cc: Brady Hoke - opinions?

Submitted by michgoblue on January 1st, 2011 at 11:20 PM

Since the assumption seems to be that RR is gone, and Harbaugh is going to have a tough decision between M and the NFL, it is a non-zero possibility that we will end up with Coach Brady Hoke.  I have always liked BH (as I will now refer to him).  From his days in the mid-1990s, the guys I knew on the team loved him.  Seems that his current players do, as well.

His rep is as a good to very good recruiter.  And, while I think that the whole Michigan MAn thing was blown way out of proportion with RR, in these times of a factured fan base, having someone with ties to better times couldn't hurt.

But, the common opinion on this board is Hoke = DOOM, please no. 

Can anyone please tell me the reasons that Hoke wouldn't be a good choice?


James Burrill Angell

January 2nd, 2011 at 7:37 AM ^

Hoke has won in two situations that traditionally do not win (Ball State and SDSU). No he hasn't won any national championships but he's clearly shown the ability to find a way in some pretty adverse conditions.

That said, he's clearly a second option behind Harbaugh.

I guess, in my mind, the question is, whom would you rather have at this point, Rodriguez or Hoke? Or, rephrased, would you rather go in another direction at this point or give RR one more chance. After Wisconsin, I would have said, for sure staythe course and just replace the defensive staff. After Ohio State I was 50/50. Now I'm pretty convinced that RR's offense just can't beat a good defense. Face it, our highly regarded offense really got manhandled by the good, physical  defenses we played (Iowa, MSU, Wiscy, OSU, MissSt.). At this point, the list of coaches I would want to switch to has grown exponentially from where it was after each of the last three games. I really don't care so much that we lost the last three, but the fact that the offense, which was supposed to be the part of the team that DID work, got run in each game gives me little to no belief that RR can make it work.


January 2nd, 2011 at 9:24 AM ^

our team is young. I don't mean that in an insulting way, but it is still relevant. Still! That MSU squad that manhandled us yesterday started all sorts of juniors and seniors with not a freshman to be seen. How many freshman and sophomores did we start yesterday? Next year will be a better indicator whether the offense is effective against the upper tier in the Big Ten; at least we'll be fielding more juniors and sophomores.

James Burrill Angell

January 2nd, 2011 at 10:21 AM ^

True for the defense, but read the comment. I expect (sadly) the defense and special teams to fail and yes they are young. All I looked for in the last three games was the offense. I wanted to see if they could score against good teams and they couldn't and no, with the exception of Denard they're not THAT young. There are quite a few juniors with three years of playing experience under their belt. I didn't expect a win in any of those three games but I want to see more than 2 TD's vs MissSt and one versus Ohio State.

As per Denard, yes, this is his first year starting, I'm happy to give him a free ride but as a SYSTEM, I'm not seeing it. The system is not completely one player. No running back emerged, the receivers dropped a ton of balls. But what concerned me is that strong defenses managed to find a way to bottle up Denard's ability to run which is what the SYSTEM is predicated on. Although he's a young his running is as good as its going to get and he had a FAIRLY experienced and pretty decent line in front of him. Again, its not so much an indictment of Denard as it is the belief that a good defense can slow down this offense as we've seen it.

I respect your opinion, I just happen to disagree.


January 2nd, 2011 at 10:48 AM ^

over and over i hear people say "see, i knew this offense wouldn't work in the big 10".  It's not the OFFENSE!!!  sure, we only put up 14 today, but roundtree dropped TWO surething 4th down TD passes.  that's not the offense.  it's not the coaches.  it's a player not making an easy play.  he's had some big games, but he's dropped more easy passes then i've ever seen.  roundtree's drops coupled with bad kickers had us leaving 20+ pts on the field today.

It's the D that sucks and hasn't gotten any better.  That's RR's albatross.

i'm optimistic that this young O would be great under RR.  practically everyone's back.  but i'm pretty convinced now that we won't see it.

if we don't get harbaugh and don't retain RR, I hope we hire a guy like Trgovich (sp) and hope he hires a spread OC to keep the players we have on O. 


January 1st, 2011 at 11:26 PM ^

I don't think Hoke necessarily = doom, but the argument against him is a simple one:

In his head coaching career, he has one season (a 12-1 year at Ball State) that would be considered very good at Michigan. And that's at Ball State and San Diego State. His career record is 47-50. At Ball State and San Diego State.

Basically, there's nothing in his track record that says he'll be a success here.

Frankly, the ONLY reason he's even being discussed is because he was previously an assistant at Michigan, and that seems like a pretty weak reason to put him in charge when there are numerous better candidates, including the guy who is still the coach.


January 1st, 2011 at 11:40 PM ^

I heard that BH and DB are fairly good friends.  DB thinks highly of BH, so it would not surprise me if he's on DB short list if we lose out of JH.  I would rather keep RR if JH is not available.


January 2nd, 2011 at 12:35 AM ^


Bo Schembechler came off a 7-3 season at Miami (OH) to coach Michigan.  The saying was Schembechler who? when he was hired.  

However, Bo took over a John Pont led Miami team that had gone 8-2 the last season.


January 2nd, 2011 at 2:25 AM ^

Maybe a better example: Gene Chizik struggled at Iowa State (5-19, I believe) before being hired at Auburn, but he quickly put together an outstanding set of coordinators (Gus Malzahn and Ted Roof), which IMO is the single most important decision a non-coordinator head coach makes.

This is why I don't think Hoke necessarily = doom. If he hires a great staff, he could be fine -- and his staff of Al Borges and Rocky Long is fairly impressive considering it's San Diego State.

So ... there are guys who have succeeded at big programs despite not having a great track record when they took over. But that's not a good reason to hire one.


