(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.  


Greg McMurtry

November 24th, 2013 at 8:48 PM ^

If Hoke's fired, does new coach keep GMatt? Would he stay? It's not worth that potential loss. Fire Al B Sure and perhaps Funk and let's move on. Do it before bowl game. Hecklinski calls the plays in the bowl game. Evaluate him and other candidates.


November 24th, 2013 at 9:13 PM ^

I love GMatt but he's not the be all end all. if the situation arises (and I'd love to have him around) there are DCs looking for a change or pay raise out there that would step in and do just fine. I like him but I don't think his staying or leaving should be part of the calculus in the HC decision.


November 24th, 2013 at 9:56 PM ^

Between the Fort and the loyalty M has with Hoke and Hike has with Borges this is just a dream from an average M Go fan. Nothing else (sadly :( ).


November 24th, 2013 at 10:12 PM ^

Miles will coach Dallas if they fail again this year. I HOPE he comes home but would be shocked if he were to leave the south as hes very established there and Carr hates him and wil prevent it as will DB who said "over his dead body" referring to Miles. So unless the trustees jettison DB then itll never happen.


November 26th, 2013 at 12:10 AM ^

A quote from the book that I found particularly insightful was something to the effect that the head coaches at schools like Michigan, Alabama and Texas are the spiritual leaders at those schools.  I believe that is the essense of the current situation.  Hoke does not have the gravitas to be regarded in that manner!  

I have commented before that I think Hoke seems like a really great guy, but he does not command the respect that a Bo, Saban, and Meyer.  Those personalities are bigger than just a coach.  They transcend the position.


November 24th, 2013 at 10:30 PM ^

Les Miles is not going to leave head coaching a consistent top notch team in the warm south to become an OC of a program that only continues to dwindle away in the cold north. He would not come to Michigan for a head coaching position. What makes one think he'd do it for a lesser position? That's ludicrous.

Sten Carlson

November 24th, 2013 at 10:53 PM ^

All this baseless speculation would be laughable if it weren't so sad to see a fanbase grasp at straws like so many in here insist upon doing.

Guys, Brandon is a former Michigan football player, and he is intimately involved in football program.  He, of all people, knows EXACTLY what the issues with the program are at this point.  He knew what they were before he hired Hoke, and he knew that the effects of the lack luster recruiting would eventually rear up and bite the program.  As such, there is NO WAY IN HELL that Hoke's seat is even warm at the moment.  Brandon knows that 62% of the players on roster are 1st or 2nd year players, and that 2013 was bound to be a struggle.

As he's been quoted saying, this season -- even with all its offensive issues -- is a few plays away from being a 10-1 season.  EVERYONE inside the program knew with out a shadow of a doubt that the 2013 season was likely going to be toughest due to the lack of depth and experience on the OL.  Brandon have known about the OL issues since the day he took over the AD's position, and hoke has known since the day he was hired.  It's not a mystery why the offense is struggling and why is seems like the QB is regressing.  That's why Hoke went out and recruited so many OL in the 2012 and 2013 classes.

Starting true freshmen OL is NEVER a formula for success, and Michigan is doing it because there is NOBODY else on the roster.  But they'll be a year older, stronger, and have more experience next year and every year after.  Today's pain and struggles will result in future success and joy.  Brandon knows this, and as such, I think there is no chance Hoke is going anywhere.  Borges and Funk might be fired, but I think the chances of that happening are very slim.  I think Jackson retires, that's about it.


Sten Carlson

November 24th, 2013 at 11:11 PM ^

Two things.  Your avatar is really obnoxious, and make me want to smack that snarky, sarcastic smirk of your face, sorry to say. 

Hoke is not a "bad hire."  Hoke was hired to bring the Michigan football program up from the lowest point in its 120+ year history.  You don't dig yourself out of a hole like that with one shovel load of dirt.  It takes time and recruiting, and Hoke's first real class are part of that 62% of the roster that are 1st or 2nd year players.  2013 was always going the worst year of the rebuilding process due to it being that "lag year" in which the bulk of the OL talent was going to be too young and inexperienced to really contribute, but some of them were going to have to because of a lack of depth.  Accept it for what it is, understand why it is happening, and move on -- it WILL get better in the very near future.

