DetNews Article on Dave Brandon

Submitted by Tha Quiet Storm on November 23rd, 2010 at 11:09 AM

It's written by Lynn Henning so take it for what it's worth.

Relevant bits:

"The past two years have been difficult, and while this year is feeling easier, (football) is still not where it needs to be," Brandon said, sitting at a small conference table, bottled water in hand.
"We got spoiled for 40 years. And let me tell you, our fans aren't very good at handling losing. And heaven forbid that they do."
"I think what we learned is that there are two ways for a leadership transition to take place," Brandon said, speaking of Carr's retirement in 2007.  "One is to have an internal candidate, and another is to have an external candidate.  "If it's internal, it makes it easier to adjust to the future, and if it's external, it's something of a disadvantage.  "Bo and Gary Moeller (Moeller succeeded Schembechler following the 1989 season) made for an easy transition.  They knew each other and coached together.  It was the same when Lloyd took over (1995).  But what we found out when Lloyd decided to retire is that there was no logical successor.
"There was going to be a new staff, a new philosophy. It created a stir in the program."  Brandon added: "Everybody wants to believe there's no price to be paid (for change)."
"If you want to coach here, you've got to understand the expectations are very high," he said.  "There are not a whole lot of things our coaches long for here. You come here, and we give you a lot of tools.  "We expect to compete, and we want to have a program that regularly competes for championships.  "If there is progress, we continue to invest in the program. If you wake up and see that we're moving sideways, and you don't see a clear path to success, that's when you think about making changes."



November 23rd, 2010 at 11:16 AM ^

the same ringing endorsement was not made in the article for Rich.  Just pointing it out....  i noitced it immediately this morning when i read this article.   But, Henning might have left that part out of it too, who knows?  

Feat of Clay

November 23rd, 2010 at 11:30 AM ^

I think, given the level of frustration some fans feel, he couldn't come out with as strong a vote of support for RR as he could for Belein (whose tenure has less emotion wrapped up in it).  I think DB has to sound somewhat neutral on the topic. 

At the end of the season whatever he decides is going to piss off some major contingent of fans; you want those pissed-off people to believe DB was at least thoughtful about it, and considered their feelings up until the end.  So he can't tip his hand early.  I think his tone--no matter what his true feelings--will always be mildly supportive for morale purposes, but not so supportive that the haters freak out and double their letter-writing.


November 23rd, 2010 at 11:38 AM ^

It might not be the BEST thing for him to do, but isn't he going to take a bigger PR hit if Rich stays and fails?  Not brutal, but more of one.  If he goes the easy route, and fires him, who really gets mad? I few super vehement Rich fans, maybe.  But most either want him gone, aren't so sure, or have enough faith in Brandon to say if Dave thinks he should be gone, they'll trust him.  I think the media and the Rich out at any cost people will explode if he stays, but I'm not sure DB gets a lot of flak the other way. However, I don't think this will change his decision, whatever it may be, in the least.


November 23rd, 2010 at 12:17 PM ^

is a bit silly, but I fully support Rich Rod, both because I truly do believe he's an excellent coach and because I think he seems like a genuinely good guy.

I don't fully support Harbaugh, and wouldn't if he were the UofM coach.  I'd still root for the team obviously, but I'd do so less enthusiastically.  I have no trouble believing that he's an excellent coach, but he's also something of a jerk (going for two against USC was inexcuseable) and I don't want to root for a team coached by a jerk.  It's why I wouldn't want Urban Meyer as the Michigan coach even if you promised it would lead to 3 national championships. 


November 23rd, 2010 at 12:34 PM ^

Maybe the board more than you, personally.  The All-In thing is played.  But would you feel the same way if Harbaugh was not the coach, but Rich was still fired by Brandon? Is it an objection to Harbaugh (which may be fair), or is it a "anyone but Rich Rod" objection? And in any case, are those out there who have problems with Rich doing what you're doing with Harbaugh?  I mean, I don't really have a problem with someone not being for one coach or another, if they think that's best for the program. I have a problem with those (and I don't get the feeling you're one of them) who favor (or hate) a coach more than the program, and are supporting/attacking that person and would rather be right than the program get better.


