, we should also believe that Michigan is capable of hiring a coach who comes with lots of evidence that he could win at Michigan. Brady Hoke has some - he has the support of the administration and former players, he produced two great turnarounds and SDSU and Ball St. - but Bob Stoops has more.
I'm not asking for Bob Stoops; that's not the point of this diary. Rather I'm saying that for those of us disappointed in the hire, we had an idea as to the quantum of evidence we wanted to see that forecasted with high probability that the new coach would be a success, and we believe that Hoke is below that line, or that at a minimum, his resume contains less evidence than those of other potential candidates. For that reason, we are disappointed.
Say you really want to go to Harvard, and apply to there and Yale and only get into Yale. You go to Yale. You try to make the best of the situation. But that doesn't mean you don't have some disappointment that you didn't get into Harvard. As it is with Hoke. We'll make the best of the situation and support Michigan Football. But it's ok to express some disappointment.
As many have noted, prior success is not always indicative of future performance. Brady Hoke will have every opportunity to prove that whatever his resume, he has what it takes to win at Michigan. And those of us skeptical that he can do so will cheer for him with the same vigor as those most convinced that his resume is outstanding.
Amidst all the speculation about WHO Dave Brandon might or might not be interviewing soon, I’d like to focus on this: If you’re Brandon, *what* questions would you ask potential HC candidates in a sit-down interview?
Here’s a few I’ve come up with – what would you add?
1) Let’s say I offer you the job. You now have XX days to complete the 2011 recruiting class. How do you plan on retaining current commits and convincing other potential recruits to commit to Michigan in such a short time frame? What’s your “pitch” to them about your plans for the future of the program, and why they should come to Michigan during this transition to a new coach?
2) What will you say to the current players in your first meeting with the team? How will you convince those who might be unsure about staying at Michigan that they should remain Wolverines?
3) How quickly can you put together a coaching staff? Which members of your current staff would you ask to come to Ann Arbor, and how likely are they to accept?
4) What’s the one (or two or three) thing(s) you would do immediately to bring about substantial improvement in our on-field performance, particularly against our “benchmark” peers? (i.e., ND, msu, Iowa, Wisconsin, Penn St., Ohio St.)
5) How would you adjust your overall approach to take advantage of the specific players/talent currently on the team?
6) How do you plan on uniting a divided fan base? What’s the first thing you’ll say to them if you’re introduced as the new coach?
We have come to the winter of our discontent. We are headless as a program, in shambles by means of personnel, and facing a mass recruiting exodus the likes of which haven't been seen before, and looking a decade of straight losses to those-who-must-not-be-named to the south.
Alas, yet we are Michigan. We survived The Horror to defeat the defending National Champions and their golden boy Heisman trophy winner. We overcame a 19 point deficit at halftime to then-ranked number 9 Wisconsin to emerge victorious in the 500th game in the Big House. We retained the Brown Jug. We are Michigan, and we will rise once again. The only ones who can defeat us is ourselves. Perhaps a scene from one of the greatest movies of all time says it best:
"What, over? Did you say over? Nothing is over until we decide it is!"
"Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!"
-"Germans?" -"Forget it he's rolling"
"And it ain't over now!"
'Cause when the going gets tough...
(Patriotic instrumental music)
the tough get going! Who's with me?
Let's go! Come on!
(Tense instrumental music)
What the fuck happened to the Michigan l used to know?
Where's the spirit?
Where's the guts?
This could be the greatest night of our lives...
but you're gonna let it be the worst.
"We're afraid to go with you, DB. We might get in trouble."
(Shouting) Just kiss my ass from now on.
Not me! l won't take this! Tressel is a dead man!
-Dantonio: dead! Paterno---Dead.
DB's right. Psychotic...but absolutely right.
We got to take these bastards.
We could fight them with conventional weapons.
That could take years...cost millions of lives.
In this case...
I think we have to go all out.
I think this situation absolutely requires...
a really futile and stupid gesture...
be done on somebody's part.
We're just the guys to do it.
Let's do it.
Let's do it!
Go! Go! Go!
We all need to run screaming out of that house, build our death machine behind whoever steps up to lead this really futile and stupid gesture, and take the fight back to the field. We are Michigan. HAIL
Reading Dave Brandon's mind is impossible, as he seems to do things his own way no matter what. So, to get a better idea of who our next coach may be, I thought it would be most efficient to look at what qualities he values in a leader, and who he has endorsed in the past. I don't know about any specific personnel decisions that he made while CEO of Domino's, but I can think of four people who, when the odds were stacked against them, he entrusted to lead a program with a rich tradition like U of M's.
Hopefully we won't have any more socialist offenses.
PS - if you ban me, MGoBlog is the KGB! :)
Does anyone think that DB has anyone in the AD office read MGoBlog to get an idea of the pulse of the fan base?
This fan environment is pretty unique from other schools in terms of the ability for all of us to take to the internets and express our opinion en masse. He probably doesn't care what we all think, but shouldn't he? I know we can be pretty irrational with some of our comments, but IMHO he's a business man first and foremost and don't major corporations (like Dominoes) hold demographic testing before rolling out a new product? I would think the approval of the fan base has to be some type of mitigating factor (probably a small percentage, but still) especially since the last coach's major roadblock was fan approval.
I'm a little faklempt.
So, the general consensus around these parts seems to be "OMMGGGGG DOOOOOOM NOOOO HARBAUGH!!!!", which I don't entirely agree with. I have tried to avoid the CC topic and I have now failed myself and am contributing. What I dont get is why so many people seem to think that we have to make a change if don't wind up with Harbaugh. The last time I checked RR had not been fired yet and there seems to be some good defensive coaches out there for the picking.
Secondly, People seemto be forgetting that Urban Meyer has just become available. I will be willing to bet my bottom dollar that after a year off from football and a year of family time he will be dying to get back on coaching scene. So what do we do? We give RR that 4th year and if we see the epic turnaround on defense we all hope for and out offense is that much better than hooray! If it doesnt, what do we do? We go make Urban Meyer the highest paid coach in the country to come out of retiement. Urban runs a spread and would bring instant appeal to recruiting, you know since he's one a couple MNC's and what not.
Lastly, whoever is the coach at Michigan I will fully support until he is no longer our coach. If RR is fired I will be greatful to him for the victories and the amount of effort he has put into this program and whomever the next guy may be, as soon as announced, he will gain my full support. Go Blue and I cannot wait for the dust to settle.