Well said, I agree with every point! I am skeptical of this hire and the whole process but like you said, I am a fan with a passion/addiction for UM football that is not qualified to make the decisions that were made nor to lead this team. I/We need to support this program to the fullest or we will end up like ND.
People Smarter than Me (and Probably You)
This is a call for calm. I’m not a writer, and a one-time-only-before-now diarist. I’m writing today to call for calm and patience. Sure, Hoke may not be what we all wanted, but we won’t know for a while. It’s been well documented that Rich never got the support he needed, and whether that’s his fault or the alumni/boosters/NFLer’s fault is up for debate, it could be 50-50% for all I know on everyone’s part. What’s important is not to make the same mistake. Just because Rich didn’t get a fair shake doesn’t mean we should set Hoke up for failure as well.
I was (am?) a Rich supporter. I thought we had the chance to be Oregon within a year or two. Since that train has sailed (thanks Austin), it’s time to get behind our coach and our program, and my reason for doing so is people who are a lot smarter than myself (and probably you). First off, Dave Brandon seems to have botched this royally. But just 6 months ago we were all celebrating the “Pimp Hand” and watching Dave dominate the B1G discussions, seal up the game at Jerryworld, the Big Chill, setting up the ND Night Game… Dave has done some good things. He also was tapped to run Domino’s – a giant corporation, and then hired by the University to be AD. Brady Hoke has been coaching football for years, and just might know what he’s doing. Mary Sue is a smart lady, and she’s done some pretty good things for the University too – including the largest fundraising campaign ever, netting (IIRC) > $2 Billion. With a B.
My point in mentioning this is I’m an alumnus, 2009 Mechanical Engineering. I consider myself decently smart, and as we’ve seen from MGoBlog, this is a place for smart people who know sports (especially football) to discuss sports (especially football.) We often say that this is the best place on the internet for a myriad of reasons. The analysis and discussion found here is ridiculous. When my Dad (who played high school football) asked me to explain the Zone Read and how to defend it, I showed him some MGoBlog diaries. We get amazing analysis of recruits, breaking Michigan news, etc. all right here. But we are not more qualified than Brandon, or Mary Sue, or Hoke when it comes to Michigan football. We are fans. Some of us live and die with the Maize and Blue. Some of us even coach football – and I often defer to you when I have football questions. But none of us are Athletic Directors at a D-I university, much less one as great as Michigan. None of us are college football head coaches. A few of us (Mainly Brian) make their living discussing and analyzing college football, but for the rest of us, this is a hobby. If we were such great decision makers, coaches, etc. we’d be doing it for a living.
This may blow up and be awful. This may work. I’m not saying we should blindly follow the leaders – we can question them and be supportive at the same time. But for the time being, until we hear from Hoke, hear from the current players, see the spring game, let’s not cry DOOM for Michigan Football. Make no mistake, I’m not thrilled with the hire either, but let’s support The Team and see what all of these people can do. Brandon was hired for many reasons. Hoke was too. They're better at running and coaching college football than I am (and probably you are too). Let’s give them our support and see what they can do.
We've had our time to lament so lets stop the crying and start the supporting.
Andy Dufresne: Get busy living, or get busy dying.
Thanks for adding some perpsective to this, particularly to remind everyone what Dave Brandon has already done for Michigan Athletics...not that it will probably calm those who want to fire him for what they perceive to be a misstep. I don't necessarily agree with how he did it, but I understand and respect his reasoning for why he did what he did.
I'll support Hoke as long as he does not make the same mistakes as RR - firing virtually the entire coaching staff, running an offense not suited to current personnel, and not working hard to retain key players. I'm not thrilled with his OC hire and hope he keeps Barwis, Smith and maybe the oline coach. Don't know if anyone on defense is worth saving. I don't want Denard/Tate and other playmakers to leave - and another 3-9 season. We are only an injury or two away from Sheridamit if we lose players to transfer or injury.
I'll support Hoke as long as he does not make the same mistakes as RR - firing virtually the entire coaching staff...
Didn't DB already see to that one?
the whole staff was fired with the last coaching transistion, and this one. Last time Fred Jackson was re-hired by Rich, and Brady Hoke could re-hire any of the staff who want to stay/are available (some have already taken other jobs)
It's about time....
I like the reason and thought you put into this post, and I agree. I think the fanbase will rally around Hoke a bit (and by all accounts, the guy is a good man put in a tough position). Personally, I never bought into the whole "Pimp Hand" meme because he scheduled a couple of games - those are easy business decisions that don't really affect people's (and the program's) existence beyond raising more money and exposure. But he botched this personnel situation, and I'm not going to cut him immense slack considering this is a major part of his job.
That said, I'm in for Michigan like all alums, and I will be cheering this fall.
version of my emotional diary. I am glad I'm not the only one who thinks it's important to rally the troops and get behind our new coach. They need our support in these trying times. Go Blue!!!
(fyi I have no idea which of us is the orangutang)
It doesn't look like we're facing mass exodus (looks like Rodriguez recruited guys who were actually, you know, All In for Michigan) and if that is the case Hoke is going to have immediate success, get loads of media love, and he seems to have already united the close-to-the-program folks. By all accounts, Brady Hoke is a great guy and will be a wonderful representative of the University of Michigan. Unlike the portly fellow in South Bend who walked into an eerily similar situation a few years ago, Hoke may turn out to be a much better coach than I suspect or his record indicates. If so he will be able to turn immediate improvement into the kind of sustained success we can all be proud of. The problem is, I just can't muster up the energy to care if he does at this point thanks to Dave Brandon.