November 23rd, 2010 at 12:39 PM ^

Given Rich Rodriguez's track record and the legitimate strides the offense has made, I don't think it makes sense to fire him unless you can guarantee that you're getting an absolutely top flight coach.  You can't fire Rodriguez and end up with Brady Hoke, not when there are actual reasons to think the program is on a decent track.

As it looks right now, the only top flight coach on the market is Jim Harbaugh (I love Malzahn but he's never been a head coach), who I really, really don't want to be at Michigan because of the aforementioned douchebaggery.  Given that, I think firing Rodriguez after this season would be a substantial mistake. 


November 23rd, 2010 at 12:19 PM ^

If rich gets fired I can see him as the next coach at Miami... Randy shannon is on the hot seat and the way this staff recruits florida it would be a perfect fit... Denard follows coach rod along with dee hart, ricardo miller, dallas crawford, and wouldn't be surprised if devin gardner followed..  Miami defense is always strong and rich wouldnt have any problem recruiting the top defensive talent to Miami.. That team would be a national championship team in two years.. I don't want this to happen because Michigan is starting to turn the corner with how coach rod likes to build his teams. Michigan will have a damn strong football team next year on both sides of the ball.  But hey this is Michigan we need a Michigan man running this team like Bo...  Big ten football, pocket passer with strong fullbacks and tight ends.  Not hillbilly idiots from west virginia not knowing the law of the land of the big ten..  Oops I forgot, but some really good coaches are dumb hillbillys from west virginia with names of Yost, Holtz, Saban, Fisher, and yes Rodriguez


November 23rd, 2010 at 12:30 PM ^

I doubt he's two years away from a National Championship anywhere, here included. Even if all those players leave to follow him (which I highly doubt...particular Devin), they'd all have to sit out next year, so I don't think they're all jumping into Championship caliber roles in year 2. If it was that easy, we wouldn't still be struggling now, and we'd be ready to win a National Championship last year...or this...or next.  Because he'd face the same "lost recruiting class not his own till 2012" and have to change the system again.

But there's not much point in either of our speculations. He hasn't been fired.  The season's not even done yet.


November 23rd, 2010 at 11:21 AM ^

But, in my opinion, regardless of how any of us feel (and the content on this board shows we are quite divided) Dave has yet to make up his mind. 

Let me check that, either Brandon has his mind made that Rich will not return, or he is undecided and will really wait till season's end to evaluate.

I don't think he has made his mind up that Rich will be back for sure, or he would have stated it clearly (extension?) The idea that uncertainty is detrimental to the program and recruiting is likely not lost on this man. 


November 23rd, 2010 at 11:33 AM ^

a very logical and rational viewpoint. 

If DB had already made up his mind that RR would be back next year for a "prove it" season, he would have said, "I 100% support RR as our football coach.  He will be here in 2011."  Simple, straight forward, and it would end the damn speculation.  There would be ZERO harm in doing so, and a ton of upside.  He has not done this.  Not even close.

Rather, he has consistently put off the issue for the end of the season, allowing the uncertaintly to hang over the program, over the team, over RR's recruiting efforts and over the already unhappy fanbase.  He would only do this if (1) he was planning to fire RR at the end of the season (which I don't think he has yet decided), or (2) he really does plan to sit down, go through every single aspect of the program and decide then.


November 23rd, 2010 at 11:39 AM ^

I take that term to refer to either:

(1) a vote of confidence in our be-dreaded QB, Denard, or

(2) a vote of confidence offered by our be-dreaded QB, Denard (such as the one that he offered about our defense during this week's presser).

Either way, a vote of confidence in or by Denard is a good thing.


November 23rd, 2010 at 5:01 PM ^

The cliché of coaches getting the vote of confidence and then getting canned a month later is overdone.  Most of the time, it doesn't happen.  Carr got a few votes of confidence from Martin, when there was some discord after losses.  Beilein's getting them from Brandon right now.  I don't think any coach would complain about his AD publicly supporting him.


November 23rd, 2010 at 11:30 AM ^

The sense I got from this article, with regard to Beilein is that he has a coach whom is highly respected among his peers, who can make Michigan competitive under tough circumstances, and who will likely be able to make Michigan even more successful when he has facilities on par with the rest of the Big Ten.  He also knows that Michigan fans want winning basketball, but not at any cost.

