↑ (Byline note: I’m not Brian)
Hoke reads the Letterman Top 10 in ’07. HT: James
I need you to bite down here. It wasn’t a dream. Brady Hoke is the head coach of Michigan.
Obviously, there’s been some disappointment around these parts and others, and you know my sentiments. I figured, this being our coach and all, we ought to start the morning with a few positives. First, from Brandon in his address to the players (HT: Raback Omaba):
- He said he interviewed big names from every conference and found that some "big names" clearly have themselves as their first priority, not their players or the program. This made his search a little easier.
- Everyone he spoke to referred him to Brady Hoke. Opposing coaches, former players, former coaches all said he should consider Hoke.
- Michigan alumni really supported Hoke (Steve Hutchinson called unsolicited to say that "Brady Hoke was the best coach I ever had")
- Only offered the job to one man -- Brady Hoke. Called Brady yesterday morning and offered, Brady accepted immediately. Didn't even ask about money.
Also in there: DB says he wasn’t on the planes we were tracking – apparently our athletic department has a real, live, functioning telephone.
In other panegyrics, Jason Whitlock, who says that Hoke loves hard:
Hoke is no one’s “compromise” or “second-tier” coaching candidate. Not if you understand football. Not if you comprehend how he got to the point that he’s even a candidate to be Michigan’s next football coach.
Brady Hoke loves hard. He loves his family, his players, his assistant coaches, Ball State football and Michigan football.
Whitlock argues that Hoke’s 12-1 season at Ball State is superior to that of Harbaugh’s at Stanford because Hoke did it despite a band of functional idiots upstairs. It’s also brought up that Hoke comes with S&C coach Aaron Wellman, though the author doesn’t say if Wellman’s got a plan for displacing Barwis.
In other affirmative mentions, Navy says Hoke’s offense was good-good:
"In my time here at the Naval Academy," said coach Ken Niumatalolo, who has worked at Annapolis since 1999, "that's as good of an offense as we've seen."
Which is just bluster about a 555-yard aberrant performance, but also true considering SDSU put up more points (35) in this year’s bowl game than any Midshipman opponent since 2008 (including two ND squads, 2009 Ohio State, and 2009 Missouri). That year, Niumatololo’s
cadets sailors jack-tars (thx rlew) gave up 42 to Pitt, 41 to Duke, and 35 in a loss at Ball State which was coached by … oh, Brady Hoke. So score one against the “Brady Hoke makes us ND” meme, because here is a guy who can definitely beat Navy.
Also in that article, a throwaway quote from a happy player:
"Coach Hoke came in and set the standard," Brown said. "You set the bar high and expect nothing less."
Oh good, a bar-setter.*
You might know this already, but Lloyd’s guys seem to like him. Angelique has quotes from a Lloyd guy who wasn’t kind to RR…
"Brady was there with us when we won it," said former Michigan safety Marcus Ray, a member of the 1997 team. "He's a great coach. You knew he cared about players. He would pull you to the side and ask about you even if you weren't one of his position players."
…and a Lloyd guy who wasn’t kind to Harbaugh…
Former Michigan running back Mike Hart, who played for the Wolverines after Hoke, said he has met Hoke several times and thinks he is a strong hire for Michigan.
"He's a great guy," Hart said. "He knows what Michigan is about. He's part of that Michigan family even though he didn't play here. He knows what it is, he knows the pressure, and he knows the type of players he recruits. He knows how to recruit."
Which is fluff, but at least healing old wounds iz gud, yes? One more player whom you might have heard of:
"I'm excited for Brady Hoke and even for Michigan," Green Bay Packers and former Michigan star Charles Woodson wrote in a text message to The Associated Press. "I'm glad this process is over and we can begin to restore the tradition and respect that was once Michigan."
That article starts with a comparison between Hoke and Bo. The official AP article has the new coach positives you would expect, including one from his old boss:
"Brady Hoke is a great choice for Michigan," Carr wrote in a text message.
…but he’s no Mike DeBord. I mean that.
* Mornhinweg comparison entirely unfair except in a “we didn’t get our guy so let’s get a guy lower down the same tree” kind of way.