This doesn't become one of those "careful for what you wish for" events that have become so commonplace around here.
spoiler alert: i linked this
Per the Athletic Department, offensive coordinator Al Borges has been fired. Here's the entirety of the press release:
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- University of Michigan head football coach Brady Hoke announced today (Wednesday, Jan. 8) that offensive coordinator Al Borges will not be retained for the 2014 season.
"Decisions like these are never easy," said Hoke. "I have a great amount of respect for Al as a football coach and, more importantly, as a person. I appreciate everything he has done for Michigan Football for the past three seasons."
Prior to joining U-M in 2011, Borges was a member of Hoke's staff at San Diego State in 2009 and '10.
The Wolverines will begin spring practice on Feb. 25 and finish with the annual Spring Game on Saturday, April 5, at Michigan Stadium.
The fallout will be covered in exhaustive detail in the coming days. One interesting candidate—coincidentally, from Borges' former school—is rumored to have been contacted by Brady Hoke regarding the now-open position, according to coachingsearch.com:
A source tells me that Brady Hoke has reached out to UCLA offensive coordinator / quarterbacks coach Noel Mazzone and at least one NFL assistant, though Mazzone isn't likely to leave for Ann Arbor.
Mazzone runs an "uptempo no-huddle spread," according to Chris Brown (Smart Football); even if he's not interested in the job, moving in that direction would certainly please the people who write for this here blog. As for recruiting, it's unlikely the class of 2014 will be affected much, if at all, and there's plenty of time to make up any lost ground in the 2015 class. Again, we'll have much, much more on this in the coming days.
This doesn't become one of those "careful for what you wish for" events that have become so commonplace around here.
Like when Sparty just changed to Bollman before this year?! Seemed to work out alright.
There are others. Opinions vary.
My experience in business and from what I see in government is that when an organization has multiple bad hires, it's the the fault of the guys doing the hiring and they do it repeatedly. I hope this is not the case here. At least they are addressing the problem, so I will give them a pass for now.
Al wasn't the best OC, or maybe even a good one- but is he being scapegoated a little? To save others jobs? The O was a little young, younger than the D that didn't seem that great either.
Yes. I'm not saying I'm necessarily upset he was fired, but I think this is certainly the case. I think our offensive woes had many parties to blame, and Borges may have been 30% of that. Youth, injuries and execution (yes, execution) also played sizable roles, but the coach can't do anything about those, so firing the OC and mixing things up can show that things are being fixed.
Please, please, please do not give Brandon credit for this.
Hoke loves Michigan and ,yes, he is loyal to his guys but he is also the type of leader who will do what it takes to win. You can be loyal and make tough decisions and I think that describes Hoke.
I am an acquaintance with someone who coached with him at Toledo and this is consistent with how he described Hoke. I still have confidence in Hoke. This hiring decision is huge though.
If you think last season was his fault, you re wrong. Don t know how this will play out but this takes a chink out of brady s armor. Am sure brandon was at least the catalyst.
So it was not Borges' fault that he consistently tried to establish a running game when the running game was showing very little success?
I would say a lack of a line that could block anyone had a little to do with it.
It was not Borges fault that they gave up the final drive to psu, not Borges fault that Kansas state played with our defense, not Borges fault that Akron almost put 31 on us, that IU put up 47 against our defense that did not look prepared. Not Borges fault that Ohio ran for 393 against us. If you want to blame Borges, fine, but mattison deserves at least the same amount.
At PSU, we played for the tie and refused to push hard when up 10 with the ball. The defense got us one of those TDs, also.
We scored a pyhrric TD against KSU and sucked ballsack the rest of the day. Defense gave up 3 second-half points unless you count the meaningless score at the end. This is a shitty example if you plan on blaming the defense.
Akron scored 17 points on us. Pick-six into a poorly-called screen, unless of course you're ignoring that. This is probably an even shittier example of blaming the defense given the offensive performance of that day.
IU had air for defense. Borges called two good games...ND and OSU.
Mattison's defense was all that kept us in a bunch of games. Saying he deserves "the same amount" of blame, especially when you add the previous seasons, means you've taken anything remotely resembling a number and thrown it out the window.
This is not a valid criticism of Borges. Michigan was 11th in the BIG in rushing attempts and 103rd nationally. There are a ton of things you can kill Borges over, but this isn't one of them.
And since sacks and scrambles count as rushing attempts, we were really lower than that. Compare our rushes by RBs to other teams, and it's clear we didn't exactly push the rush too hard.
And he still wasn't the problem. It's time to let go. Embrace your lack of football knowledge.
I don't think that means he lacks football knowledge. Just because Borges was fired doesn't mean he was "the problem." He was likely a problem, but it's also possible he wasn't. Hoke felt he needed to shake things up and he did. I'd be willing to bet (though we'll never know) that whoever we hire wouldn't have done better given the circumstances than Borges did. But sometimes that's why coaches get fired.
First thing I thought when I saw this was April Fools...
It's not April 1st, is it? Phew!!! This calls for a drink!
Edit: dang it! Beaten to the punch.
And Heiko can get some sort of travelling comedic self improvement road show going. Always loved the vibe.
Hasta mañana, Alberto.
Are hiring him back tomorrow?
