(ESPN RUMOR) Potential Coaching Moves

Submitted by robbyt003 on November 24th, 2013 at 5:14 PM

LINK ($$$)

 Following the Wolverines' loss to Iowa on Saturday in which it was outgained 407 yards to 158 by the Hawkeyes and blew a 21-7 halftime lead, Michigan is 7-4 and Brady Hoke is approaching hot-seat territory. Some coaches I spoke with this week said, at the very least, he will likely have to part ways with offensive coordinator Al Borges. (If Michigan does open again, either this year or next, one trusted college football source suggested that LSU coach Les Miles could finally head home to his alma mater. “I’ll bet that’s where he goes and retires,” the source said.)

Mods feel free to delete if you think it's too much info from a paywalled article.  



November 24th, 2013 at 7:57 PM ^

but what do you do after 2014? You keep bringing up the fact that Dantonio went 6-7 in year 3. Now aside from the fact that this proves nothing (Nick Saban won the National Championship in his third year, as did Lloyd Carr...), Dantonio also went 11-2 in his fourth year, won the legends division, and nearly made it to the Rose Bowl. Is that what you're predicting for Hoke next year?

Back-to-back 7-6 seasons and 0-4 against MSU/OSU is highly likely, and if that happens, Hoke is toast whether he deserves it or not. A win against OSU this year or a win against MSU/OSU in 2014 could buy him 2015, but how likely is that?

Maybe by the end of 2014 Harbaugh will have won the Super Bowl and will be tired of the NFL. Yup that's the best I've got at this point.

Mr. Carson

November 24th, 2013 at 7:16 PM ^

Yeah nothing would revive the program like a coach a few years from retirement with numerous accusations of ethics problems and a penchant for incredibly stupid in-game decisions.


November 24th, 2013 at 7:20 PM ^

I agree with jmblue, Miles is getting up there in age, makes tons of $$, and is the biggest gig in his state.  Highly doubt he is moving north.  Gotta believe DB gives Hoke 1-2 more years, perhaps not with Borges though.


November 24th, 2013 at 7:33 PM ^

He just signed a four-year extension with the Ravens widely reported to pay him $7 million per year. Unless people are fantasizing that he'll take a multi-million dollar pay cut to come to Ann Arbor, David Brandon would have to ante up three times what he's paying Hoke, plus the buyout, plus increased assistant salaries for the guys Harbaugh would want to bring with him.


November 24th, 2013 at 8:01 PM ^

Is the money not there?  DB is spending 9.5 million ro renovate the field hockey facility.  25 million on an indoor rowing facility.  A competent football coach is an infinitely better use of that money.


November 24th, 2013 at 7:40 PM ^

I don't want miles. He seems to be a pretty damn good coach but age and the fact he seems to have skeletons in his closet seem to have disaster written all over it.

I think Hoke is safe for one more year. Not sure I like that or not but I don't see Brandon pulling the trigger yet. Now if we get wiped up and down the field against osu then who knows.

I do think if Brandon decided to make a change this year, you only do it if it's one of the harbaughs. Anything else is settling. I don't have reason to think they would come but it would be a grand slam with either one of them. You satisfy the people who want a Michigan man, and more importantly you would get one of the best coaches in football period. A urban Meyer like coach but someone who does it the right way with respect. If we can get either of those two guys, keep hoke and fire Borges on Monday.


November 24th, 2013 at 7:41 PM ^

I agree with Borges and Funk getting there walking papers; however, Strength and Conditioning coach Welman needs the axe as well. This team lacks toughness and strength. They can't move the lines of scrimmage which to me indicates lack of strength.

Bring on The Mad Hatter!!!!!! I'm tired of 7-5 or 8-4 seasons.

eamus_caeruli (not verified)

November 24th, 2013 at 8:11 PM ^

That is a true statement that you always get stronger with age. I strongly disagree with your premiss that a modern day division I S&C program can't add quality size and strength in a year or less.

With the nutrition program that these guys work with, and then getting in the gym one to two extra times a week than the normal three, they should be way, way stronger than they are showing on the field. Regardless, it's time to consider worse case scenarios.

I get the feeling that since we got hit with the over hours situations, that the expectation is the do the minimum or trend close to the rules; rather than what everyone else does, which is more, more and more. Right or wrong, you look and some of the athletes on OSU, MSU, Wisconsin, and every other SEC team, we are no where near bigger, faster or stronger.


November 24th, 2013 at 8:04 PM ^

If Borges is fired, then who replaces him?  I'm not serious enough a fan to be able to rattle off hot OCs' names.  Also, I assume a new OC would have to be able to work with the players in place and in the pipeline (in other words, not a spread guy).  So, to the 5000 people who want Al gone, who do you like in his place?

