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.