CC: The Case for Brady Hoke as #2 Candidate

Submitted by Bill on January 4th, 2011 at 10:12 AM

As much as everyone seems to throw Brady Hoke under the bus, he is a legitimate candidate for the hypothetical coaching vacancy.

In 2008, he took bottom-dweller Ball State to an undefeated MAC record and national ranking

In 2010, he turned around a mediocre San Diego State team into a solid season including a bowl win with completely understandable and close losses to TCU, Utah, and Mizzou.

In 2011, he would unite the fractured fan base which has created huge program perception problems.  

Although Harbaugh is clearly the #1 option, I think there are too many influential alumni/former players who would not support any candidate without ties to the Bo-tree. This vaults Hoke over the Randy Shannons of the world.  



January 4th, 2011 at 1:06 PM ^

but if we can't get him...weren't the criteria that you mention applicable for Harbaugh when he was hired at Stanford?

Also, Tressel was a D2 coach pre-OSU. 

Hoke's offense lit it up against a pretty good Navy squad.  I'd MUCH prefer Harbaugh but if he doesn't come Hoke wouldn't be a disastrous hire.


January 4th, 2011 at 10:55 AM ^

So, he waited and the gamble put him in a really hard spot:

1) Rich and team were blown out in there bowl game, and only reminded us why we can't stand this anymore. If anything Rich lost more fence sitters willing to go Harbaugh or if not, then retain Rich. If this is what DB ends up doing, he has an extremely hard sell to make. (If I were Rich I'd go find myself another job anyway.)

2) Harbaugh and team reminded us last night of what that ideal "Michigan Football" is that many want to get back too. It looked really convincing. (You don't think Harbaugh has more recruiting cache right now? Jim is going somewhere, because he has never said he is staying. And Elway aside -- Jim didn't play for Stanford, so the heart strings don't connect -- the NFL is a true threat.)

If DB lands Jim, then he is the man, if he misses ... well, what then. Rich, even with a radically revamped staff will be totally hamstrung. Brady Hoke (French car horn sounds here) would be a total let down with equally as much divisiveness undermining him. So, I believe, would be Les Miles. These "big names" we have been hearing about are more likely looking for contract re-negotiation leverage, than stepping into this mess.

The key is DB has to land someone, everyone can believe in. Fans on both sides, former players, current players, and recruits ...

This is it, this is DB's moment of true leadership. There is no greater a test of leadership is his post, and we are going to witness his skill.

Good luck to David.

Communist Football

January 4th, 2011 at 10:40 AM ^

Hoke has done a decent job in recent years -- but that pales in comparison to RR's resume when he came here from WVU. 

I get that many of you are emotionally invested in a coaching change, no matter the end result. But Brady Hoke will unite the fanbase? COME ON!!!

While I'm on the subject, FWIW, Harbaugh won't unite the fanbase either.  RR supporters like me aren't on board with Harbaugh (though I realize that we're the minority).

There is only one thing that will unite the fanbase: winning.

KC Wolve

January 4th, 2011 at 1:16 PM ^

People have completely lost it.  I have been a Michigan fan since I can remember and I didn't even know who the hell Brady Hoke was until last year.  People are going to make fun of us.....a lot.  Not a lot of people, but everyone is going to make fun of us a lot.  I don't really care if people make fun of me, but people shouldn't be making fun of Michigan for who they hire.


January 4th, 2011 at 10:15 AM ^

As one who hasn't followed Hoke closely (or at all), can someone please drop a few nuggets of info as to his style (offensive v. defensive mind, spread v. pro, big v. small, etc.).  I see he gets bashed here plenty, so if anyone could explain why that is, it'd be appreciated.  Many thanks.


January 4th, 2011 at 10:26 AM ^

Ha -- I'll volunteer for that task.  I've done it numerous times already.

* Hoke is 52 years old.  (That makes him different from, e.g., the 2001 version of Urban Meyer.)  He has less "age" upside.  Not a deal-breaker by itself, but something to consider.

* His lifetime record is 47-50.  Oh, my.  Most definitely not Urban Meyer 2001 (who _immediately_ took BGSU to high places in the MAC).

* He has been at SDSU only two seasons.  He has done very well, yes, especially when their history as an underachieving school is considered.  Good for him.  But, Charlie Weis did just fine at ND for a couple of years.  In case my point isn't clear, it would be nice to see sustained excellence.

* He's coached only in the minor leagues of college football.  MAC & WAC.  That doesn't mean he isn't a good coach, but he hasn't proved himself at a high level (like, say, the Big East).

In summary, Hoke may be (probably is, actually) a good man and a good coach.  I believe he could have modest success at Michigan.  But, a program of this stature (pardon the arrogance) can, I believe, do much better than him.  It's that simple.

- - -

Aside: Is "Bill" (the OP) yet another magical Athletic Department gnome that's pimping Brady Hoke?  Is there an endless supply of them?  Did Brady bring them boxes of Twinkies when he worked here?  I'm speechless.


January 4th, 2011 at 10:32 AM ^


at "He has been at SDSU".  I'm not saying he is a bad coach.  I just don't think he is at the level we need for recruiting.  Unfortunately, recruits are looking for the big names calling their coaches a la Dick Satan; not Hoke.  Not to say he couldn't come back and make us better, but the immediate impact on recruits would set us back.  Quite frankly, we can't afford to regress in that area.


No JH, keep RR.  Let him continue what he started.  I vote RR with a new DC/Staff.


