Dave Brandon appreciation thread

Submitted by ClearEyesFullHart on July 10th, 2014 at 2:13 AM

For all the unwarranted criticism he gets around here, Dave Brandon is an exceptional human being.

He donated more than 4 Million dollars to build Mott Children's hospital, and contributed to the Michigan Stadium renovation fund before he even took the office.  He earned the Distinguished Alumni Service Award in 2007, The Bennie Oosterban Award for Service, Dedication and CEO Coach of the Year in 2008.  He raised 3 sons and a daughter, and "enjoys spoiling" his 7 grandkids.  

He took a 3 Million Dollar pay cut to take over an athletic department that was hemorhaging credibility like a stuck pig.  He was tasked with cleaning up his predecessor's disastrous 3,5,7 win football hire and a basketball team that after finally breaking into the tournament seemed to be sinking back into mediocrity at 15-17.

Brandon provided strong leadership and a stronger backhand through one of the darker(albeit ridiculous) chapters in Michigan football history.

He hired a coach who immediately breathed life into a program on the ropes.  That coach took a 5 win/yr team to an 11-2 record and a BCS bowl win. 

There have been some disappointments since then of course, but think where the program would be if that injection of credibility hadn't have happened.

He hired this man

And this man

Who have helped bring Michigan to the Championship game and the Elite Eight a year later.

He took this guy from the Ravens(and paid him)

And this guy from the 'Tide

(folks around these parts seem a little excited about that one)

He oversaw the rebuilding of Crisler Arena

which continues to help land elite recruits.

I think it is a fair assumption that Brandon has done more for Michigan athletics and the world at large than 99% of us on the board, a fact that can get lost in petty vendettas and very real differences of opinion.

In this man's opinion, Brandon has made very real sacrifices and deserves a great deal more respect than he gets on this board.




July 10th, 2014 at 6:56 AM ^

Agreed. While I agree most of what OP had to say, he took the average of RR against Hoke's best season. If you look at the direction that the wins each season was/is going RR was at least on the upswing and Hoke has been on the downswing. They both finished their third season with 7 wins. And it's not like Hoke magically built up the team in a single off season. I love Hoke, but that wording is completely disingenuous.


July 10th, 2014 at 9:02 AM ^

RR was 15-22 and BH is 26-13. Yes, Hoke's season win total has been trending down on paper, but we have to look at the total picture. in 2012, we had the toughest schedule that I can recall any team playing against. We played both teams in the BCS Championship game and an undefeated OSU. If it weren't for a disaster of a game by Denard, we win the ND game. They lost to South Carolina with 11 seconds to go. Last season, as hard as it was to watch, could have easily have been 10-3....and with 3 more wins, more confidence, and drawing a different team in the bowl game...who knows, but the injury to Devin probably makes that a moot point.

In RRs 6 losses in 2010 he lost 2 by 10 (Iowa and PSU), 1 by 17 (MSU), 1 by 20 (Wisconsin), 1 by 30 (OSU) and 1 by 38 (Miss St). Meanwhile they beat 8-5 ND by 4, 6-5 UMass by 5, 5-7 (1-7 in B1G) Indiana by 7 in which Denard scored the winning TD with 17 seconds remaining, and 7-6 Illinois by 2 in 3OT. They probably should have lost to Illinois and ND and could have lost to Indiana as well which would have put them at 4-8 (they would not have been bowl eligible, so the lost to Miss St is omitted; however, they did play and lost so that loss is not really hypothetical). It is likely RR would have improved in 2011, but I do not believe he would have done as well as Hoke with the improved defense. 

Moving forward from 2011, I think you would be hard pressed to argue RR would have done better than Hoke in 2012 and 2013 with the pieces that he recruited on the OLine. I would argue that Hoke/Mattison did magically build up the 110th ranked total defensive unit into the 17th ranked total defensive unit.



July 10th, 2014 at 10:15 AM ^

should not be in the equation when it comes time to make a decision on Hoke. To be fair, yes we beat Ohio State........Under Luke Fickle. We did have a good year outside of that, but that could also be because of Denard.

I watched the UTL 2011 game last night and it was so clear how much we put on DR, but without him that game is lost as well as about 5-6 more that year. The 1st 3 quarteers of that game were very clear about Borges and Hokes plans, then they let Denard be Denard in the 4th and we won.


