Al Borges Fired

Submitted by Ace on January 8th, 2014 at 5:54 PM

File photo

Per the Athletic Department, offensive coordinator Al Borges has been fired. Here's the entirety of the press release:

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- University of Michigan head football coach Brady Hoke announced today (Wednesday, Jan. 8) that offensive coordinator Al Borges will not be retained for the 2014 season.

"Decisions like these are never easy," said Hoke. "I have a great amount of respect for Al as a football coach and, more importantly, as a person.  I appreciate everything he has done for Michigan Football for the past three seasons." 

Prior to joining U-M in 2011, Borges was a member of Hoke's staff at San Diego State in 2009 and '10.

The Wolverines will begin spring practice on Feb. 25 and finish with the annual Spring Game on Saturday, April 5, at Michigan Stadium.

The fallout will be covered in exhaustive detail in the coming days. One interesting candidate—coincidentally, from Borges' former school—is rumored to have been contacted by Brady Hoke regarding the now-open position, according to

A source tells me that Brady Hoke has reached out to UCLA offensive coordinator / quarterbacks coach Noel Mazzone and at least one NFL assistant, though Mazzone isn't likely to leave for Ann Arbor. 

Mazzone runs an "uptempo no-huddle spread," according to Chris Brown (Smart Football); even if he's not interested in the job, moving in that direction would certainly please the people who write for this here blog. As for recruiting, it's unlikely the class of 2014 will be affected much, if at all, and there's plenty of time to make up any lost ground in the 2015 class. Again, we'll have much, much more on this in the coming days.



January 8th, 2014 at 6:53 PM ^

otherwise Hoke has a credibility problem given he stated a few weeks ago he did not anticipate any staff changes. Granted, "anticipate" is a weak word but the message was clear "I do not plan to fire anyone". He could have stated "everyone is under review as I am."

However, I do agree with the decision so long as the OL coach is fired as well. If he remains, nothing will change.

I love the idea of going after Mazzone. He has transformed UCLA's offensive.


January 8th, 2014 at 7:24 PM ^

Some of you people take coach speak way too literally.  No coach "anticipates," publicly, at least, that they will make staff changes.  If my boss is thinking about firing people on our team, no one will know about it until it happens.  This is even more important in sports where these things are blown up by the media.  A coach will always say everything is status quo until it's not.  Do you know how fucked up recruiting would have been had Hoke said he was thinking about making staff changes 2 months ago?

Pat Haden was adamant that Lane Kiffin was his guy up until about 24 hours before he was canned.  That's standard protocol.   


January 8th, 2014 at 8:04 PM ^

The common place issuance of public statements of support ("He is our guy", "This person has our 100% support", etc.) has been so abused that they now have taken the complete opposite connotation. That someone has to state openly support now implied a lack of implicit support. The worst thing most public figure fear is being told that their superior has issued a public statement of "complete support".

Blue in Yarmouth

January 9th, 2014 at 8:11 AM ^

but i have a suspicion that the guy is still right. I don't believe the fact that Brady Hoke saying a while back that he didn't anticipate any changes means a damn thing. Lots of BH's  "coach speak" has proven to have less than an ounce of truth to it (which is fine by me, just to be clear).

That doesn't change the fact that DB could very well be the one who made this decision. There are many other things BH has said and done that lead me to believe this decision was either taken out of his hands entirely, or his hand was forced. That's just my opinion, but there it is.


January 8th, 2014 at 8:06 PM ^

wait a minute and maybe you will get it...


that said, I too feel that this is Brandon's decision... That puts Hoke firmly on the hot seat.  I equivalize it to RR canning the D-coordinator and hope that it works better this second time through around here...


That said I am intrigued to see which dirrection we go and have to think that if we keep the checkbook open great things could happen.

I am hoping for a college coordinator with experience...

Blue in Yarmouth

January 9th, 2014 at 7:57 AM ^

and the fact that Al didn't take part in recruiting. When an OC doesn't recruit it makes the fallout from firing them much less problematic. I mean, a person may select a team because of the "system" they run on one side of the ball or other, and if the coordinator is replaced with someone who runs something entirely different that may cause someone to look elsewhere, but other than that, they really don't have much of a relationship with Al at this point so losing him isn't going to mean much to them. 


January 8th, 2014 at 6:23 PM ^

offense.  Don't see the issue.  Its a business.  just like the pros where this happens all the time.  Is he a Michigan man our not?

  I will say, I'd like to have this slot filled asap since there is another month of recruiting to go for '14 and '15 is well under way.

I Like Burgers

January 8th, 2014 at 7:11 PM ^

From what people have said, Harris was closest to Borges on the staff, and with him already getting soft on Michigan, Borges getting axed could come at the cost of a commitment from Harris.  But it needed to happen, and there's a lot of time let to recruit 2015 kids still.  So even if he opts out, there's plenty of time to rerecruit him.

And hey, the best recruiter for an offensive player is a good offense.  So here's hoping they have that going for them in 2014.


January 8th, 2014 at 6:02 PM ^


Seriously, after witnessing the atrocity of last season, how can anyone not have seen this coming. I honestly do wish Borges well;  still, the decision does give me new hope for 2014.


Go Blue!


January 8th, 2014 at 6:21 PM ^

For some reason there seems to be this idea floating around that we actually went without a QB coach the last three years.  (Recruiting would have been pretty difficult if that were the case.)

No - Borges was the QB coach, in addition to being the OC.  That may be the case for his replacement as well, unless there is some shuffling of responsibilities.



January 8th, 2014 at 6:05 PM ^

Like I said a month ago, this is a move Hoke HAD to make in order to buy himself more time. With this move Hoke can survive another middling year (which is what next year is going to be likely). If Borges was still around Hoke would definitely fired along with Borges next year.

I hope we get Hue Jackson.


January 8th, 2014 at 6:11 PM ^

There's hope for the future yet! I have a whole world of criticism for Al as a coach/coordinator, being solely responsible not just for many of the struggles of the offense as a whole, but also for making existing problems worse by his efforts, even so far as to lay several important losses solely at his feet. Was really sad, and even sick about it, when announcing earlier Hoke said everyone would be retained next year, but it's obvious that he likes to play it close to his chest and conduct his business behind closed doors, so I'm glad I reserved the same criticisms of him.


January 8th, 2014 at 6:08 PM ^

Anyone know if incoming coordinators are typically allowed to make decisions about whether to retain or release their assistant coaches or if the decision typically resides with the head coach. In other words, what are we expecting ?