January 4th, 2011 at 10:34 AM ^

I'm not sure why I got negged for asking the question, but thanks for the reply.  He certainly sounds like a giant step down from JH.  The only note I'd have is that the Big East, despite is AQ status, is minor league as well.  C'mon Jim!  C'mon Jim!


January 4th, 2011 at 10:15 AM ^

I agree. Harbaugh fever is causing Hoke to get some unfair treatment from the fanbase.
<br>He may not have a very coach-sounding name, but the man knows how to coach!


January 4th, 2011 at 10:43 AM ^

I'm just concerned about his ability to recruit the big names.  Not the small names that are coachable and can win in lesser competition.  Unfortunately, those guys won't help us too much against B1G and Alabama (2012).

If you ask an undecided recruit, without ties to a specific place, if they want to talk to Hoke, RR, or Saban; I can tell you what their answer will be.  In order!

kind of a big deal

January 4th, 2011 at 10:23 AM ^

after Carr retired, we had to settle on our 3rd (possibly 4th choice) and hire RR.  What makes anyone think that someone better is out there and would want to come to this mess?


Oh yea, "Cuz we're Michigan, rah rah rah"....  We're actually a joke right now, and if Harbaugh doesn't come we'll be in the middle of yet another drawn out coaching search.


January 4th, 2011 at 10:48 AM ^

the contention that RR was low on our totem pole, and even that he was an unattractive hire, is pure horsepucky.  

"Rodriguez is everything a Michigan fan could want in a hire; to get him after the month-long disappointment train that was the coaching search is manna from heaven." -- MGoBlog, 17 December 2007 (


Let's not be revisionist here.


January 4th, 2011 at 10:16 AM ^

I'm warming up to the idea. He has been very impressive in his last two head coaching jobs. Can't argue with that. He will just need to bring in a top notch staff and I'll be content with Hoke.


January 4th, 2011 at 10:22 AM ^

He has been very impressive in his last two head coaching jobs.

He was 34-38 at Ball State (with exactly one impressive season out of 6) and is 13-12 at SDSU. We must have different definitions of "very impressive."

If he's the next coach, so be it, and I hope he does great, but let's not kid ourselves into thinking that he's done anything to legitimately merit him being even considered for the job.


January 4th, 2011 at 10:59 AM ^

For some perspective on what consititutes "very impressive", Hoke took over a 6-6 Ball State team and spent the next 4 years under .500.  It wasn't until Year 5 that he had as many wins as the year before he got there.   

To compare, Urban Meyer took over a 2-9 Bowling Green team and went 8-3 and 9-3.  

Everyone on here is not satisfied with incremental improvements from Rodriguez in 3 years, so you want the guy who took 5 years at a small MAC school to improve to the same record RR had this year. 

Hoke is not some undiscovered gem.  He seems to be a "good" coach.  I think there is very little evidence that he is a "great "or even a  "very good" coach. 



January 4th, 2011 at 11:14 AM ^

I'm warming up to the idea of blowing chunks if Hoke is our next coach.  It's not like he is a brilliant up and comer.  He is a fucking Michigan Man retread.  Maybe we can get the old band together? Where are all of the other old Michigan retreads we can find coaching linebackers or tight ends in the NFL?


January 4th, 2011 at 10:16 AM ^

It also took Hoke SIX years to get that underrated season. And they got sent to Bolivian in the bowl game. Hoke is third maybe fourth option.


January 4th, 2011 at 10:16 AM ^

Who said anything about Randy Shannon? I don't remember hearing anything on him as a potential candidate. I don't know though, I still don't think Hoke is a proven coach yet. Nothing against him, but he is not #2 on the list.


January 4th, 2011 at 10:18 AM ^

In 2008, he took bottom-dweller Ball State to an undefeated MAC record and national ranking

You're aware that he started coaching at Ball State in 2003, correct? And that prior to 2008, he was an astounding 22-37. He presided over that bottom-dweller for quite some time.

Moe Greene

January 4th, 2011 at 10:19 AM ^

In 2011, he would unite the fractured fan base which has created huge program perception problems.


I think at this point any new name in the job would help - but don't see Hoke as a panacea here. Brian would be on suicide watch for one.


January 4th, 2011 at 10:19 AM ^

a lot better coach than anyone here gives him credit for.  Now is he JH?.... no he is probably a step or a half step behind.  But make no mistake, the guy can coach.


January 4th, 2011 at 10:19 AM ^

Nothing against Hoke, but with all this CC stuff, I think my lungs are filling with fluid and my eyes are turning into goop. If I make it through this, it will be a miracle.


January 4th, 2011 at 10:23 AM ^

Hoke isn't the end of the world assuming we also pony up big bucks for some skilled coordinators.  If you did some variation of the "Getting the Band Back Together" and called the best of the Carr home plus threw major money at some hot young names you'd get a staff that wouldn't make me cringe.  If Carr says Hoke is qualified to coach in the B10, I'll trust Carr.

Although if you're doing that, throw major money around on the D side of the ball, get a Special Teams coach and give a grad assistant a tazer.  The GA's only job is follow RR around and if he tries to tamper with the D or a kicker he gets zapped.  Have Carr and Moeller lead the search for the D-Coord and make it clear to RR that he is not to touch that side of the ball.  If that fails I guess you go with "Dump truck full of cash" and "Urban Meyer's driveway".

Personally I'd take Hoke over Fitzgerald.  Hoke did time on Carr's staff (up to the level of assoc head coach) and clearly wants to be here (whereas we'd be ripping Fitzgerald away from his alma mater if he came).  Bo's assistants worked out damn well for us (despite Moeller's shitty record at Illinois) so I'm willing to try hiring off the Carr tree.