CC: A case for Hoke

Submitted by QuarterbackU on January 8th, 2011 at 6:23 PM

Let me start by saying I was really hoping Harbaugh would be the guy in Ann Arbor.  My undergrad bridged the transition between Carr and RR, and it was tough to live through the rough few years...suffice it to say, I was frustrated and I thought JH might be the man to bring us back. an effort to be fair to Brady Hoke, I did some research on some program history.  By all accounts, we're looking for someone to be the guy for a while, someone like a Bo, who remains the benchmark of M Football coaching.

Bo only had one head coaching job before Michigan, he was assistant at a few bigger schools before landing the head job with Miami (Ohio, NNTM), which is, for the record, a MAC team.  Let me say that again: his only job before Michigan was at a MAC school.  In six seasons, Bo was 40-17 with Miami, which of course will cause the inevitable RABBLE, RABBLE of "Hoke had some bad seasons in the MAC!"

Hoke was 34-38 in six seasons with Ball State, and is 13-12 in two seasons with SDSU.  However, here is where the scene was a bit different between Bo and Hoke's first jobs: Bo took over a Miami program which had not had a losing season in 21 years, winning multiple conference championships in that time.  Hoke took over a Ball State program from Bill Lynch (current IU coach), which had not had a winning season in 8 years, and during that time went 1-10 and 0-11 in consecutive seasons under Lynch.  By his last season at Ball State, Hoke went 12-1 and won the MAC conference before leaving for SDSU.  

When Hoke arrived, SDSU had not had a winning season since 1998, going 39-78 in that time.  In 2010, his second season, Hoke led SDSU to 9-4, and a win in their bowl game.  SDSU had not won a bowl game since 1969, and their last appearance was 1998.

Seems like he has been able to turn around several programs which were in the cellar.  I, like many, Brian included, was pretty indignant at the idea of Hoke being the next Michigan coach when rumors started swirling, but after doing this research, plus several ringing endorsements, plus his Michigan connection, plus his great love of M football and desire to coach here, have me thinking...

So, not saying he should be next in line, but some food for thought...



January 8th, 2011 at 6:27 PM ^

Start making the case for the dozens of head coaches who are infinitely more qualified than Brady Hoke.  Where is the case for Jeff Tedford?  Dirk Koetter?  Tom O'Brien?  Mike Riley?  Jim Grobe?  Pat Hill?  Gary Barnett?

Those guys haven't had easy jobs.  The difference is they have actually been successful.  The list is a lot longer than that and I'm sure we could get one of them to agree to take a bunch of money to come coach Denard at Michigan.

Brady Hoke is not an option.


January 8th, 2011 at 6:39 PM ^

Brady Hoke is a guy that uncreative message boards have decided is the default candidate as the result of his tenuous connection to the Michigan football program.  If he is actually an option for our athletic director when the list of better candidates could potentially reach triple digits, then Dave Brandon is retarded.

I refuse to believe that he is until he proves otherwise.


January 8th, 2011 at 6:49 PM ^

He coached at Michigan from 1995-2002, and was promoted to Assistant Coach before he left.  His position (D-Line) was a dominant group.  His connections are more than tenuous. 

He's also the default choice because he is publicly campaigning for the job.  He's eager to please, and hungry.  That means something to me (even if there are a few candidates I want more than him, including Miles).


January 8th, 2011 at 6:38 PM ^

I will make the case for Tedford.  He's done a good job at a meh place to coach, and Berkeley has similar institutional politics (well, even crazier politics).

We can even arrange a meeting between UM and Tedford at my discount tent at Kezar Stadium.


January 8th, 2011 at 6:45 PM ^

He was the offensive coordinator at Oregon when they had back to back top10 finishes.  Before that he was the OC at Fresno State where David Carr and Trent Dilfer became top10 picks.  He's 72-43 at Cal, 44-33 in the Pac 10 at a time when SC had the strongest program in the country and at a school with terrible recent history.  He produces NFL running backs like clockwork.  Has had four top25 finishes and won 5 bowl games.  He is only 49 years old.  He's making way less money than we could pay and is at an institution that has proven they don't value football with delays in stadium/facilities renovation.

You would have to be insane to hire Brady Hoke ahead of Jeff Tedford.  That took me five minutes.  Now somebody else come up with another legitimate candidate.

Little Brown J…

January 8th, 2011 at 6:29 PM ^

I would be happy with Hoke, but I also think that it would be better to reach out to stronger candidates, with Hoke as a safe pick in case we can't get a top notch coach.  But I agree, I think people just hear Brady-Hoke-not-a-big-name-coach-yadda-yadda and automatically dismiss his credibility without looking into it further. 


January 8th, 2011 at 7:39 PM ^

After the embarrasment on thinking we had Harbaugh just to lose him to the pros and then the quick slaps in the face from PF and GP, and likelihood of the only reasonable head coaches we might get are Miles and Hoke, that is exactly why everyone (on this blog) is down on him.  We want people to respect U of M football again and people on this blog believe we need a hot-named coach to accomplish that.

