High Profile Hires

Submitted by 1464 on November 4th, 2014 at 6:05 AM
In my opinion, people on here are way too hung up about getting high profile people for our open AD and coaching spots. I do not care if the next AD was an assistant manager at a YMCA, as long as people came from four counties over to see such a well run YMCA for themselves. Dave Brandon was as high profile as one could get. Major CEO, political aspirations, news anchor hair. In hindsight, a well trained labrador would have been a better candidate. So if our next coach comes from some mining school in rural Colorado, fear not. I'd rather give a completely off the grid genius a chance than learn how stupid we would be to hire Miles, Kiffin, or Bielema.



November 4th, 2014 at 6:28 AM ^

When you look at the top coaches in college football, how many of them were hired by their current school as a hot head coach as opposed to a great coordinator.  Saban and Meyer jump out as the examples of those that were hot head coaches beforehand.  But, without having done a thorough study, I would bet most were good coordinators before this job. 

I, personally, would go for Hermann if I could not get Jim Harbaugh.  I think that is your best bet for lasting success, or even success.

Mr Miggle

November 4th, 2014 at 7:07 AM ^

Of the top ranked schools, #1 Miss St hired a hot coordinator. You have to go all the way down to #15 Nebraska to find the next one. Everyone in between was a already a HC or a coordinator at the school. No one was even close to being a hire out of left field like a mining school.


November 4th, 2014 at 10:34 AM ^

Malzahn was also very well known in Arkansas, where he got his first opportunity,  due to the massive success he had as a high school head coach. Many of the locals questioned hiring him as the OC because he jumped straight from high school to a D1 coordinator. Arkansas also thought it would create a pipeline of talent from the school he had been at. It worked as something like 8-10 kids from that school went to Arkansas and played key roles during their succesful run under Petrino.


November 4th, 2014 at 7:16 AM ^

Thank God you aren't hiring. We need someone that does have experience like Brandon did. He did a great job with facilities and would have succeeded had Hoke not sucked. He failed and hired the wrong guy and got all of the gimmicks going. I don't like Brandon because he did fail, but a YMCA ASM would fail at the job and get into legal troubles immediately. That would be a stupid hire.

Blue in Yarmouth

November 4th, 2014 at 8:03 AM ^

DB had experience running a below average pizza outfit. There is a big difference between making crappy pizza and running an AD the size of UM 's and I'd put forth that he did a terrible job of it from the get go. The facilities thing was something that has been in the works for ages, he just oversaw it. His biggest decision was hiring the football coach, which was a ridiculous hire. Then factor in all the insane things he did after that and he proved to be a person who had no business running an AD.

My adivce would be don't go after some corporate CEO who has no experience running an AD. Pick one of the myriad AD's out there who have already proven they know what it takes to run a successful AD and get them to jump on board., With the sheer size of the UM AD I would bet that almost all AD's of other schools would jump at the chance. Let's leave the CEO's where they are and go after a proven AD.


November 4th, 2014 at 10:15 AM ^

DB also paid coaches, which was not exactly a proclivity of previous Michigan ADs.  

How many people will be happy that DB is gone if we end up with an AD that puts Michigan more "in line with academics" and therefore decides that paying a coach top dollar would send the wrong message?  Plenty would be unhappy, as many were convinced that the reason we didn't have Harbaugh was because of DB.  

Many were tricked by John Bacon and others into believing that DB being gone would give us a shot at Harbaugh.  They are slowly starting to realize that DB was likely our best shot, as he was willing to spend money.

And, for the record, I wasn't thrilled with DB either.  But I'd gladly take Chobani Under the Lights and Harbaugh than academic focused AD and __insert name here__.  



November 4th, 2014 at 10:10 AM ^

You are taking my topic WAAAAY too literally.  Obviously, I did not mean that we start our job search at the local YMCA.  It was an exaggeration to better define my stance.  Of course you want someone with AD experience, but just because someone is at CMU or Dartmouth, that does not mean they are not qualified. 

Some successful AD's have been successful simply because of their circumstances.  It's easier for me to name coaches.

Miles is a strategic idiot.  He is only a winning coach because he can draw talent from all over Louisiana, and because he has had strong coordinators and position coaches.  If he does not get lucky again with an expert staff, he is a huge flameout at Michigan.

I guess that to restate my stance, some successful coaches are successful because they are good coaches.  Many are a product of a perfect storm of recruiting, donors, assistants, and guessing correctly on high school players.

Don't assume that if a coach is successful somewhere, that they will be successful at your school.  The transitive property works just as poorly here as it does in football.