Magnum P.I.

November 24th, 2013 at 8:11 PM ^

There have been whole threads on this here and at GBMW. The Stanford guy would be a good bet. Honestly, there are dozens of guys out there in OC and positional coach roles that would come in and immediately do better than Borges. Even if he does start making better decisions, he's lost all credibility with players and fans. Unfortunately that never completely comes back.


November 24th, 2013 at 10:46 PM ^

it was good.  

I dont think it is that far out to say that the players have lost faith in borges - you are correct in that we do not know this, but I am not sure that is the right question.  Out of the key 20-30 players that play each game (roughly) I dont think it is out of control to say some of the guys are just pissed they are not performing up to percieved standards.  I am not sure anyone would be completely happy with how things have transpired



November 24th, 2013 at 11:14 PM ^

I suspect you're right--few if any of the players feel like their performiance is up to snuff, and even the people that knew this year would be rough aren't happy with the experience. I'd be disappointed if I found out otherwise.

But to pretend, without evidence, that this means Borges has lost his half of the team, or there's some sort of insurrection...that's just people yelling crap into the echo chamber. And I'm a little tired of the crap.

If I had to guess something, without any information but just based on the athletes and coaches I've been around, most of the people involved have their finger pointed primarily at themselves. Lewan's pissed at Lewan, Gardner's pissed at Gardner, Funchess is pissed at Funchess, Borges is pissed at Borges, Hoke's mad at Hoke, etc.

When it's the other way, when they're turning on each other, there are signs, like the near-fistfight between the coaches on the Illinois sideline a couple of weeks ago. We're not seeing or hearing any of that. Just the fanbase, but that's what fans do I suppose. It's not like we can blame ourselves.


November 25th, 2013 at 3:37 AM ^

Charlie Taaffe at UCF, could still coach for a few years
Always have 2 QBs ready. Check out offensive stats from 09 to Present
Rushing stats improve every year, and only slightly dips when star RBs graduate

QBs from 09-Present all improves in TD-INT ratio and completion rates
2 QBs ready also ensures no "unprepared Bellomy" like Nebraska 2012.

For OL coach, look at Adrian Klemm
Similar to us in inexeprience for OLine players in 2013. 
Steady rushing and pass protection in SMU and UCLA (also differing style in both schools, shows ability to adapt)

Also a great recruiter, i think named by some sites as best PAC 12 assistant as a recruiter

They need to fire Borges, Jackson, Funk and Ferrigno. Give special teams duty to someone else. Heclinski did quite well recruiting for Michigan and an OK job with receivers. Let him coach the TEs too. 
Also need to examine 1. whether there's a need for a QB coach 2. Changes in S&C coach/staff


November 24th, 2013 at 8:08 PM ^

Possible Plan

Don't fire Brady Hoke now under any circumstances short of his having violated the terms of his contract.  If Michigan’s offense performs as poorly next Saturday as it has during three of the past four games, even if the defense continues to show sparks of improvement and keeps the final score closer than anticipated:

  • Fire Al Borges immediately after The Game
  • Designate one assistant as the interim offensive coordinator for the bowl game
  • Begin intensive search for new offensive coordinator who’d be available to start work in January and who would have free rein to hire his assistants with reasonable input from Brady Hoke and Greg Mattison
  • Evaluate whether a new strength and conditioning coach also might be needed 

The Rationale

Michigan’s previous head football coach (a man who gave little concern to how his defenses were run) still might have that job if he’d (a) never traded a competent defensive coordinator for an inept one after one year on the job, (b) fired that inept defensive coordinator after his second year of making the Wolverines’ defense a complete wreck (after the man had done the same when he was head coach and co-defensive coordinator at Syracuse during the previous four seasons) and (c) then agreed to hire a new defensive coordinator who’d be given full control over the hiring of his assistants.

Michigan’s current head football coach (a man who apparently gives little concern to how his offense is run) has the opportunity to avoid making the same mistake that his predecessor made.  If Brady Hoke truly is living his “dream job” and “understands Michigan,” then he should be willing to make a decision that will help him keep that job.

eamus_caeruli (not verified)

November 24th, 2013 at 8:20 PM ^

Brady has plenty of input into the offensive game plan. The issue is, and it is blatantly obvious, is that he thinks we can play like Iowa or Wisconsin right now. Or worse, he is delusional enough to think that we are the Michigan of 1997 every year.

We have a cultural problem of thinking being a football player at Michigan is good enough to win games, and not do what needs to be done behind the scenes. I think as fans we get tired of hearing the coaches sing the gospel, but then the product is soft and underwhelming. I am also tired of every ten years one senior class decides that we need to work hard and just win a la 1997 and 2006. It would be nice to have that mentality every year. If we have a winning tradition, then do it every year not every ten.


