Brady Hoke back at SDSU

Submitted by jimmyshi03 on February 6th, 2019 at 9:15 AM

as DLine coach.

there were some hard feelings when he left, I remember Kyle Turley being especially upset,  but I’d imagine the success they’ve had under Rocky Long has helped mend that. And you could do worse in terms of a place to live.



February 6th, 2019 at 9:17 AM ^

Long walk for a huge step back. The weather is great, but man I feel bad for this guy from an emotional standpoint. Swallowed his pride and clapped it off. 


February 6th, 2019 at 9:38 AM ^

There's absolutely zero reason to feel bad for Hoke.  It's one thing to find yourself over your head in a job; it's another to allow yourself to be a sidekick to an egostical asshole of an Athletic Director.  Any bruises to Brady Hoke's pride are of his own doing.


February 6th, 2019 at 9:54 AM ^

Respectfully disagree.  Hoke, by all appearances, seems like a genuinely good dude who loves Michigan and was promoted miles over his head by Brandon.

Look I am as unqualified to be a head football coach at a power 5 college as my cat Murphy but if Warde Manual called me tomorrow and offered me a 5 year contract for 4MM a year to be the HC I wouldnt say no because I love Michigan.  I would take the dream job and hope like hell I could figure it out on the fly.  As would most people I think and Hoke was way more qualified for the job than me or most people.

Blame Brandon, not Hoke, for his hiring and subsequent failure at the job.  Not his fault he was chosen so yes, I can feel bad for the public humiliation he's faced as Peter Principle levels his career arc off at DLine coach.

Matte Kudasai

February 6th, 2019 at 10:12 AM ^

And I will respectfully disagree with the fact that Hoke was promoted "miles over his head"

Hoke had a couple good years at Ball St. (it took awhile, yes) and then did a decent job at SDSU as well.  Had we not hired him, somebody else would have.

Easy to say now he was in over his head, but at the time, it looked like a viable hire.  

Mr Miggle

February 6th, 2019 at 10:42 AM ^

I don't think Hoke's overall record was nearly as important as his recent record. Losing a bunch of games when he started at Ball State would be a foolish thing to hold against him. He proved he could win at two different G5 schools.

That, plus the rest of his resume, was enough to get serious consideration for Power 5 HC jobs. Not Michigan level jobs. There's a big difference in expected resumes for Iowa State, Utah, Syracuse, etc versus a top tier program.


February 6th, 2019 at 10:49 AM ^

And Harbaugh was a .500 coach when he left Stanford for the 49ers. Like Harbaugh, Hoke was a guy who had turned around two bad programs. Ball State was 4-8 when Hoke arrived. Hoke took them to 12-1 his last season before coming to Michigan. Hindsight is 20/20, but at time, Hoke was an ascending coach with a Michigan/Bo pedigree.  


February 6th, 2019 at 11:05 AM ^

"Ball State was 4-8 when Hoke arrived."


Hoke's predecessor was Bill Lynch, and his last 3 seasons at Ball State were:




Hoke went:







I don't bear any animus against Brady Hoke, but the notion that he "rebuilt" a horrible Ball State program has always been complete bunk. He inherited a mediocre program, and even so it took him five years to exceed the win total of his predecessor's final mediocre season. That 12-1 season was the outlier, as was the 2011 season at Michigan.


February 6th, 2019 at 12:14 PM ^

If you just look at his Ball State tenure, he likely wouldn't have been hired at a P5 school.

If you look at his San Diego State tenure in addition to that, though, it looks a lot better. San Diego State had been 2-10 the year before he was hired, 4-8 and 3-9 the year before that. In his second year at SDSU they were in a bowl game at 9-4. SDSU hadn't been to a bowl game in over a decade.

In retrospect Rocky Long was probably the big factor there, but Hoke likely would had P5 schools interviewing him, and I strongly suspect he would have gotten a job with one of them. 

Surveillance Doe

February 6th, 2019 at 10:30 AM ^

Hoke-to-Michigan never looked like a viable hire. Many, many people on this website alone--myself included--were pretty outspoken about the fact that, even if Hoke managed to stumble into success (which I certainly hoped for), it would have been, at best, a lucky hire. Still bad, but lucky. More likely, it was just going to end up being a bad hire. That turned out to be true. 