On the other side of that coin, don't assume that if someone is the AD at McNeese State, that they cannot flat out direct athletics.  What if the AD at McNeese State took all of their programs to new heights?  Discovered coaches that now coach at major institutions?  You know what that tells me?  That this guy won due to his own acumen.  He doesn't have a historic school to sell, or funding to go after the big names coaches.  He built something out of nothing.

I guess, to wrap it up, even an idiot can keep a train on the tracks, so long as they do not run into any hairbend curves.



November 4th, 2014 at 11:17 AM ^

Miles? No, I do not want Miles here. I don't think anyone on here can give valid input though, as none of us know the real candidates. My opinion on Miles, though, is that he is not a great coach. I will be pretty bummed if he comes here.

I know Brian likes Stitt a lot, but I will never be close enough to a coaching decision to get the information I would need to form a solid opinion. My only takeaway is do not hire big names just because they are big names.


November 4th, 2014 at 4:11 PM ^

Just for fun I thought I would bring up some numbers between Stitt and another coach in Division 2.

Stitt record last three years: 6-5, 8-3, currently 8-1 and ranking 23rd in Division 2

2014 total offense to date: 535.9 yards/gm. ranking 2nd in Division 2, 44 offensive tds

Tony Annese record last three years/first three years with Ferris State: 7-4, 8-3, currently 9-0 and ranking 4th in Division 2

2014 total offense to date: 540.6 yards/gm. ranking 1st in Division 2, 58 offensive tds

I think it's an interesting comparison since I see Stitt's name pop up sometimes.  Both are relatively close to the same age.  Annese has brought back a garbage program in a hurry.  Annese has won a lot even though a lot of those wins have come at the high school level.  I've always wondered would you rather have a mediocre Division 1 coach who hasn't done much or someone who has proven to be elite at a lower level such as Division 2?  And yes I know neither of these guys will be at Michigan, but I think it makes for an interesting look at both guys.


November 4th, 2014 at 12:42 PM ^


Miles is a strategic idiot. He is only a winning coach because he can draw talent from all over Louisiana, and because he has had strong coordinators and position coaches. If he does not get lucky again with an expert staff, he is a huge flameout at Michigan.


So he just stumbled upon a really good staff and had nothing to do with hiring them?  And recruits just decided on their own to go to LSU, without any persuasion from the coaching staff?

I remember when Fred Jackson used his Louisiana contacts to pull guys out of there every year, often high-quality: Chris Howard, Anthony Thomas, James Hall, Adam Kraus, Ron Bellamy.  That doesn't happen much now that Miles is there.

Say what you want about the man's ethical standards, but when you're 130-47 as a coach (and 102-26 at LSU), you've got to be pretty good.




November 4th, 2014 at 7:17 AM ^

Not too old or too flashy - those are not long term solutions.

Hoke was probably a mid-cap type but we analysts overestimated the growth part. Sigh.

So, look at D-1/2 schools with (relatively) young, upcoming HC with success (and personality fit) and hire him. We have cupboard quite full so success will come sooner than later.


November 4th, 2014 at 7:41 AM ^

We risk the cupboard emptying itself out without a guy that has a lot of credibility to his name. A lot of college players want to go to the NFL, and they want to be coached by a guy who can get them there. Will a guy from the Colorado school of mines be able to do that? In their eyes, probably not.

This is the major draw a Miles has over a no-name guy from a mining school. He's a proven commodity, and players and recruits will recognize that immediately.

Genius or not, we cannot miss on this coaching hire, and I'm not convinvced a Stitt is the right move.

Edit: but I don't think this has a lot to do with the AD search. A guy from Dartmouth is completely capable of handing Jim Harbaugh a large check.


November 4th, 2014 at 10:18 AM ^

It's looking likely that we will miss on this coaching hire.  It's looking like people were bilked into believing Harbaugh wouldn't come if DB was here, when in fact DB was our best chance at landing Harbaugh.  

That's what it looks like to me.  Someone please rebut; I'd gladly welcome it.  


November 4th, 2014 at 11:03 AM ^

Certainly and egomaniac like Harbaugh is unlikely to take kindly to working for an egomaniac like Brandon.  Does Harbaugh want his AD in the film room?  And Harbaugh either declined Brandon's deal 4 years ago or wasn't extended an offer, either way there is some real evidence of at least some bad blood. 

Say Schlissel hires this guy from Northwestrn or the guy from Dartmouth (both unlikely), This strikes me as exactly what Harbaugh would accept. There would be no question as to who the bigger dog was.  The AD would quietly provide support to improve the track and tennis teams while Harbaugh and Beilien were left alone to do what they do.  The only question is whether Schlissel wants to pay a coach $7M which may be incompatable with the academic/athletic "balancing".