Sten Carlson

November 25th, 2013 at 11:03 AM ^

When you speak about Hoke not having a winning record it displays your ignorance for all to see.  He took over a Ball State, a program that was a perenial failure, and lead them to a 12-1 season, a conference Championship, and national ranking.  Similarly at SDSU, he lead a basement dweller to a competitive program.  Hell, he put a scare into Michigan in the Big House with lowly Ball State.  His record reflect a coach that can rebuild programs, which is what he was hired to do at Michigan.  You want to crucify him for initially losing at losing programs, yet give him no credit whatsoever for turning them around.  That, is idiocy.

Saturday is on me?  Are you serious?!?  Get a grip man!  Michigan was irrelevant before Hoke, remember?  Hoke was hired to make Michigan relevant again, remember?  But, for people like you, he's not doing it fast enough, so he should be fired, and the coaching revolving door should be installed -- which, if you've not noticed, is a sure fire way to insure that your program remains IRRELEVANT for a while longer.

The project HAS NOT FAILED because the project has a time horizon of longer than three seasons.  YOU are the not the one that sets the timing of the rebuild because YOU know nothing about the cycles of college football.  A depleted roster, which was the ultimate problem at Michigan, CANNOT be rebuilt in three (really two) recruiting classes.  I tried numerous times to detail the "roster issues" but you and your ilk just keep going with the, "excuses...bullshit..." responses.  It's NOT bullshit, it's what makes or breaks a college football program.

First you must recruit talent, Hoke is doing that.  Secondly, you must RETAIN top talent, and redshirt as many players as possible, Hoke is doing that.  That is all we know so far because Hoke's oldest full class are RS Freshmen.  Remember 62% of the players on the roster ... ah fuck it, you're not going to listen anyway, and you'll come back with MORE snark and attacks.


November 25th, 2013 at 2:13 PM ^

"He took over a Ball State, a program that was a perenial failure,"




Ball St. all time winning %: 52.6

Brady Hoke at Ball St: 43.5%


Ball St. winning % coach before Hoke: 41.1%


"and lead them to a 12-1 season"




"a conference Championship"



They lost the conference championship game.



"and national ranking. "


Ball State was not ranked in the final AP or Coaches poll.




November 25th, 2013 at 10:34 AM ^

So you're saying that 2008-2010 is worse than '34-'35-'36? When we went 1-7, 4-4, and 1-7?

When we were shut out eleven times?

When our cumulative score against MSU was 13-62?

When our cumulative score against Minnesota was 0-100?

When our cumulative score against Ohio State was 0-93?

I have no problem with defending Hoke, and it would be dumb to say that the RR years weren't extremely disappointing.

However, the constant reference to 2008-2010 as the worst years in Michigan football history is nothing less than ignorance of that history.

Sten Carlson

November 24th, 2013 at 11:16 PM ^

That's because you've never seen a team with the OL depth/talent/experience issues that Team 134 has.  These seeds were sown several years ago, and Michigan is having to reap what was sown, no matter how bitter.  Thankfully, however, new seeds (and a lot of them) were sown in Hoke's first real class, and in the 2013 class.  Those seeds are going to take some time to flower, but we're already seeing some fruits with a true freshman and a RS freshmen starting on the OL.  That is so exceedingly rare that when someone calls it "bullshit" or an "excuse" it shows just how little they actually understand about the game of football, and what it takes to build a winning program.


November 24th, 2013 at 11:31 PM ^


Are you still supportive of Borges, Funk & Jackson?  I also dont want to see anything happen to Hoke but I think those three should be replaced immediately after the season and my fear is Hoke won't.

I'm curious to see if you, Reader71, The Last Hoke & SC are still in the "keep the staff intact" camp and if so, why?  (I already Brown Bear wants everybody back)  What do you see that makes you think the quality of play calling and overally coaching from our current assistants merits keeping them in tack one more year.  