As for the "ambiguity" of not saying he's extending Coach Rodriguez, well, if he does, then that's the story this week and that isn't on message.  He loses nothing by having one more week of evidence, he gains nothing by tipping his hand.  He likely has a sense of what must be done, but there's no way he's telling you, me, or anyone.


November 23rd, 2010 at 11:42 AM ^

I'm less concerned about Beilein, because I don't think anyone is really planning on him on being a savior and winning big time with the program anymore. They're taking a slow route to rebuilding.  Beilein is here to improve the program as we get the facilities in order, and by the time all that happens, we'll have the tools, and be in a respectable enough place, that  will probably take till around when Beilein retires, Dave can go out and hire a big name coach, that can win big, championships at all levels. Because then we'll have a base to recruit, with respectable facilities, and a team that's not godawful.


November 23rd, 2010 at 11:59 AM ^

...due in large part to the fact that the legacy of the Martin scandal makes Michigan's MBB program unable to afford anything less than 100% squeaky cleanliness.

I think there's also confidence that Beilein is making good programmatic progress (2010-11 downturn and expected 2010-11 difficult season notwithstanding) and that the new PDC will attract rather than repel recruits.

Mr. McBlue and…

November 23rd, 2010 at 11:34 AM ^

It is clear that he will give Beilein the support Beilein needs, regardless of Ws and Ls.  It is also clear that he is not quite convinced of RR's future...he isn't a dumb man and does not want to get painted into a corner.  Beilein he trusts will do the right thing.  I don't know that RR has won over Brandon yet and we may not ever know.  It provides nice fodder but let's not discuss RR's status until after the OSU game.  Remember patience is a virtue.

(Reading between the lines, though, I don't know that it looks good for RR if we get manhandled by OSU based upon what positive things Brandon said about Beilein and not RR).


November 23rd, 2010 at 11:46 AM ^

We are not going to get manhandled by OSU.  We may lose, but we will not get manhandled.  The defense will probably give up 40+ points.  So?  I really do expect our offense to come out and put up somewhere around 40, as well.  RR and the players have said a few times that every week they practice something for the OSU game.  Should make for an exciting game.


November 23rd, 2010 at 11:39 AM ^

He knows we're going to freak out, excessively, but unlike a lot who says "we shouldn't have high expectations just because WE'RE MICHIGAN"...he wants us to have high expectations. It's just his job to determine how to best meet them.


November 23rd, 2010 at 11:53 AM ^

"There was going to be a new staff, a new philosophy. It created a stir in the program."  Brandon added: "Everybody wants to believe there's no price to be paid (for change)."

He's not happy about the situation, but understands why it exists.  Given that there's clear signs of progress (the last quote), he supports continued investing in the program.

I don't see anything to suggest RR's job is in any sort of jeopardy.


November 23rd, 2010 at 11:54 AM ^

I don't want to reduce all of college hoops to a single criteria, but, I did notice something a few years ago.

I'd be interested if someone charted the records of MSU and OSU in hoops for the 4 or 5 year periods both BEFORE and AFTER the opening of Breslin and ValueCity.  I recall OSU, which was fledgling for a while in hoops, suddenly got real, real good about 2-3 years after Value City opened.  And not just men's, but lady's hoops too.  Plus OSU hockey got real competitive.

Whereas UM hoops has never gotten out of the muck for 20 years, and the Ed Martin scandle can only go so far.  (Still can't stand the sight of CWeb.  That's another story.)  The fact our building is 230 years old, which in "building years" means 23,423,412.6 years, unquestionably has to be a factor.  Recruits just aren't drawn to a program stuck in Crisler, compared to Breslin or VC or other new, flashy stadiums.

It's not the panacea, obviously, but I think DB has it right -- as long as the BB facilities suck in comparison to our rivals, our program can't get to the top level.


November 23rd, 2010 at 11:56 AM ^

He had every opportunity to support RR and he didn't. He kinda ducked the opportunity. So of course that means something. If he were sure re retaining RR, there would be absolutely no reason not to back him the way he backed JB. On the week of the OSU game, no less. And he knows how his words will play in the media. He's waiting to see how we fare in Columbus. How could anyone suggest otherwise?


