Changing my opinion on the Hoke hire

Submitted by mGrowOld on May 12th, 2011 at 10:12 AM

As one of the more vocal supporters of RR and someone who felt Brian didn't go far enough in his disdain for the Hoke hire I must now publicly admit it looks like I was wrong.  Very wrong.  If you break down what a person has to do to be a successful college football coach I think the major buckets look something like this: 

Assistant coach selection: check

Recruiting: double check

Game planning: ?

Halftime adjustments: ?

With half the precincts reporting in, so far this has been a Hoke landslide.  He has massively exceeded my expectations in the first two categories and I'm now more than a bit optimistic he'll do the same in the last two. 

Maybe Brandon DID know what he was doing after all.  Go figure....a guy with his credentials, background and insight knew more about selecting the right coach to lead the football program I love than me.





May 12th, 2011 at 10:18 AM ^

I didn't like the hire when it happened, but I'm a UM fan first and foremost so I decided to just wait and see how Hoke would do. So far he certainly hasn't disappointed and it shouldn't be long till we return to tough, physical defense and consistently competing for Big Ten Championships. 

Flying Dutchman

May 12th, 2011 at 2:24 PM ^

I think we are going to need the Love Boat.

I hated the hire "on paper".  Since then, this man has said all of the things that I needed to hear in his various interviews.  I'm hoping that he now can recruit the talent to this top-flight program that will produce sustained winning, which is not what his overall record shows at Ball State and SDSU, where you can't attract this caliber of talent.

Mitch Cumstein

May 12th, 2011 at 10:18 AM ^

While I agree Hoke has been impressive with just about everything so far (especially recruiting), we haven't seen his team in action on the field yet (I don't count the spring game).  I'm really excited to see what the final product looks like in the fall (at least the 1 year final product). 


Also, with respect to recruiting, I remember reading something right when he got hired talking about how Hoke was in on kids at SDSU that they had no business getting to visit.  While he might not have been landing them, that at least gave me some optimism of his recruiting abilities.  So far he has exceeded expectations on that front.

MI Expat NY

May 12th, 2011 at 10:42 AM ^

It's a great start to recruiting, but we still need to land a truly elite player or two in order to complete the class.  Hoke's excitement about the program has certainly helped land Michigan kids, which is nice, but will it translate to 5-star type players on a national scale?  

In my opinion, the hire should be judged only on wins and losses.  My expectations on this front has been raised from when the hire was first announced, based mostly on assistant coaching hires, but it still has to translate to the field, which is no sure thing.  This year is vitally important.  We lose talent in key places next year (DL, WR) without a lot to replace them going into a brutal schedule (ND, OSU, NEB on the road, Bama virtually on the road).  Then in 2013, we're going to be heavily relying on the last two classes, that were arguably the weakest rated classes in recent memory.  This is the year to win 10 games and continue Hoke's early momentum.  Lets hope he can do it!


May 12th, 2011 at 3:59 PM ^

Also important: right now all the buzz around the program is positive (a good part of that is Hoke's own doing of course) but how will Hoke handle adversity? The recruiting so far is great, but will they all hang around if we lose a few big games this year? How will he handle negative press?

He's doing a great job so far (better than I expected), but he has a ways to go before we reach a final verdict.


May 12th, 2011 at 11:54 AM ^

And there are people who loved RR that despised Lloyd Carr and (to this day) believe that he tried to sabotage the program.  

Conclusion: some people are just weird.

Section 1

May 12th, 2011 at 12:17 PM ^

The trifecta of stupid:

  • "DickRod"
  • "the spread will never work in the Big Ten"
  • "check out this Freep article"

And this guy is both your "buddy" and a putative "Michigan fan"? 

Creedence Tapes

May 12th, 2011 at 12:53 PM ^

I was a huge fan of Rich Rod, but it was apparent that he wasn't working out. After 3 years of suck I am glad as hell to be returning to our roots. I don't care if the spread works or doesn't in the big ten, what is true is the cliche "defense wins championships".


May 12th, 2011 at 3:56 PM ^

Call me naive but I supported Dave Brandon's "process" and liked the Hoke hire. I also supported RR from the beginning to the end and loved Lloyd Carr. I guess I just support whoever becomes coach but I also trust Dave Brandon. I don't how I would've felt if Les Miles was hired though.