It took Hoke about 5 years as a FIRST TIME head coach to turn around a terrible football program, but he did.  What marginally decent football talent in the state of Indiana gets super excited to go to Ball State?  Even Indiana and Purdue are much more exciting options. 

Since we hired RR, Hoke had been putting together 2 successful seasons.  The only unsuccessful year he had was a transition period when he took another poor program out of the broom closet. 

Hoke won't win much at Michigan the next 2 years because 1) he doesn't have any talent on this team-minus DR and MM- and 2) the 2012 schedule is hellish.  But he's not a bad choice and after the highly publicized fiasco with RR, I wouldn't mind having a "quieter" option.


January 8th, 2011 at 6:29 PM ^

At this point, I won't mind Hoke; the problem is, we just threw away a 3 year, multi million dollar investment, to hire a coach with less credentials and experience.  That's what bugs me.


January 8th, 2011 at 8:27 PM ^

Thank you.  "Downgrade" is a stupid word to use to describe almost any coach that succeeds RR.  Again, RR overall is not a bad coach.  However, he was obviously not the right coach for Michigan.  He could win OOC games against mediocre-to-bad teams, but got us killed in Big 10 play three years straight.  In terms of being a Michigan coach, RR was the "downgrade", not his ultimate successor.


January 8th, 2011 at 6:33 PM ^

For some reason from what I've read on this board Hoke just isn't good enough based on the situation we're in. Can he be a great coach and turn around the program maybe maybe not. Either way its hard to choose between him and Miles....

formula 1

January 8th, 2011 at 7:37 PM ^

Lloyd retired a few years back. He will always be apart of the Michigan family. The problem is that he's not running the Athletic Department. Obviously he's in DB's ear giving him advice, but I would hope that the sole reason for hiring the coach isn't because he would/wouldn't have Carr's overt backing.

Does this mean that being a 'Michigan Man' is the only way to be accepted as the head coach? I would think that's why some of these potential non 'Michigan Man' candidates are looking at this job and then running away from it once their name is brought up.

Hail 2 M

January 8th, 2011 at 6:38 PM ^

I love how all the Hoke haters just rage about how he's not an option and comes from the MAC. Good reasoning and facts to support your opinion. I hope we do get Hoke now that I also have done a little researching into him.


January 8th, 2011 at 6:48 PM ^

everyone who has been shooting Hoke down has been providing facts (losing record overall; despite what the OP is insinuating he took over a 6-6 program at Ball State and didn't match that for 4 years; never been a BCS level coach; has a "get off my damn lawn you kids" mindset about the spread offense).  It's not that he sucks, it's that he's not good enough for this job at this moment in time when we need as close to a home run as we can get to save a program in a precarious position.

There really isn't much rebuttal, and throwing around comparisons to Bo freaking Schembechler don't really help with realistic expecations for him. 

He's an adequate candidate.  For this job, he should be Plan H after Plans A-G fall through.

Section 1

January 8th, 2011 at 8:26 PM ^


If Brady Hoke had been a really good and clear choice, he'd have been announced yesterday.

The "case for Hoke" is that he might be the guy we're stuck with in the wake of the disastrous and ill-advised firing of Rich Rodriguez.

Re: "BD".  You meant "DB", yes?  Is it text-speak to refer to everybody by initials?  Is it a Twitter thing?  Because I might trust "BD" with our coaching future right now:

West Texas Blue

January 8th, 2011 at 6:39 PM ^

Well good luck with Hoke, cuz he doesn't like the spread offense and you can kiss Denard goodbye and it'll be another 2-3 years of rebuilding the offense ON TOP of rebuilding the defense.  If Hoke can't win 7 games next year (which I don't think he will if he completely changes the offense's style), then it's gonna be the same shit as RR; losing record, tons of negative recruiting ammo for our rivals, loss of practices, etc).  I just think we're fucked for 2 years with Hoke; maybe he'll turn it around, but at least with Miles we should make a bowl game next year and gain some momentum recruiting wise, practices, and continued rebuilding and developement of the defense.


January 8th, 2011 at 6:41 PM ^

Watch their bowl game against Navy.  You can say "Oh it's just Navy!" but he's playing a team who in recent years have been a lot better than his team.  The main argument that Hoke is winning on a lower level is weak,  because he is coaching with talent similar to his opponents.  If you look at their schedule they lost to Mizzou (10-3) by 3, Brigham Young (7-6) by 3, TCU (13-0) by 5 and Utah(10-3) by 4.   Those 4 teams went a combined 40-12.


January 8th, 2011 at 6:51 PM ^

At Duke.  He called plays for Peyton and Eli Manning, won a national title as the offensive coordinator at Tennessee, then went 44-29 at typical SEC doormat Mississippi.

There is another guy who has proven to be an excellent head coach and had elite level success as a coordinator.  He is a far better choice than Brady Hoke.  Let's add him to the long list of guys we can bring up other than Hoke.