Sten Carlson

November 25th, 2013 at 12:06 AM ^

Before I answer let me say this.  I think that changing anyone on the coaching staff (unless they move voluntarily) ALWAYS carries some risks.  Further, I think that in the case of rebuilding program (which I think Michigan most emphatically is) continuity of the staff plays a SIGNIFICANT role in the rebuilding effort.  How much, that isn't really quantifyable, but it plays enough of a role, IMO, that any change should be undertaken with great trepidation.

Now, there is NO DOUBT in my mind that this season's offensive performance is totally unacceptable.  I think Borges knows that he's failed miserably, and that Hoke is not happy with how the offense has performed.  That being said, however, I think that Hokes knows that Borges' job is SEVERELY handicapped by near complete inability of the OL to block anything effectively.  It's obvious to me that the reason that Borges seems to call the same plays over and over is because those are the ONLY plays that the OL can block with any semblence of quality.  I really don't think us fans can understand just how difficult Borges' job has been this season.

However, just because his job has been difficult, doesn't mean that I think he should keep his job.  I agree with many of Borges' detractors that he just seems to have a very weird, almost schizophrenic play calling personality.  Personally, I think he's lost his edge and gotten "yips" as a play caller.  I am not sure that I blame him as what he's been asked to do in since at Michigan is totaly out of his comfort zone.  In hindsight, I think what would have been best is to hire a spread OC for the first two seasons, and then bring in a new OC this season when the transitiion to a power scheme is to be made.  So, given Borges' age, and the fact that I think these past three seasons have messed with his head, I think he should be let go.

I think Funk is well respected and will prove out to be a very good OL coach, and I think it's time for Jackson to retire.  If Hoke comes in an cleans house, it is obvious that he thinks the issue is coaching and although youth is a factor, it could have been overcome by a better staff.  If he keeps everyone (which I think is likely) I think he thinks that continuity at this point is more important, and that the youth factor is so significant as to be the ultimate cause of all the offensive struggles.




November 25th, 2013 at 12:45 AM ^

You asked about me, so I'll talk about it here.

I don't care on Borges. I never have. I think he's a decent OC. My apologia all season have been about 1) stupid play calling based critiques, and 2) his job being really hard because the line blocks nothing well. I've always maintained that firing him is OK, so long as its for a good reason. This dreadful offense might be enough reason. I don't know. I don't really care either way. I think the next guy will do fine, but I think Borges will do fine if retained because the line will be better.

On position coaches, I generally refuse to take an opinion since none of us have ever seen a practice. That aside, I would not miss Funk. I am a believer that coaching/playing at Michigan is a privilege, and fielding the worst line in Michigan history might be enough to get that privilege revoked. This is the reason why I turned on Coach Rod.

On the other hand, I have seen Fred Jackson coach. He is a great coach and a great teacher. He's a great guy to boot, and a hell of a recruiter. Fred Jackson should leave when he is ready to go.

Really long story semi-short: I don't care if anyone is fired. I would not miss Borges or Funk at all. Although I think firing them might improve the team, I think the team will improve no matter what. I think it would be unfair to fire Borges without him ever being able to call his offense, and I think it would be unfair to fire Funk when he has to coach a bunch of freshmen. But those are the breaks. Historically bad output probably makes a firing necessary, despite the historically bad line situation that isn't their fault. Coaching is a tough business.


November 25th, 2013 at 3:04 AM ^

I agree with this..  Was also reading that in michigan history before this year we had only started 8 freshman on the O-Line ever?  I was shocked to hear that, and im pretty sure most of them were from recent history..  RR and Hoke regime..


We have also played the most freshman ever in michigan history this year.. and most freshman to ever start..  I thought that was done during the RR years, but i guess we broke that record.


November 25th, 2013 at 8:10 AM ^

Thank you.  Your opinion carries a lot of weight (with me anyway...lol) cause I know you played.  And you'rre right - I've never seen a practice under Hoke (saw a couple of Moeller's though) so I have no clue what they are doing.  

By the way - there's a name for OC - Moeller!  


November 25th, 2013 at 1:26 AM ^

I was hoping I wasn't the only one who wanted to fire Borges but keep Funk. I think that is the smartest option. Funk is a light's out recruiter. 