November 24th, 2013 at 8:15 PM ^

No way is Hoke gone this year. Not after a 70-3 loss to OSU, not after a loss in the Little Caesar's Pizza Bowl vs a MAC school. Brandon isn't going to admit failure that quickly, and obviously he has more insight into the program than anyone here. He can see things we can't, and if he has reason to believe things are moving in the right direction, invisible as they may be to the naked eye, I have to take his word for it. I'm no Hoke apologist, I was never convinced he was a great hire, I just think it would be insane to install a revolving door at Schembechler Hall. I too see some alarming trends, but hey, you've picked your guy, you have to at least let him field a team of his own seasoned players before you render final judgment.  

I do think all bets are off with Borges, Funk, and Wellman, however.


November 24th, 2013 at 11:05 PM ^

You sound like my nine year old. Saturday urban Meyer will smash us into pieces and that stadium will be full of red clothed, annoying Ohio people that laugh in our faces again. It's time you wake up. It's been too long and nothing's changing. You don't lose to sub par teams in a low tier conference than just wake up one day and beat an elite football team because of some magical rivalry. It's not happening. I'll be there and I'll scream and support the team but in the end I'll close my eyes and walk away like I have almost every time we've played them in the last decade. This is our reality. A lower tier team in a bad conference that gets spat on by it's rivals. You wanna change? Demand one.


November 24th, 2013 at 11:58 PM ^

I'm sorry. I wanna win too. I hope we win. Hey we're going to win! Everything's fine! I'll stop posting on here and shut up and in five years we can beat michigan state again and them we will beat OSU and everything will be great. Sorry, I have nothing to be upset about. I'll just cheer for my average team.

Perkis-Size Me

November 24th, 2013 at 8:37 PM ^

I do not want Hoke fired. At least not yet. But even in the situation where he does get fired, James Franklin is probably the first guy I'd want DB to pick up the phone and call. He's taken a traditional scrub Vanderbilt team / SEC doormat and turned them into winners. Even in the games they lose, they're competitive with everyone outside of Alabama. He's a high energy guy who knows how to motivate his players, and I've heard he's a good recruiter. He must be if he's bringing talent into Vanderbilt.

If that doesn't work, I'm okay with pulling the Les Miles card again and seeing what happens there. I doubt he'd want to come, but we might as well try. I just want someone to come in here and win. Someone that can come in here and beat OSU. I'm sure I speak for all of us when I say that I'm tired of being their fucking doormat.

Well actually

November 25th, 2013 at 1:19 AM ^

I agree. I get angry and post things that are...the opposite of that during the liveblogs, but I don't think Hoke can or should go at this point. I've definitely lost a good bit of faith in Hoke over the last three months, but I think he can be a good coach here in the long run. He has a Rich Rodriguez problem, however. I'm not sure what the dynamic he has with Al is, but I certainly am under the impression that he spends most of his time on the defense and probably leaves the offense to its own devices.

Can that work? Of course. But it bit Rodriguez badly, and it may prove costly for Hoke. This situation isn't entirely analogous to Rich Rod's, of course. Hoke exerts more influence on our offense than I think Rodriuez did on our defense (we can argue about the details, hypothetical person who disagrees), and I think that to the extent Hoke is involved with the offense, he is a negative influence. Hoke has made it abundantly clear that he does not tolerate the spread (which I think is a silly, stupid position to stake out, but if you're angling to be the knee-jerk rebound coach at Michigan post-Rodriguez, it makes sense. Or he's just a little dumb...neither is especially reassuring). I think in being so blindly dedicated to MANBALL, Hoke is limiting our options and it's costing us.

Ultimately, if Hoke can get rid of Borges and bring in an offensive staff that shows at least reasonable improvement next year, I'll be happy with 9-4 if we don't shit the bed offensively like we have this year. Can we go 9-4 with Borges next year? Sure. But my faith in him is shot; I'm willing to give Brady time but Borges is a problem. Not the only problem, but a big one. Someone can argue that Funk and Gardner and youth are also problems, but I think that those problems can get better. So long as we have Borges, however, I think we'll be saying, "wait until next year, then we'll really see what we've got." And I'm not sure I can deal with that.


November 25th, 2013 at 1:24 AM ^

...he'd probably still be coaching here.

The problem was exactly the opposite. Even though he didn't know very much about that side of the ball, he insisted on dictating scheme and staff to his DC, even to the point of meeting with the position coaches to gameplan behind Shafer's back for the '08 Purdue game.

Can you imagine Hoke holding a meeting with Funk and Hecklinski and Jackson to come up with a game plan, then effectively taking the headset from Borges? That's not a matter of "details", that's 180 degrees from what you've described.