November 23rd, 2010 at 12:00 PM ^

I can't add anything of worth to the discussion. I'll just say I'm very glad DB is the AD, I have full confidence in RR, and I believe that DB will say more or less the same thing within the next few weeks. It's just, the contract extension, and the public comments made re RR & the football team (as well as private comments we aren't privy to,) are based on the whole body of work. He can't comment intelligently until AFTER the OSU game, because that is a critical component of "the whole body of work."


November 23rd, 2010 at 12:23 PM ^

on his record so far, based apparently on the legacy of Ed Martin and the facility issues. I don't have any problems with JB as coach, but whose third year as HC will turn out to have been more disappointing—Beilein's, or RR's?

Based on other things Brandon has said recently, I concluded that RR was going to return. However, this statement (assuming that the News didn't selectively leave out other statements) is as tepid a statement of implied support as I can imagine... if I were RR, I certainly would not be reassured by it.

That's not to say that Brandon doesn't have plenty of reasons for concern about the football program.


November 23rd, 2010 at 1:06 PM ^

Could it be that Brandon needs to wait until after the season and the last couple of games to assess the defensive side of the situation, weighing the youth and inexperience with the progress of those inexperienced youthlings (i.e., their coaching), and have meetings with RR to analyze what's happened/likely to happen and see if they're on the same wavelength?  If he feels it's not only youth/inexperience, those discussions might include such things as RR's willingness to take more or less responsibility on that side of the ball and openness to possible defensive/special teams coaching changes even if it involves personal friends RR's loyal to, etc.  We are getting good recruits, and I agree with those who think RR's departure would make us lose some of those prized recruits, leaving us again with a bare cupboard and a possibility of having to start all over again. 

From what Brandon's said in the past, I'd like to trust that his decision will take the future into consideration as much as the recent past. 

PS:  Was the interview before or after Justice Hayes' re-commitment?


November 23rd, 2010 at 1:02 PM ^

because he needs to see how competitive, if at all, they will be against OS and their bowl opponent. If they get mauled like they did against Wisconsin, MS, PS, and Iowa then clearly the program is very far from being in the first tier of A-1 football.

Waiting for the players to mature is not how you run a successful football program.


November 23rd, 2010 at 2:07 PM ^

DB is a keen marketer, who has shown his smarts in various ways this year, be it in Big Ten meetings, handling the NCAA thingy and Media in general.

1. Is it possible DB wants to keep his team in the press by staying the course with his media answers? i.e. there is no such thing as bad press (also why would he give a unified answer of support to Lynn and not Angelique?)

2. Does DB want to see how the recruiting process goes since RR has had some issues with boarder line recruits the past few years? Also, have recruits been given word of RR's status, seems odd that Hart and Hayes are in and both could wait given their rankings and offers.

3. Is the wait for what is out there in the coaching ranks delaying a final decision, whether it's HC or DC?

I personally feel a decision has been made in favor of RR (no proof, just a gut feeling) but why leak it to the MSM? Why not control the truth to the recruits who come to campus and ask the specific questions? I feel DB is savy enough to control the correct message in house and let the talking heads speculate.


November 23rd, 2010 at 5:16 PM ^

You make it sound like there's some strategic disadvantage to having outsiders know that your coach is staying.  There is a clear advantage in doing so - it removes the uncertainty that can harm recruiting - but I'm not sure what the disadvantage would be. 


November 23rd, 2010 at 10:31 PM ^

Maybe "leak" wasn't the right word, but I feel that the first question coming from recruits is about the status of RR and all I hear is how the recruits are getting their questions answered. I just have a feeling that by gaining spread RB's in Hart and Hayes, it says more about RR staying then leaving.


November 23rd, 2010 at 11:43 PM ^

That only works for recruits who are on their official visit and get the chance to meet Brandon.  What about all the rest?  They're being told by every opposing staff that RR will be fired and our AD is saying nothing publicly to refute it.  If he has, in fact, made up his mind to retain RR, he's crazy not to make it public.