Hokebits Assemble Comment Count

Brian January 13th, 2011 at 3:49 PM

Mike Martin returns. Here's one punch in the solar plexus avoided:

"Yup, I'm staying," said Martin, a junior defensive tackle from Detroit Catholic Central who reportedly considered leaving U-M early for the NFL draft.

I'm pretty sure this was happening in any case, especially after his effectiveness plummeted thanks to his ankle injuries, but w00t nonetheless.

Exeunt Barwis. Devin Gardner has tweeted his goodbyes to Mike Barwis, so that's official then. I will miss the circle of death. I feel like posting a kitten but that seems wrong so via EDSBS here's Neko Case with a sword:


Is the saddest part of all of this having to retire the "eeee I'm a little girl for Mike Barwis" tag? Probably. We'll always have the wolf-ridden Yukon tundra.

Staff filling out. According to the local paper Al Borges won't be the only assistant moving with Hoke from San Diego State:

Offensive coordinator Al Borges and running backs coach/recruiting coordinator Jeff Hecklinski have already confirmed they are gone. Offensive line coach Darrell Funk and linebackers coach Mark Smith are expected to follow, which makes sense because both came with Hoke from Ball State.

Two guys are definitely staying and two others—QB coach Brian Sipe and TE/ST coach Dan Ferrigno—aren't definite at SDSU but seem likely to stay. That leaves holes at DC, QB, WR, DL, and DB. Borges was profiled yesterday when his hire was announced; the other guys are just position coaches with no other track record. San Diego State's website is fancy, though, and breaks them down in detail.

Hecklinski is in his mid-30s and came up at some truly obscure schools (including Fort Scott CC, the community college Demar Dorsey signed/set off a bomb at) before landing at Arizona to be the QB coach and passing game coordinator in 2003. Almost as soon as he arrived the Wildcats rose up in insurrection against John Mackovic; the next year he landed at Ball State as the WR coach and recruiting coordinator. He moved to RB coach when the staff went to SDSU. He was a quarterback in college.

Funk is mid-40s and has followed the same route as Hecklinski, working his way up from Muskingum College to Mesa State to Rhode Island and eventually NIU and Colorado State. He played at CSU and got his first student assistant gig there. In his two decades as a coach he's mostly done OL with some moonlighting as a TE or DL coach, and he split four weird years at Rhode Island between offensive line and… defensive coordinator.

Smith is in his 50s. He spent one billion years (22, precisely) as an Indiana State position coach before moving up to be the DC for two years. Hoke hired him when he showed up at BSU and made him his DC, whereupon Cardinal fans were not impressed. When Hoke moved to SDSU he took the opportunity to demote him to LB coach, allowing Rocky Long to come in and install his 3-3-5.

So… yeah. Pretty generic. Hard to have an opinion one way or the other given their nonexistent profiles. Official MGoBlog policy is that RB coaches don't exist except to recruit, anyway. 

Not an option. One name not in the running: Florida assistant and Michigan alum Chuck Heater, who will be Steve Addazio's DC at Temple. Does anyone else double-take when they're reminded Steve Addazio is a head coach somewhere? I bet Orson bursts out in seemingly unprompted laughter several times a day. This differs from two months ago because now people around him understand why.



January 13th, 2011 at 4:45 PM ^

Since Hoke is a Bo disciple, do you think we'll see the return of Fort Schembechler as far as information goes?

Also I don't remember Carr (and Bo too therefor, but I'm young) having a spring game. Do you think that's gone too?


January 13th, 2011 at 4:56 PM ^

There's no way the spring game goes away. I don't remember if there's any cost to get in (if so, there's obvious revenue), and even if there isn't, it's a great way to market the program. Brandon has made it pretty clear that those types of things are important.

I wouldn't be surprised if it goes back to being more of an scrimmage-y practice than a game, though.


January 13th, 2011 at 4:49 PM ^

I have to imagine that Jackson will be retained, if for no other reason than he is a great recruiter and his son plays for the team.  I'm sure he'll be wooed by someone else, but that's why the money is for!