I think this is a good choice moving forward for the program. Borges' play calling was sporadic and lacked consistency after the ND game, this isn't something an OC with three decades of experience should be guilty of. I wish him well but this is what's best for the Maize and Blue
MUPPET worthy? or is that too mean.
My only concern is the devil you know may not be worse than the devil you don't. Anyone thinking Hoke is going to get a super innovative coach is more optimistic than me. I'm worried this is going to be a MAC-type or a known commodity who is going to run a slightly different offense. That may be enough, but I suspect the new guy well still be infuriating, just in different ways. Remember, Hoke and Brandon seem very set in their view of viable offensive strategies.
the existing devils." Case in point is Auburn last year - staff changes actually led to infighting on the staff and players taking sides. It all imploded in Chizik's face with 3-9.
I think Hoke builds cohesion much better than Chizik, but remaining coaches start to feel extra heat and philosophical differences can create on field chaos. It can get worse than 7-6.
That's true, though with Auburn it felt like Chizik was never respected even when he won. Hoke seems to have the fans and team largely behind him, and Brandon doesn't seem the type to admit he made a bad hire this early.
Yeah, but with the trajectory of this team, he had to make a change. We're all so scared because our changes never seem to work out like other teams' changes. But hiding in a hole and staying the course doesn't work either. I'd rather see change, especially because of the tendency of Borges to stay the course, to the team's detriment.
I agree making a change was probably the best move, but the sentiment among many here is "Borges is gone, we are saved." And it's totally possible that the next guy is not better than Borges, or is worse. Hiring a coordinator is hard - see Michigan football on both sides of the ball for a couple decades. We're a great job for a coordinator, and many of them have sucked.
Beilein's assistant coach changes worked pretty well.
but folks shouldn't assume the floor has been raised. The ceiling is probably higher with a new OC, but the staff COULD fracture and hit an even lower floor.
Perhaps 5-7 is basically an equal catastrophe as 7-6, so I'm OK with giving us a better chance to go 10-3.
"Don't ever hire Scot Loeffler, he's stupid"
Remember when we all said the line this year couldn't be worse than last, and it was? It can always get worse, and I hope Hoke and DB have high confidence in the available candidates and their ability to get someone better, and we didn't throw our offense out of the airplane without a parachute.
Whatever they do, please do not attempt to install another radically different offensive scheme. I would like us not to be locked into three yards and a cloud of dust Manball, but we're not going to try to be Oregon again either.
If he s half the consummate professional he thinks he is, there should have been a list of go to replacements, at least in his head, or hoke s, before today.
Was not expecting this headline this evening. In his defense, Al was handed a difficult task (Denard fusion, etc.). But I made the mistake of watching the Penn St.-UM game replay recently, and that game brought back very ill feelings for me. Next man up, I guess.
BONUS: Let's shoot the "Brady Hoke is too loyal" meme dead for good. This is a big deal.
Hoke did what was right. I hope his next oc is the perfect fit and he finds success.
When UM finishes 100th in rushing and 123rd in TFLs, the situation needs a correction. OCs are ultimately responsible for the O, so this decision was really unavoidable.
However, it's never a good event to see an individual lose their job especially when people work as hard and ethically as this staff.
I know it sounds trite, but can we show a little UM class towards Borges? Be excited about the potential with a new OC, just don't celebrate the dismissal or make it personal.
Whether in practice we can get someone better. I am not that optimistic, regardless of money, but I would be pleased to be wrong.
As for Borges, I think he's getting scapegoated at least a little bit, and wish him well; hope he lands on his feet and doesn't end up playing us.
What's the damages as far as what we still owe him contractually?
As much as going to an uptemp spread would please the MgoStaff, I'm not sure it's a great move for the program. By the time we have mature recruits for that system again, we'll be going on a decade without an offensive identity. I think there will be fall out in the form of attrition and decommitments if that were the case.
Other than that, yay I guess. Hopefully the transition is a smooth one, Despite my personal belief about giving him another year with older guys, one thing that I guess isn't debateable was that the guy was a lightning rod for ire and criticism and it had become pretty toxic to the program. Hopefully we get a little bounce in excitement like with the Hoke hire and not much in terms of transition costs.
1 year left on his salary
as people want to make it out to be. You seem to be implying that any given football player can only ever succeed in a single system. We're not heading towards Oregon, if that's your fear. There are plenty of spread-based systems that better utilize the players we have.
I agree there are systems that will work fine with the guys we have, but there are also lots that won't. "Spread" is a broad term, yes. My fear is we go a way that doesn't work well with our roster.
I have some faith that hoke won't hire someone whose scheme can't make use of our current players or most of our recruits. That seems retarded.
We fired a coordinator, not a head coach. Hoke is still in charge of what the team runs and won't hire someone who does what you fear unless he literally wants to be fired. This fear is silly.
I'd be happy with running out the offense we ran in the 2008 Capital One bowl. That was done with pro style players. We have a redshirt senior QB which is the most important piece. We should have some receivers that are talented and/or experienced.
It may not be executed as well that day but it seemed to incorporate spread and pro style elements. Maybe it could work?
I don't think Borges was the only reason for the poor play this year (it was a number of issues), but if the players perceived it that way, then he might have become toxic.
The new coordinator will likely look very good next year because just regression to the mean should result in what looks like "improvement."
I also hope there aren't a lot in transition costs as well, mostly with the receivers and Gardner and their route running.