Brady Hoke comments on Harbaugh, Brandon & tenure at Michigan

Submitted by UMProud on August 14th, 2015 at 3:39 PM

"The former Michigan head coach appeared on Detroit Sports 105.1-FM Friday with host Matt Dery, touching on a variety of topics. And, of course, he was asked about the man who replaced him -- Jim Harbaugh."

Source:, 8/14/15, Nick Baumgardner



August 14th, 2015 at 6:18 PM ^

Hoke mastered the one essential skill that RR never mastered as a Michigan coach: saying a lot of words that mean absolutely nothing.  He is still falling on the sword for David Brandon, though.  I guess $14.4 million buys a lot of loyalty if it goes to the right person.

Picktown GoBlue

August 14th, 2015 at 7:37 PM ^

is anything like ones I've seen, there is usually a clause about not publicly disparaging the former employer in exchange for taking the buyout.  Wouldn't be surprised if that was not the case.  But, I think Hoke, unlike some other folks, can see the good in almost anyone.

oriental andrew

August 14th, 2015 at 4:30 PM ^

My guess before reading the article:

Dream come true, had some challenges, didn't work out the way he wanted/expected, but wouldn't trade it for the world. Greatest University and football program there is. Thinks Harbaugh will bring Michigan back to its rightful place among the elite of college football. Have talked to him and have all the respect for Harbaugh. No hard feelings, still love UM and his time there. Love his kids on the team and wish them the best this season, and expects big things out of them. Wishes he could be on the sidelines, but knows they're in good hands. 

That about cover it?

EDIT: upon further review, says he knows Jim's parents, but not Jim really. Doesn't know about the whole "home run hire" thing, thinks it's media speak, but appears to him JH loves Michigan and that's all you can ask for. Hasn't spoken with him, though. 

Thinks he built the program up the right way, also credits RR as a great coach, and thinks he is, too.

Gives props to Dave Brandon for, among other things, the way he managed the overall department, including the non-revenue sports. 

My take: he's still obviously a little sore about the whole thing, but handling it about as well as anyone can. 


August 14th, 2015 at 5:45 PM ^

Hoke was actually a bit evasive and, IMO, sour. I think he loves Michigan but I also think he's naturally still sour over being fired and I don't think the over the top "Summer of Harbaugh" is helping.

I'd imagine it's like your dream woman asking you out, you accepting with glee and then she dumps you publicly while also publicly flaunting how amazing it is with her new guy. Oh, and her friends are suddenly and publicly acting like you're a piece if shit and never liked you and are even morein love with her new guy. Like CRAZY in love with him and you know his family and, truth be told, likely think he's s bit of an arrogant dick as opposed to the rest of his family. It comes across like that. Still very Hoke but a bit more sour than we'd ever seen him to the point that he only used "tremendous" while referring to D'Antoni.

He slipped a "to be honest" in the (often telling, lawyers beg you to avoid that phrase in testimony) and only really praised RR, Brandon, himself and Mark. A lot to read into and while understandable it's a bit hard when you read it in his voice and Jim has gone out of his way to acknowledge Hoke positively. The player interviews even give a hard indication that they were told to avoid comparing with or disparaging Hoke.

The lasting impression it gave me was that it's incredibly clear that he was in over his head at a job this big. I get not throwing yourself under a bus for future job sake but he took almost zero blame for anything here. Exactly zero, IIRC.

snarling wolverine

August 14th, 2015 at 6:20 PM ^

I don't know what people are looking for in this interview.  I've never met a fired person who didn't feel some bitterness over what went down, and I certainly don't know any who wanted to rave about their successor.  If you feel that you were cut out for that job, and now someone else has it, that's not a good feeling.  I think he handled the questions about as reasonably as you could expect.

Hoke wasn't cut out to be our head coach, but he did previously serve our program as an assistant coach, and did quite well at that.  I don't feel a need to pile on the guy.