Brandon had every reason in the world to think the next three years under Rodriguez would look nothing like the first three. However, I think he fired him because of past results, not performance on the job or future potential. I don't think Brandon had any desire to see Rodriguez as the long-term face of Michigan football after all the division of the last three years and so decided not to give the man a chance to cement himself in the job. While I strongly disagreed with the decision, I saw some wisdom in the move. If Brandon could bring in a coach with a similar pedigree to inherit an extremely promising young team while simultaneously silencing the noise around the program, the move looks like a net win for Michigan.
Instead, Brandon lied to all of us. He claimed he would conduct a national search and then settled on the obvious fallback. He said Rodriguez got fired because "the record wasn't good enough" only to hire a guy and watch as his defenders attempt to excuse and contextualize his losing record as a head coach. In other words, the guy with the track record of building championship programs didn't get the benefit of the doubt, but the guy who happened to be on Lloyd Carr's coaching staff did. He continues to scold those who spent the last three years supporting Michigan football to get on board while the vultures feast on the fallen coach. He rejected the mantra of "the Leaders and Best" in favor of "hire your buddy".
The Michigan football program today looks like an institution that values back-biting over loyalty in difficult times. It looks like a program that views 1-6 against Tressel as "the good old days" while rejecting innovation. It looks like an institution where "who you know" far outweighs "what you've done".
At this point, I'm having a very hard time seeing myself getting too excited about the future fortunes of such an institution.
The problem I have with all the negativity is why is it so important for the negative people to be right? Wouldn't you rather be wrong and have your football team succeed? Wouldn't you rather acknowledge that this guy is completely untested in this arena and have a wait-and-see attitude?
If you love what you do, you'll likely do it well. I have a feeling RR wasn't loving what he was doing. He put on the good face at pressers and said all the right things, but would you like to work at a place where there was a good amount of vitriol coming your way at all times?
I , for one, don't want to contribute to that kind of environment in the Hoke years. If he's going to fail, it won't be because of me. If he's going to succeed, I'd like to think I was a very tiny part of it by supporting him.
whether that’s his fault or the alumni/boosters/NFLer’s fault is up for debate, it could be 50-50% for all I know on everyone’s part
If there are four possible people/groups at fault (RR,alumni/boosters/NFLer’s) and they shared the blame equally wouldn't it be 25-25-25-25% on everyone's part?
This is the problem I have with people today. Starting with my generation of early 30 year olds, and falling even further down the precipice the younger you go, people seem to be so set in negativity. It’s what I like to call pessimistic arrogance. It's a phenomenon that affect a lot of our culture today (politics immediately springs to mind with negative vitriol spewed from every angle) but sports is an excellent example.
Going away from M Football for a minute to make my point....I work with someone who claims to be a diehard Detroit Tigers fan. Every year since the 2006 World Series run, (with the exception of 2008 when they were bad) the Tigers have flirted with first place in their division until midway thru the season or further. Yet ever single season, this "fan" makes a bold statement in late June after a three game losing streak that this team is "done". Has he been right? Each and every year. But this isn't about him being correct, it’s his reasoning for saying it. He has literally nothing to lose. He can be as pessimistic as he wants because if the season implodes as it has he gains credibility for "calling it" (I've used a lot of quotation marks no?). Let's flip the script though. Assume the Tigers won the World Series in 2009 he would have simply forgot ever ruling their season done and most assuredly gone to the victory parade. He can use his pessimist predictions to validate unfavorable outcomes because he thinks he looks smart which leads to the arrogance and even more pessimism.
Back now to Michigan. Of course people are going to be pissed about Hoke because he’s not the sexy pick. I understand that. I get that his record is sub .500 and he may fall flat on his face. I also understand that he may be the greatest coach Michigan has or ever will have in any sport. In today’s world, it seems that sticking your neck out and supporting someone is not worth it because you can always recant if you are wrong. Bottom line is we have no way to determine if Hoke is a good football coach at Michigan because, shockingly, he hasn’t coached a game at UM yet. So I’m sick of hearing how awful this will be because you all know damn good and well that if Hoke turns out to be wonderful all of the critics of him right now will magically forget their criticisms. I’m not asking for blind faith, but doesn’t part of fandom involve just a teensy bit of faith???
TL;DR – I hate people. Hoke might be good but no one will predict that lest they look foolish if he sucks. It's easy to predict DOOM and be shown wrong but not so easy to predict sunshine and puppy dogs and be proven wrong.
Thank you for saying it so well. We don't know if Hoke will be a great coach or a lousy coach. We don't know if the next three years under Rodriguez would have been better or more of the same. Let's not any of us pretend we know more about and can better judge the character and abilities of the coaching candidates than the guy who played football at UM, who actually sat and talked with the candidates, who has managed a major corporation, and who spends all day every day working on UM athletics knows. Brandon may be proved wrong in his judgments 5 years from now, but he is certainly better qualified than anyone who posts on this board to make those decisions. Give him and give Hoke a chance. Many people in Ohio scoffed at the Tressel hire. That has worked out pretty well.