January 1st, 2011 at 11:25 PM ^

I wonder how many people know where the term "Michigan Man" came from. 

Sorry don't have the input you are looking for, but you describe a lot of the attributes that RR had coming here (with exception to being on UM staff previously), but he was in a better conference doing some great things.


January 2nd, 2011 at 12:17 AM ^

I'd assume the transition would have been a lot smoother (more Carr assistants retained, less drastic culture change, etc.), fewer guys (Boren, Threet, maybe Clemons) leave, and you don't have the upheaval and in-fighting that I think sank in mid-season 2008 when folks realized this wasn't a typical Michigan team and could sort of tune out the new guys and blame it all on them.  There was still a big decline in talent coming and major structural issues with the roster (like not having any safeties) that Hoke would eventually have struggled dealing with just like Rodriguez has. 

I definitely wouldn't be as excited about the future of the program as I am right now though.


January 2nd, 2011 at 12:28 AM ^

Agree with you that initially there would have been less of a transition, but even the 6-6 season or whatever would have followed would have had a lot more pitchfork sales than even Rich had.  Not sure how the next two would go, because we'll never know about recruiting and all that. But the environment would have been tough for any Lloyd assistant.

As for excited about the future....I admire that when most everyone else is giving up on their convictions after a horrid bowl loss, you're sticking to them, and going down with the ship.  As long as you realize at this point the water is just about up to your chin.


January 2nd, 2011 at 12:40 AM ^

Three years ago we lost to a 3-9 Toledo team.  At home.  If there is water in the boat now it is because it takes a while to dry off after you hit the bottom of the fucking ocean.  The fact that so many people have decided that now, after two years of steady improvement and with basically the whole young team returning next year, is the time to bail boggles my mind.

The Barwis Effect

January 2nd, 2011 at 1:14 AM ^

Steady improvement?  Do you mean like going from 1-2 vs ranked teams in 2008, to 1-4 vs ranked teams in 2009, to 1-5 vs ranked teams in 2010.  Or are you talking about a combined 0-7 vs. MSU, OSU, and bowl games?  Or were you referring to how U-M has scored a total of 24 points vs. Ohio State in the last three years.  Maybe you're referring to they led the conference in fumbles for a third straight year.  Or maybe it's how his defenses have gone from #67 in 2008, to #82 in 2009, to #107 in 2010.  Or maybe it's how U-M has absolutely no kicking game whatsoever.  Maybe it's how all of Michigan's six losses were by double digits, including the last three by 20, 30 and 38. I mean, seriously.  Why would anybody want to bail on this guy with all this improvement?!?  Talk about boggling the mind.... 


January 2nd, 2011 at 1:32 AM ^

So this is what three years of "steady improvement" have wrought:  we finished the season with the worst bowl loss in school history, six losses overall, a losing Big Ten record (in a year in which the conference wasn't very good), and zero votes in the polls (let alone a top 25 ranking).  Well this certainly is what we were all expecting three years ago, right?


January 2nd, 2011 at 12:28 PM ^

cherry picked stats.  Improvement is all relative.  I could throw a ton of stats together suggesting we made huge strides (Offensive POY, 3-0 against ND, increased B10 wins, huge improvement in offensive rankings in yards, points, however you want to measure it)

The fact is it's not cut and dried either way.  As a whole, I don't believe we've made huge improvement over the last 3 years because while the offense has improved, the defense has actually (statistically) regressed. 

There are still VERY legitimate arguments in favor of keeping RR.  It's just that the weight of those arguments is a little less after each bad loss.


January 2nd, 2011 at 12:26 AM ^

I posted this in another thread, but if Hoke had replaced Carr we probably would have gone 5-7, 5-7, 6-6, and Hoke would have been fired after this season. The offense would have been DeBord's system with Threet and our current underwhelming RBs, the defense would have had the same talent/experience issues it has now, and recruiting probably would have been worse than it was under RR.


January 2nd, 2011 at 8:10 AM ^

I didn't know hoke is such a lack-wit that he has no ability to win games at any level. Just because he doesn't run a run option spread doesn't mean he runs deboard's super vanilla offense. And why would we have the same underwhelming rb's that we have now? Hoke would have recruited 1000 slot ninjas and small rb's for a deboard vanilla?

That is some serious logic fail and posts like that make me think you hate hoke just to hate him.

Can you come up with any statement supported by logic instead of blind hatred?


January 2nd, 2011 at 12:20 PM ^

I don't hate Hoke at all, I'm just not that impressed with him and I think we have better options. What recruits do you think Hoke would have gotten that Rodriguez didn't get? You think he would have gotten a difference-maker at RB that Rodriguez completely ignored?

I think pretty much any coach would have struggled to win here the last 3 years. Hoke might be acceptable if RR were to quit and we were unable to land any A-list coaches.


January 3rd, 2011 at 10:17 PM ^

to bash hoke for his vanilla offense but then say he would have had the same rb's as rr has. He would not have recruited the same rb's or many of the same other players. He would have re recruited "prostyle" players instead of spread players.


January 1st, 2011 at 11:32 PM ^

I know you are joking but I bet, "keep rich rod for one more year knowing Urban is out there if he fails" is an option pretty high on DB's list.

Unfortunately the way RR coached today tells me DB could have already told him he's gone.


January 1st, 2011 at 11:43 PM ^

and loved where the offense was going and the potential chaos we could wreak on the B1G, but after that bowl game and the whole B1G season, I have lost faith in the experiment and would like to see a change NOW.

Regardless, I have faith (or is it just hope?) in DB's leadership and the purpose behind his month-long waiting period on the coaching staff following the close of the regular season.