Step 1.  Retire Jackson. Fire Borges. Dan Heck*** becomes the running back coach and recruiting coordinator (he is currently recruiting coordinater and WR coach) . Hire a QB/WR coach. 

Step 2. ????

Step 3.  Profit (aka B1G championship)


November 25th, 2013 at 12:57 PM ^

For the various reasons you've sited Hoke and Borges were aware that this season was likely to be the toughest in the transition. There is little doubt that the decision to bite the bullet in 2013 was jointly made by both Hoke and Borges. It is also higly probable that Hoke discussed this with Brandon as well. 

It is also likely that Hoke and Borges talked about the difficulty of this transition when Borges agreed to take the OC job and move to Ann Arbor.  I find it very difficult to believe that Borges would have accepted the job without assurances from Hoke (and probably DB) that his job would not rest on the first real year of installing the new offense. I also doubt that Hoke would have hired any OC unless he had the necessary support to protect his hire during that season. 

If you think that Borges needs to go, you're indirectly calling for Hoke to go, and DB as well. Michigan has retained these coaches to lead the program through a complete transition in philosophy. As you point out, many aspects of that transition seems to be going pretty well. The task is far from over and the timeline has years to go. 

Yes this season could have gone better. It also could have gone worse. Like it or not, 7- (4 or 5) with the challenges facing this team is NOT a fireable year. 


November 24th, 2013 at 11:35 PM ^

I dont understand the "youth" logic because there are a lot of teams out there playing freshmen. Plus its not like the whole offense is made of freshmen. It is pretty obvious that DB only cares to make money and sell the M brand PERIOD. OSU on the other side has not skipped a bit since god knows when. Lets take the latest, Tressel comes in and kicks our ass for a decade, he leaves and some goofball takes over who had a 6-6 seasona and OSU doesnt give even give him a second chance so they go and get Meyer who has been undefeated since he got there... They know how to win and they care how they win. Now days we compare ourselves to MSU thats how bad it has gotten and people are hoping Narduzzi leaves next year.


November 25th, 2013 at 12:00 AM ^

Ten out of 125 teams have a true freshman starting on the interior. Most of those teams are very, very bad. It's not quite clear to me whether they're bad because of the freshmen or because if you're in that situation there's probably a lot of other stuff going wrong too, and over a fairly long period of time. Either something went wrong with recruiting three or four years ago, or you've got retention problems. Or both.

Three out of 125 teams have no one older than a redshirt sophomore starting on the interior. Two of those teams are suffering from recent coaching changes away from a disastrous regime, the other is Purdue, whose issues are a bit older than just Hope. It's not something you do by choice.

coastal blue

November 25th, 2013 at 7:06 AM ^

By Choice. 

Let's cut the shit. 

Michigan has two RS-Freshmen who were Top 200 recruits. Is that really that much worse than teams throwing RS-Sophomores out there who were 2/3 star players or walk-ons? Of course not. Only here at Michigan is 208 YPG and 10.5 PPG over the last four games acceptable because of youth. 

If could still have Jack Miller (RS-Sophomore) at center. 

They also have Braden (physically imposing 3.5 star RS-Freshman).

If the interior line is SO IMPORTANT, why didn't they move Schofield go guard, put Magnuson at RT (where he'll probably end up anyway) and roll with that line?

Magnuson - Schofield - Miller/Glasgow - Kalis - Lewan. 

Everything the offensive staff has done this year has been a failure. 

Again, the last four games in regulation:

208 YPG

10.5 PPG. 

That's all personnel baby. We have it so rough at Michigan. 

Alvin Wistert

November 25th, 2013 at 12:56 AM ^

If it is just young offensive lineman please explain UCLA's success playing 3 freshman 1 sophomore and a junior. They were able to provide lanes for a running game and adequate pass protection. Other teams are able to overcome youth. It is a coaches job to put the players they have in a position to succeed and Al Borges is failing to do that.


November 25th, 2013 at 2:35 AM ^

Well, we did those things against Northwestern as well. And we protected well against Indiana. And we crushed Central. And Notre Dame. And Minnesota.

The point is that one game sample sizes are dumb.

UCLA is better than us on offense. But not by much. 3 PPG. One more win.