August 14th, 2015 at 7:37 PM ^

at least I didn't and have been a stronger defender than most since he was fired. He wasn't cut out. That's painfully obvious but this interview was more than a bit sour (which would be understandable), IMO. It's usually common to admit some fault when you have a ton. That's all. I get looking out for your future in the profession but I'd always seen Hoke as a guy that'd feel compelled to say he wished he'd done some things different, etc. He did none of that. That shocked me because even if he did he did nothing but defend Brandon and himself. He knows the Harbaugh family but has more positive things to say about RR & Dantonio than Jim Harbaugh? He couldn't give hope, postulate based on past performance or, I dunno, being a Harbaugh? I get being sour and I get that blowing your replacement is not ideal but he didn't have to do that. He just didn't have to say what he said HOW he said it. Again, as a guy that's asked fellow posters to stop talking about him like he's a piece of shit, I was surprised reading that. He's way more salty about this than even I'd have expected. He left a lot to interpret regarding things I'd assumed he'd be overly professional about and overly candid about things he could have (and would have if still here) been less candid about. Do I hate him now? No. Never did and I love me some Jim but I'm not up his ass. Did Hoke likely just take a small jab at an institution that paid him millions he wasn't qualified for and it's new coach? I think so. I've learned that Hokespeak is easily found to be empty or heavy with innuendo. I thought this said a lot and it came off rather petty, IMO. Especially when both Jim and Hackett have done nothing but praise Hoke publicly, thank him and not point a single fault within the program his way. Hoke had MAJOR F-ups that, frankly, Michigan could have pointed to in order to not keep paying him like a top 5 CFB coach but didn't. I can't think of a nicer way to fire a likeable but ineffective employee. He could and should be a little more publicly acknowledging, IMO.

Arizona Blue

August 14th, 2015 at 3:48 PM ^

sounds a little bitter but what do you expect. dude is not going to come out and say "hey guys, i was totally incompetant and an abject failure at Michigan...someone else want to give me a job?"


August 14th, 2015 at 5:10 PM ^

Seriously? Their tenure's could NOT have been more different. Hoke inherited a team on the rise, a fanbase lapping up every word he said, a virtually unlimited budget for assistants and programmatic expenses, every 4* in the country seemingly having interest, the support of every high powered alum and yet, every year his teams got worse and worse and worse. 

Meanwhile, RR just took ARIZONA to the Pac 12 championship game after beating Oregon two years in a row. Bet you $1.00 Hoke never takes a Power 5 team to their conference championship game as HC. Never.

The Mad Hatter

August 14th, 2015 at 6:30 PM ^

That the deck was stacked against him. Sure, he didn't get as much support from the AD and the fans as he should have. Winning only 3 games at Michigan, regardless of the circumstances, will turn people against you in a hurry.

I think RR is a good coach, just not a great one. And he wasn't a good fit for Michigan from the start. I don't wish the man ill, like some do with Hoke, but I'd respect him and his fans a lot more if he took responsibility for his failure here.


August 14th, 2015 at 7:36 PM ^

I'm sure there is nothing I can say to convince you the deck was in anyway stacked against the guy here in lovely old Ann Arbor where everything is done perfectly, there was definitely no good ol' boy network or blatant incompetence in anyway shape or form over the past 7 years. 


If you can't look at the massive changes in our AD, let alone the football program, and conclude that maybe a few things behind the scenes were completely rotten and impeded RRod in some way shape or form, then I don't know what to tell you.


I just can't wait until people like you stop bringing up Rich Rod so I can stop feeling compelled to defend the poor bastard. 


Save me, Harbaugh! You're my only hope!!


August 14th, 2015 at 5:54 PM ^

Why else then would he bring up Rodriguez, say he was a good coach and point out how well he is doing now post Michigan? It was a complete non sequitur until he threw out the part about how he believes himself to also be a great coach - that last part of it tied it all together for me. He is trying to say that, like RichRod, he too will be a good coach again now that he is gone from Michigan.

Prince Lover

August 15th, 2015 at 4:13 AM ^

2 conference coach of the year awards in 3 years in 2 different conferences before he got here. Add in his award for the same thing in year 1 here, and that made 3 out of 4 years in 3 different conferences.
Now I'm not saying that makes him a hall of famer, or even a good coach, I'm just saying there were reasons to believe in him.


August 14th, 2015 at 3:48 PM ^

I never feel like I'm really reading Hoke's words unless the quotes include all the umm's, well's and you know's every other word. It just doesn't sound natural in my head when I hear is voice as I read it.

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