July 10th, 2014 at 11:27 AM ^

WMU 34-10, ND 35-31, EMU 31-3, SDSU 28-7, Minn 58-0, Northwestern 42-24, Purdue36-14, Illinois 31-14, Nebraska 45-17, OSU40-34, VT 23-20 OT. By my count, OSU and VT are the only games here, other than ND that could have gone either way. Please tell me where the other 3-4 games are even close?

Obviously we would have been in trouble if Denard had gotten injured (IIRC this is the year Devin red-shirted) because we had no depth at QB. If you take the best player off of any team, a player that touches the ball on 100% of the plays that he is in the game for, you are obviously going to lose some games with no depth at that position. 


July 10th, 2014 at 2:08 PM ^

if the recruits are good you won't think they are crappy and will change your mind about them, and if they are not good you will act like an expert scout and say you knew they sucked all along? Its nice that you get to make negative comments about the players...and then if they prove you wrong, you reserve the right to take back your comment. You don't see a problem with this mentality?


July 10th, 2014 at 9:09 AM ^

Nobody said Brandon found LaVall or Bakari, but without the boss signing off, those hires don't happen.  There is some question on how involved DB was in finding Nuss.  The information I have is that DB retains a high end staffing firm to find coaches such as Nuss.


July 10th, 2014 at 2:58 AM ^

I don't think he's 100 percent evil. He brought us night games, massive renovations to every facility, the Winter Classic, the Man U/Real Madrid soccer game, more money for assistant coaches etc. which was stuff that no one before him did because "that was the way Michigan did it." I do hate not sending the band to Dallas, higher ticket prices, corporate advertising, and uniformz so he's not all good and not all bad. I feel like if we didn't hire him we'd still be hiring guys like Debord for 300K a year and we'd still be playing all of our games during the day. Hopefully we can get someone in the middle with our next AD.


July 10th, 2014 at 3:52 AM ^

Agree with most of what you said (particularly the sentiment that he's done some things I like and some I don't), but I think any AD we would have hired after Martin would have "gotten with the times" (e.g., paying assistant coaches considerably more) as I think that's been a national trend in the last 5-7 yrs among major profitable programs. 

Overall I dislike him more than I like him. His smugness and arrogance really came in handy with StretchGate, but I can't stand the way he values (largely short term) profit over tradition and the fans, and the tone deaf and condescending way he treats the fans' concerns. The Michigan "Brand" should be Michigan tradition and not needing to be like all the other programs. He's trying to run Michigan Athletics like Dominos Pizza, and that offends me personally. I just don't get how he doesn't seem to understand that so many Michigan fans used to take pride in the fact that unlike most other programs we didn't have to pander to the mighty dollar and the lowest common denominator (I'm looking at you, Special K) to be successful, make a profit, keep old fans, and foster new ones. 


July 10th, 2014 at 6:41 AM ^

I just dont understand comments like this about how he only values short term profits...if that was the case, why would he invest so much in new facilities for nonrevenue sports? When you make a comment like this, yiu are only focusing on the revenue side and are not looking at the expense side.

This is the key issue...he is squeezing more revenue out of revenue sports liike football and using money to improve experience for nonrevenue student athletes by making significant investments/improvements in those facilities. This issue gets magnified as the revenue increases are coming from high-touch areas for fans (like ticket prices for FB tickets) while the investment in nonrevenue comes in sports that affect a much lower number of fans.


July 10th, 2014 at 2:07 PM ^

Dave Brandon had absolutely nothing to do with hiring basketball assistant coaches.  Period.

Just because he signed off on the hires doesn't mean he was involved in the hiring process.  More than likely it was:

Dave: "John, you have $X for your hire.  I trust you'll make the right decision."

John: "I'm going with Y.  We made our offer, here's the counter offer."

Dave: "We can do that."  OR "We won't go there yet, but how about this."

At most, Dave did a bit of the financial negotiations.


July 10th, 2014 at 4:39 AM ^

But, really, aside from the huge hikes in student (and probably alumni?) tickets, it seems like he as done a solid job.  Basketball is going great, and Hoke is being surrounded by great coordinators.  


July 10th, 2014 at 6:22 AM ^

Looks like Dave Brandon is on MGOBLOG now! lol with that said... go home Dave, your Drunk!

Edit: I cannot wait for the comments this morning when people wake up... this thread might become legendary!!