It's always been my suspicion that Brandon's ego demanded equal billing with the head coach - hence no Harbaugh.

Blue Mike

November 4th, 2014 at 11:07 AM ^

Rebut what?  Your unsubstantiated opinion?  How exactly is it looking like our coaching search is doomed to fail?  Just because Jim Harbaugh didn't quit the 49ers on Monday after Brandon was fired doesn't mean we were all "bilked" and now we're screwed.  

The process hasn't even started yet, and you've already condemned it?


November 4th, 2014 at 7:24 AM ^

Good point. If we go for a underrated AD it could benefit us. Brandon was a high profile AD and look at him now. We have 1-2 years to decide. Just get the best fit and best AD for Michigan.


November 4th, 2014 at 8:43 AM ^

It's probably more fair to say that Dave Brandon was a CEO of regional renown who was hired to be an AD, but I will say that I wouldn't mind the next AD to have some of Brandon's marketing and general business skills but much, much less (preferably none) of the attitude and tendency to micromanage. 

As for the timeline, I had thought it was closer to 9-12 months for Hackett. I would imagine that they would like to have someone in place before next fall if not sooner, and it gives Hackett time to be the guy that does the dirty work if wholsale changes to the football staff are coming, freeing any new hire from what would be their most pressing problem otherwise.

True Blue Grit

November 4th, 2014 at 9:42 AM ^

Hackett will also need to fix and restore the athletic department staff as necessary - specifically cleaning house of the Brandon yes-men/women, restoring morale, changing the philosophy, etc.  This assumes though that the new hire takes a while.  If the timeframe is a couple months, he may hold off on making a lot of staffing changes. 


November 4th, 2014 at 7:25 AM ^

I could care less about big names as long as people are competent, have excellent standards, and proven track records. 

The problem for UM is in terms of AD there are few "like" jobs out there.  On one hand a whole host of teams who are good at football don't care so much for "rules".  On the other hand there are only so many ADs who have to balance big time sports and academics... again I am not implying UM is some magic city on a hill in terms of academics for athletes but its a lot more part of the equation than many schools.  Outside of Stanford and UNC-Chapel Hill I cannot think of too many other similar schools with a lot of successful sports and an emphasis on academics... and we see what is happening at UNC as we speak.  Maybe you could throw a Wisconsin in there or Virginia as well. So you are taking a chance on most people because it's either a step up or a situation that is very different than most schools.  

You also have to take into account who can scale - UM's athletic revenue was north of $140M - 4th in the country.  Even if you go down to PSU at #12 - its just north of $100M.  This is a giant department relative to others.  Arkansas is at $100M so that's a guy who can scale - it wouldn't be overwhelming.   UConn is way down at $60M.   I mean CMU - thats $30M.  Different animals.

As for football coaches, there are a million ways to skin a cat.  Alabama did it with a name, other schools found an assistant, others hired a coordinator but most schools find a successful head coach at a lesser program.  And most dont go down to another division.  But again there are a lot of things specific to UM that are roadblocks that are self imposed and/or perception IMO.  So we are self limiting.

p.s. I wouldnt put freaking Kiffin in the same boat as Miles... or even Bielemna. 


November 4th, 2014 at 10:35 AM ^

Yes, that is the Michigan difference that must be avoided if you really expect to be elite.

Self limitation. Rationalization that eliminates brilliance as an option. 'We can do it with less', 'we don't need a big name' , why spend top dollar, that's not the Michigan way', etc.

Please just stop with the self limiting, rationalization.

Michigan has been an ostrich with it's head in the sand and it's ass exposed.

Just do the brilliant thing, period.

Jim MF Harbaugh.



November 4th, 2014 at 7:30 AM ^

While his team is just outside the top 15 currently, Bob Stoops in another coordinator who has had great success in his first job as a HC. Dana Holgorsen is doing quite well at W Virginia this year as well.

Surveillance Doe

November 4th, 2014 at 7:41 AM ^

Just because a guy who seemed good failed doesn't mean that guys who seem good will fail. Looking at it objectively, Brandon had no AD experience. We hired a corporate CEO. In hindsight, it wasn't so surprising that what he knew how to do was be a corporate CEO.
As for Hoke, the general response to his hire was disappointment and anger. Those attitudes didn't change until his press conference, which just goes to show why he's a might good recruiter. We want people who have a proven track record of doing the jobs we'll be hiring them to do.