Hoke and the future

Submitted by Sione's Flow on May 26th, 2013 at 7:04 PM

I've seen several articles where people have stated that Coach Hoke and this staff are "building something special".  My question to members of the board is what aspect of Coach Hoke and his staff's efforts are do you think is attributing to this?  Is it the level of talent, the character of the kids, the staff's being completely honest with recruits, etc.... 



May 26th, 2013 at 7:40 PM ^

Right, because we as fans must pump the breaks.  It doesn't matter what we as a fanbase thinks.  By the way, Hoke won 11 games in his first year with RR's players.  What more does he have to do or could he have done in his first two years.

Zone Left

May 26th, 2013 at 7:46 PM ^

People were writing the same thing when Michigan was 4-0 in 2009. Give it some time and see if they can start winning conference championships and competing for national title berths. If building something special is to reach the level of Bob Stoops' Oklahoma program, then we still have a long ways to go.

Sione's Flow

May 26th, 2013 at 7:51 PM ^

As a UM fan I wasn't sure about Hoke's hiring, after his first press conference, I was ready to drive to Columbus from Las Vegas and do donuts on the turf at the shoe.


May 26th, 2013 at 7:52 PM ^

That's a terrible comparison.  We finished 2009 5-7 and at that point RR had never won more than 5 games.  Hoke has already won 11 games and gone to a BCS Bowl and has signed 3 more 5 star recruits than RR ever did.  Brady's worst recruiting class is still better than RR's best recruiting class.  Also Brady Hoke's 8-5 record last year while disappointing was also better than any RR year and we played 4 top 10 teams on the road. 

Zone Left

May 26th, 2013 at 7:58 PM ^

I think you might have been replying to me. My point was that something special is more than just recruiting well or winning a BCS game. Something special in college football (to me) is a sustained run of excellence like that of Bob Stoops at Oklahoma.

People will write and say hyperbolic things because they are interesting to read and to hear. The actual accomplishments are much more important than the words used to describe the period leading up to them.

Perkis-Size Me

May 26th, 2013 at 7:54 PM ^

I just think its flat out honesty with the kids, and they respond to it. They can tell he isn't spewing bullshit out of his mouth like some coaches would. Hoke obviously wears his heart on his sleeve.

At the same time, he's shown over and over that he's an aggressive coach. He might be a little old school at times, and you can tell he comes directly from Fort Schembechler Academy, but when it comes to in-game strategy, he's aggressive. Going for it on 4th and 1, fake punts in the Outback Bowl. Hoke does not play Lloydball. He plays to win.

All Hoke needs to show now is just that he has the ability to win road games at places not named Purdue or Illinois.


May 26th, 2013 at 8:39 PM ^

Back up...  Hoke never coached with Bo...... Hoke is a pseudo-Moeller disciple....was hired by Moeller in the spring, and Moeller had that incident I think in the summer... and then Carr retained Hoke...... and I have feeling that Moeller guided Hoke all those years, in the background...  Hoke is a Moeller guy, who, by the way, is a very underrated coach in our world.


May 26th, 2013 at 7:57 PM ^

agree with winning road games but we haven't really had much opportunity when most of the road games were against teams that were really good.  Iowa in 2011 was inexcusable and we'll never know how Nebraska last year would have ended up if Denard didn't get injured.

Perkis-Size Me

May 26th, 2013 at 10:25 PM ^

Nebraska was given an extremely lucky break when Denard went down. Their porous defense had the luxury of getting to play against a RS freshman who'd only seen garbage time and had no real game experience. That's the only reason their defense looked any good that night.

I have no doubt we would have won that game had Denard not been injured. Have to figure that our defense was on the field at least 80% of the game and we held their offense, which I'll admit isn't bad, to 23 points. There's not much someone can say that would convince me Nebraska is an all around good team, much less a great one. I think we can put a serious beating on them next year a la 2011. They have no defense, and the team in general completely falls apart in big road games.


May 26th, 2013 at 7:57 PM ^

I think it's a mix of this staff being very good at finding the right type of kids by retaining/returning to the "Michigan Philosophy" but putting a needed modern spin on it. In reality, Mattison is really the only major difference in staff quality than what we had under Carr for most of his tenure. Hoke is very much like Carr in the way he will outright pass on a bad or questionable kid regardless of talent. Some kids just won't get a look if they have major character issues when other major programs would and hope for the best. Yet, kids can make mistakes so they never toss a player under the bus as much as use their mistakes to teach lessons (some repeat and then it's time to go, even when you'd love a deep threat WR when you are already thin there) and mold men as much as players. The modern twist is just the staff being a bit younger at heart than the Carr staffs and while both would give it to a recruit straight, Carr could be a bit droning given his personality and teaching background. Hoke IS one of the players as he openly admits he had "too much fun in college". He is mature and straight forward like Carr but can relate and capture a kid's attention much better. Then, Mattison is Mattison. haha. Period. I genuinely consider him a Co-HC. He is as much (if not more) to praise for the momentum as Hoke is. After Harbaugh I can honestly say Hoke was my #2 choice based on seeing some SDSU games. Yet, I didn't think we'd be where we are at momentum wise at this point. Knew we'd play better ball by now but thought it would take multiple years to get the attention of mega-recruits due to how badly the late Carr-RR tenure f'd us up.