January 13th, 2011 at 5:02 PM ^

Maybe Heater is not DC quality for a major program. No idea, maybe he is a better position coach. However, if he is a good DC candidate, why is he not the DC for Michigan? Is that not a call we would make? This entire "you come home when mama calls" is not really working out too well for us.

The Rake

January 13th, 2011 at 6:27 PM ^

no Loeffler update? Is it possible he will come? I heard the players REALLY wanted Barwis to stay, so its kind of a shame he is leaving, just in that regard. Whitlock seems to think that the SDSU S/C coach is good though, which means next to nothing.

The Rake


D.C. Dave

January 13th, 2011 at 6:46 PM ^

Puh-leeze. We'd be better off if we hired every San Diego State assistants compared to the creampuff staff of buddies brought in by Rich Rod (with the exception of Barwis, who we hate to lose.)

But let's be candid: If Rodriguez's Michigan team would've played Hoke's San Diego State team in a bowl game this past season, we would've gotten killed.

The Aztecs had a great offense, not that it takes a great offense to score on a Rodriguez defense cuz even UMass runs wild, but SDSU also had a defense. .

Indeed, Hoke's old San Diego State team will give Michigan all it wants this season, and if Rodriguez were still the coach, it would be a loss for sure. The band of not-so-speedy-midgets signed by Rodriguez gets run over by everyone. And for all this criticism of 'manball' by this site, it is in fact the style of play that wins games in the SEC and every other self-respecting league. Midget ball does not win, and we proved it, except maybe in the Big East or CUSA, where everyone is undersized. The silly stats on this site that tout 'improvement' also don't win games. Our players are going to grade out a lot better once they are really coached.

I'm not going to criticize Hoke for being a coach who believes the game is won up front, on the offensive and defensive lines. That is an undeniable fact. It's exactly how Tressel builds his teams. Anyone who thinks otherwise knows nothing about football. Try telling an NFL coach the game does not start there. He'll laugh in your face.

Rodriguez always believed the game was won in a little room where he and Clueless Calvin Magee draw up plays that they think no one can stop, though honestly, we really only ran about 5-6 plays in his 'innovative' offense for most of the game. The Mississippi State players said they had great coaching on which play Michigan would favor out of which formation, and that's how it went in the game. They toyed with us. 

Hoke is ten times the coach Rodriguez is. It's not even close. Any coach who presides over the three worst defenses at a school that has been playing football for more than 100 years must really suck. And to blame it all on Carr's players -- when in fact the defense got worse the more Carr's players moved on and Rodriguez's came in -- is just a fraud. And RichRod took a school not so known for a strong kicking game and made it not just worse, but remarkably worse. Breathtakingly bad.

So I for one am glad the worst coach in the history of Michigan football is gone. And I welcomed him when he came: The guy can't win in a bigtime league and that's all there is to it. No amount of so-called 'analysis' will convince me he was about to turn the corner next year. That's all designed to avoid giving credit to Hoke when he starts winning. RichRod would've gone 7-5 again if we were lucky, and he would've gotten physically dominated by every good team on our schedule. Imagine Nebraska against a Rodriguez team? Ouch. He got outscored 100-24 in three games against Ohio State. Things were not getting better.

This site needs to stop whining about the lost promise of RichRod's program. He devastated us with his giant ego and 'me first' approach to everything. It's not about the press picking on RichRod and loving Hoke. RichRod brought it on himself, he totally deserved it because of how he treated people. Arrogant and unyielding in fitting the schemes to the talent. Often wrong, never in doubt. His first order of business was to make sure Ryan Mallet knew he did not want him. The guy is a jerk. It's also not true the players all loved him -- we're already seeing that come out. Now that he's gone, maybe our best running backs can play  -- the big, strong ones -- not just the ones who kissed his ass because they were 5-foot-6.

Yeah, we'll take our lumps in recruiting and next season. But at least we got the revival started and did not waste another year watching Michigan get drilled with a predictable spread offense and a bend over defense.