February 6th, 2019 at 11:04 AM ^

Isn't the saying something like "be careful with your career if you are a rising star you may just get promoted to your level of incompetence." or something like that. 

Exactly what happened to Hoke. He did well and got promotions, quickly. He rose to his level of incompetence. 

You really see it in business all the time. A shining start kicking ass and taking names but then takes a promotion they are not ready for and fails. It's not that they are not good they may just not have the talent at that time for the huge promotion or it's just the wrong fit. 

Surveillance Doe

February 6th, 2019 at 11:12 AM ^

Now that you mention it, you do see it all the time. So much so that it's shocking to me that no one has ever given it a name.

My buddy Peter, who works in school administration, is a great example of this. He was a rising star but maybe not the best leader or manager. Well, sure enough, last year he was promoted to principal of a huge high school, and things immediately came unraveled. He didn't make it through the year.

Accordingly, I propose calling this phenomenon the Principal Peter. 


February 6th, 2019 at 11:23 AM ^


lol understood. I was just at an event and it was the first time someone laid it out in a way of a warning to young professionals to watch out for this themselves. As a people manager, I usually received the message as far as me not promoting anyone to their level of incompetence but not so much as a warning to the actual person being promoted to be careful. 

I find the topic interesting, especially psychologically, can most humans do that self assessment of their abilities?

When I was 24 I was making 32K and turned down a job making over 50K with a car. I'm now with the same company going on year 15 and turning down that job was one of the best decisions I've ever made. I would have made the wrong decision without two really smart, strong mentors. 


February 6th, 2019 at 2:14 PM ^

HA!  I had a Dodge Stratus.  Biggest POS I've ever driven.  When people would ask what kind of car I had, I would tell them I had a 2002 Dodge Problematic.  

Thank God I let the salesman talk me into an extended warranty.  The car was in for repairs so often I would have had to live out of it if I'd had to pay all the repair costs.  That warranty paid for itself multiple times over.  (I did not let them talk me into a warranty on my current car, but it's been a gem.  10 years old and it's rock solid.)


February 6th, 2019 at 11:55 AM ^

I don't begrudge Hoke taking the Michigan job.  Any head coach with a modicum of ambition would've taken the Michigan job had it been offered to him.  I also don't begrudge Hoke for failing at his job.  Many coaches have come to Michigan and failed.  I do begrudge Hoke for letting Michigan football turn into the clownshow that it did on his watch; a stench that we're still working to rinse off.  Many on here, myself included, have laid the majority of that blame at the feet of Brandon, and rightfully so, but Hoke let it happen. 

He didn't have to go along with Brandon sitting in on film sessions or trotting out the bullshit press releases on concussions, but he did.  Whether he believed that was the price for getting to be Michigan Head Coach, or because he didn't have the strength of character to push back, or just didn't see anything wrong with it, that's all on him.  That's the reason I don't find him a sympathetic character in this.

True Blue Grit

February 6th, 2019 at 2:24 PM ^

This.  I can't understand either all the derision and making fun of Hoke on this blog by people.  As you say he's a really good person who had the very best of intentions for the school and his players.  Yes, he was in over his head.  But his failures here don't justify the angry or mean jibes at him IMO.  


February 6th, 2019 at 10:34 AM ^

While I can see it's a huge step back professionally to fall from a P5 HC position to a position coach to at a group of 5, he is still very near the top of his profession.  He made $14.4 million over his tenure at UM, made $2 million at Oregon, $500k at Tennessee, and I can't find his salary at Carolina.  So, as far as I can tell he made roughly $17 million during this time which is plenty of money to live an upper class lifestyle for the rest of his life.  Kinda hard to feel sorry for that.  I'd happily give up my modest teachers salary to get fired from a bunch of places and take my $17 million and ride off into the sunset for a cushy early retirement :)


February 6th, 2019 at 9:23 AM ^

Interesting...  Brady sure had to swallow some pride to get a job!  Rocky Long used to work for Hoke at SDSU, now Hoke's a position coach working for Rocky.  I sure do hope that is a good friendship...