Marley Nowell

May 26th, 2013 at 8:01 PM ^

The past two classes were mostly about locking down Midwest talent. This class has really been spread out across the country. Not sure if this was by design but clearly has worked very well.


May 26th, 2013 at 8:05 PM ^

Let's say that something special didn't happen under Hoke.  Does it really matter if Michigan fans were saying that Michigan was going to be real good under Hoke in 2013 on mgoblog?  It's a blog for a reason.  No one wants to say that Jabrill Peppers, Ondre Pipkins, Kyle Kalis and Derrick Green could bust when every team has a few guys that do bust.


May 26th, 2013 at 8:08 PM ^

I'm a former manager for the football team. (back in 85).  The athletic department puts on these football socials that you might have heard about.  There are about 8 of them throughout the country.  Every year (this was the third year).  I live in the  DC area and have been to all three that they have had. Every year Curt Mallory was here.  Last year it was Mattison and Mallory, this year it was Hoke (and Laura) and Mallory.  

I've met Brady several times at several different donor and former player functions.  He would probably recognize me, but I doubt he would remember my name.

When I was getting ready to leave the social, he gave me a full hug.  Seriously.  I was stunned.  I barley know him and he's hugging me?  It was really different and in that momement I realized how important the former players (and managers!) were to him.

I believe this story is indicative of how he is with the recruits. He really bonds with them at a level, that probably no other top 20 coach does. 


May 26th, 2013 at 8:11 PM ^

Hoke is going to be a transformational figure for our program, I really believe that. He's going to have a Schembechlerian-level of influence on the program to the point where people quote his old sayings and put his slogans all over the stadium and in team meeting rooms, etc.

If you've ever seen the guy in person you know he's absolutely magnetic and completely controls the room. He's going to be around for a long time and I wouldn't be shocked if he was AD after he's done coaching.

Business Time

May 26th, 2013 at 9:58 PM ^

to the point where people quote his old sayings and put his slogans all over the stadium and in team meeting rooms, etc.

Considering how much "This is Michigan fergodsakes" has already been firmly entrenched in Michigan lore, I daresay you're right...


May 27th, 2013 at 12:58 AM ^

The most amazing thing about that quote is his absolute incredulity that anyone could think that Michigan wasn't the most elite of elite jobs. Like even thinking such a thing is just absolutely ridiculous. We are, without a doubt, football royalty, and we should play like it year in and year out.


May 26th, 2013 at 8:38 PM ^

Hoke really has brought the UM family together.  During the late Carr and the RR eras people were complaining, looking for change, players were't always that supportive, etc..  But, Hoke re-connected us to our past and to Bo, reached out to the players he coached in the late 90's, told the fan base everything we wanted to hear like "Character wins in life and character wins on the football field", "We would have walked here", and "This is Michigan for God's sake".  I can't recall a more empowering speech/Q&A as when he was announced as the head coach.  I still go back and watch it from time to time becuase there are so many gems in there.


May 26th, 2013 at 8:34 PM ^

I think it helps that you can tell that Hoke truly believes what he is saying. You can tell that he absolutely loves Michigan. I can't say the same for most other coaches.


May 26th, 2013 at 8:42 PM ^

It just so happens that someone decided to do an analysis of this very phenomenon as it pertains to Brady Hoke (HERE) - it was done last year before the season, but I believe it definitely adds some detail to the transformation that we are seeing now. In summary, they discuss what they feel are four of the major aspects of the team culture which Brady Hoke has implmented at Michigan that contribute to the success. 

For example, two of the more interesting items mentioned are enlisting the support of team leaders and creating team rituals.

Hoke understands how important it is for the seniors and other leaders on the team to aid in setting the expectations and displaying the team values, and by not only having recruits meet with his staff, but also the players, he gives recruits a great view of the Michigan culture and experience.

The ritual the article mentions is the "Beat Ohio!" shout, but it speaks to the goal of getting to the BTCG and now, more than likely, who the obstacle more often than not will be - the goals and expecations are very explicit. I have to think recruits really like to know exactly how Michigan will utilize their strengths and maximize their potential, but also how all that works back towards the aspirations of the program.