Snidely Doo Rash

May 12th, 2011 at 8:34 PM ^

I would add that after the 3rd OSU drumming, I was ready to move on and was surprised at Brian and Mgoblog's collective tolerance and unwarrented support of RR's regime.  The coach was down in the mouth, the defense was in shambles, and the entire team lacked spirit by the end of each season.  

I was jacked that Harbaugh would take the job, and less than excited about Hoke at first.  That said, I would have taken Hoke over RR straight up after the bowl game and probably after OSU. 


May 12th, 2011 at 10:20 AM ^

Don't take this the wrong way, but until football is played we don't know much.  Ron Zook is a great recruiter.  That hasn't been that great by way of results.

That said, as far as what Hoke has had the opportunity to do he's been the perfect hire.  I really hope this trend continues, and I bet it will.


May 12th, 2011 at 10:25 AM ^

I think we're saying the same thing.  I have no idea (hence the question marks) how he'll do at the last two categories but he's knocking the ball out of the park in the first two IMO.  Which leads me to be optimistic he'll do the same in the last two.

So far so very good.  That's all.


May 12th, 2011 at 11:50 AM ^

Were you excited when Cullen Christian committed?  How about when we got Ricardo Miller*? What did you think of Patrick Omameh? And so on.

I'm happy recruiting has been good so far, and that we've gotten a bunch of three to four stars, many of whom also seem to be solid citizens, with no likely clunkers in the bunch.   It seems like it should be a lower-reaches of the Top 10 class. But it's WAY early to even say "the precincts have reported in and it's a landslide" about recruiting before they have even played a down.

I will not know if Hoke is a good hire until at least three years from now, if not more, unless he does incredibly well (e.g., wins a Rose Bowl this year or next) or incredibly bad (e.g., Denard regresses markedly and D is not much improved).  There was a funny post on EDSBS the other day about "Your coach makes a terrible book cover" which had an image of Ty Willingham for the book "Return to Glory."  Willingham was a man of integrity who had some initial success, but ultimately was not a success.  It's good to be excited, but let's play some football before we decide someone is or isn't good at being the HC of Michigan.


*(BTW: I'm not writing off R Miller; I just remember how excited we were when we initially got him ("one of the best in Florida!"), and he hasn't had an impact yet and looks not to be the world-beater we'd hoped).



May 12th, 2011 at 10:20 AM ^

is that he is PASSIONATE about the program. He genuinely believes in the Michigan program and system.

And that passion will rub off on the players and fans.

He is ... a Michigan Man.

UM Indy

May 12th, 2011 at 12:33 PM ^

he would've walked from San Diego to Ann Arbor (and meant it) to take the job, I really felt like we had the right guy.  Let's be honest, Harbaugh and Miles are about themselves, first and foremost.  I don't question their fondness for Michigan, but it's clear that Hoke LOVES Michigan with the kind of passion we have as fans.  He probably thought about returning to Michigan often, if not daily, while he was at Ball State and SDSU.  The guy landed his dream job and he's going to take advantage.  If he can coach even half as well as he recruits, we're going to be back in a big way.

Sextus Empiricus

May 12th, 2011 at 11:34 AM ^

I can't wait to see the O and the D for that matter.  ND will be very telling but not back breaking.  Recruiting is going well... there can be no question.

The other side of the coin has yet to drop.  We will not see the benefit of any of this recruiting class for a couple years.  Hoke will have to make something happen here these next two years with the guys he has.  This means making a spread O pro style with spread players.  The D has to work with developing the players we have.  It's "telling" that GMAT is talking playing time with his recruits. 

Regardless of how well it is going.  - there is going to be transition and bumps on this road.


May 12th, 2011 at 10:22 AM ^

Although I too am extremely pleased with the start to the Hoke era, I think it's definitely too early to pass judgement as to whether he was the "right" hire. In fact, I believe that sometimes you still can't judge a hiring even after the coach leaves. I don't consider Rodriguez to be a failure by any means; more of an incomplete. 

However I will say that I am pleasantly surprised by Hoke's immediate success on the recruiting front. I just wish we hadn't had to take a step back on offense in order to take steps forward elsewhere.