Hokebits Assemble

Submitted by Brian on 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 5:14 PM ^


Choice bit: 

The clock runs. You do two things when you might want to stop the clock on the goal-line down 14-10 with a running clock. You may spike it---wait, that's not happening. There's a thing about spiking the ball at LSU, if you'll recall. They could call time out, but they have no timeouts because Les Miles is pretty sure the federal government demands those back at the end of the year if you don't spend them all. Though they've been on the two yard line ever since the pass interference penalty, the LSU offensive staff suddenly remembers OH MY GOD WE HAVE A GOAL LINE PACKAGE and sets off a fire drill the People's Republic of China would call "disgracefully hurried and chaotic." 


January 13th, 2011 at 4:24 PM ^

I will have a problem if Fred Jackson is not on the staff. An article on here a couple days ago mentioned how Jackson has a strong recruiting base in Texas. Sorry but I'm out on the idea that only midwest kids are viable recruits. I want those big and fast Texas recruits and some of that Florida speed and skill that Coach Jackson has his finger on.

Even the "great satan" that is Rodriguez kept him on staff during his transition. So he obviously has value as a coach.


January 13th, 2011 at 11:17 PM ^

...90% of non-coordinator hires in college football aren't superstars.  Hoke's offensive coordinator has had that position on some very successful teams and has enough positives in his history that he isn't a disaster.  Fred Jackson is back now (though he wasn't when you posted this).  And Aaron Wellman has had a thing or 3 positive said about him (he isn't Barwis but...who is?).  And the OL and/or TE coach is a journeyman who Hoke is comfortable with.  With the exception of Barwis its not like Rodriquez brought in the Chicago Bears 1985 coaching staff or anything. 

The key hire is the D-Cordinator, I'd like to see someone with at least a respectable track record though hopefully better (for a yardstick:  I consider Borges to be :"respectable).  Its the D coaches that are going to determine success or failure (I've heard Bedford from Louisville, which is iffy, but if so then a good hire).



January 13th, 2011 at 5:33 PM ^

The apologist crap has been going on long before Rich got here. The Haloscan days in 2007 were filled with painful Lloyd apologist rhetoric if you dared say anything supportive of him. Hated it then, hated during the Rich era, hate it now.

So, your larger point is dead on. Just wanted to point out that supporting the team's efforts and progress has pretty much always got you labelled an apolgist. Its crappy rhetoric


January 13th, 2011 at 5:28 PM ^

Good grief, with the rhetoric

Then again, I've basically been a Carr-apologist, a Rodriguez apolpgist, so I might as well be a Hoke apologist as well.

seriously, though, do we need the apolgist rhetoric? Some of us just want to support the team and dont want to freak out about things we only think we know a lot about.


January 13th, 2011 at 10:51 PM ^

 of a RB.  He was big, and fast.  I always got the impression that he was the beneficiary of some of the best offensive lines in college football history.


Look at his linemen while he was here.  Pretty sure every single one of them went to the NFL and a few of them became perennial probowlers.


I have a feeling admitting this is going to get me eviscerated.


January 14th, 2011 at 10:00 AM ^

Its Auburns turn to go on Probation/NCAA violations; once they get done Alabama will do something stupid. It’s the circle of life in the SEC.  Plus with the over signing they don’t have to worry about scholarship limitation.   

Before everyone goes crazy I do remember Leroy Hoard/TD Tim/A-Train, IMHO that TW was more of a total package.


January 13th, 2011 at 4:04 PM ^

Via Rivals (apparently not pay-walled...):  Hoke is bringing Aaron Wellman in with him.  He apparently also believes in removing bad weight and adding good... which is nice.

""We tried to interview him once, but he didn't want to do that. He likes to stay in the background," said Shanahan. "But the kids rave about him. When Brady got the job he talked about how weak all the players were. In his first year they concentrated on taking off bad weight, the second year started putting on good weight."

There isn't much out there on Wellman's philosophies, but Shanahan describes him as "pretty hard nosed, but the kids all love him." He'll insist that the kids get in the weight room as much as they can - voluntarily, of course - and accepts no excuses."


January 13th, 2011 at 4:20 PM ^

I have a buddy who is a high school coach out in Las Vegas, who is a HUGE tOSU fan, and he texted me the other day not to worry about losing Barwis if Wellman was going to come with Hoke.

He met him during camp and watched some of their workouts and said the guy is awesome.  For example, apparently if you don't put up the weight or reps you were supposed to during a workout, Wellman hangs a picture and your name on the ouside of the weightroom door letting the rest of the team know what the player failed to do.  Name doesn't come down until he meets certain goals.

Like I mentioned before, this comes from a HUGE tOSU fan who loves to rank on me about what Michigan does wrong.  So take this FWIW. 

His Dudeness

January 13th, 2011 at 4:09 PM ^

A) How can we not convince Heater to be our DC at Michigan over Temple?

B) Loeffler, Loeffler, Loeffler, Loeffler fortheloveofwhateverthefuckspinsthisball Loeffler.

C) They had better keep Freddy Jack because the team stood up and chanted his name when DB announced the head coach. (They also chanted Nike, so yea, but still). Plus Fred has so many ties in the midwest, nobody can replace him.

Old School

January 13th, 2011 at 4:09 PM ^

Unsolicited advice to BH on naming his coaches - haste makes waste, and one of the reasons your predecessor is now out of a job is because he named the wrong defensive coordinator. I hope he understands that these decisions set the course for his future - success or failure.

Yinka Double Dare

January 13th, 2011 at 5:40 PM ^

Of course, this time there's a blindingly obvious candidate out there that A) had a great college track record as a DC, and B) has great recruiting ties to one of the biggest talent hotbeds in the nation.  If he hastily calls up Randy Shannon and hastily hires him, there isn't a single Michigan fan with a brain that wouldn't celebrate the hire, and rightly so.