All in all, Hoke has created a culture of character and community that people simply want to be part of - in droves, from how things have gone to date. He's built the bridges back to the past and laid the foundations for a stellar future. The whole Michigan family seems to be working towards common goals, and it is hard to overstate how attractive that can be to people. 



May 26th, 2013 at 8:49 PM ^

Any sustained success will be driven by recruiting. The coaching staff is certainly the primary driver of the recent recruiting success, but we should not discount the efforts of the recruits themselves. It seems like these kids have the tools and desire to connect with each other early in the process, which no doubt reinforces the family atmosphere that Hoke sells in living rooms throughout the midwest and across the country. As a casual observer of recruiting battles, I'm most impressed with what the kids do to reel in other commits.


May 26th, 2013 at 9:13 PM ^

It can't really be denied that later in the Carr years things had trailed off as far as recruiting hits, and overall domination on the field.  After Carr there was need to rebuild a foundation that had started to crumble.  Most notibly it was necessary to start to dominate again.  We could see teams like Alabama, USC, OSU, and other big programs put together 10-12 wins for multiple years in a row and we were stuck below that.  Michigan was not in the top tier and we needed to get there.  We went out and hired Rodriguez who was a big name and had turned WVU into a very good team.  He was the flashy coach that we could pin our hopes on so that we could reach the next level and dominate college football.  Unfortunately it did not work out and after the end of the Carr years the ship started sinking faster.  We missed a bowl game, lost a bunch of games, lost recruiting battles.  Rodriguez was fired.  

Where was the hope?  We made an attempt to get to where we wanted to be and things blew up in our faces.  We were not winning games.  We were not recruiting as well as we should have been.  Factions within the fanbase became very evident and very ugly.  There was little to pin hope on.  

One of the greatest things about sports is the comeback.  We are reminded every year of the possibility of a resurgence whether it is a game (2004 MSU) or a season.  There are reminders every year that there is always room for hope.  It makes Cleveland Browns fans still fill up the stadium.  This is where we are right now.  We are in the midst of the comeback.  The beginning is where we start to see success.  We find a coach that can unite the factions. It gives us hope.  We find a coach that wins 11 games in his first season.  It puts us on the edge of our seats.  

We say that something special is being built because there is that hope that we will come back and be on top of college football once again.  Sure it is possible that we could flame out, but we like to lean on hope and not dispair.  That's not exciting to think about.  Fans like hope.  Hoke seems like the perfect person for the job.  He has the rare combination of coaching ability, persona, and a genuine love for everything Michigan.  Why wouldn't we hope for something special to happen?


May 26th, 2013 at 9:21 PM ^

Hoke is awesome but let's not completely discount or forget that the recruiting boom coincided with our stadium renovations which were absolutely spectacular.


May 26th, 2013 at 9:31 PM ^

Hoke has a way about him that just radiates everything Michigan. He sets the tone, preaches tradition and the assistants close. Mattison and Borges have been around the NCAA block a few times (not to mention the NFL experience) and know college football as well as anyone. This staff is simply amazing. We're going to be a special program again.


May 26th, 2013 at 9:59 PM ^

Hoke genuinely cares about these kids. He treats the as if they were his wins. Many coaches look at the kids as workers who are there to elevate the coaches status. Most coaches don't care if a kid gets a degree as long as they win games.


May 26th, 2013 at 10:30 PM ^

He has recruited well in his short time. His coaching on the other hand doesn't make me jump up and down like a lot of people. I'm sure some person will say I'm an idiot for saying that and hopefully I read it and get a good chuckle.

Dr. Explosion

May 26th, 2013 at 10:41 PM ^

He inherited a disaster. BCS game in year one. Highly competitive in every non Alabama game in year two. Now, we appear poised for Rose Bowl runs year in and year out from here on. To me, that is the hallmark of a good coach.

You can point to him not having a head set or some bad clock management, but that's a tiny sliver of what coaches do. So much coaching g goes on from Sunday to Saturday and January through August.

Dude is a good coach. Hell, Mattison says he wouldn't have left the NFL to coach for anyone else. Tells you something, no?


May 26th, 2013 at 11:31 PM ^

Mattison is a very legit coach. When I watch his defense play you can tell he is always on point and gets the most out of his players. Borges makes me sick to my stomach. I don't care about Hoke wearing a head set or anything. I know he is a players coach and I like him. I just don't see him as being a cut your heart out type of coach. He did not inherit a disaster at all. And I think he (because he is the head coach and has to oversee everything) blew a few games for us the last two seasons. But we haven't won but one national title in 60 some years. We have lived in mediocrity for long long time. I'm just not one of these M fans who wants a big ten title. I want the national title so it figures we would have hired him.