Hoke Came Off Well, Brandon Not So Much

Submitted by michman79 on January 12th, 2011 at 6:40 PM

I thought Hoke came off well today and I am looking forward to seeing what this team will do on Saturdays under his leadership.

As for Brandon, I have been silently critical of his handling of this process and how long he waited to do what we all (deep down) knew he was going to do. 

Did anyone else think Brandon came across like a lying politician today?  Especially when prodded about timelines and when/who was interviewed?

Seemed to me that it was Hoke all along and he put on a big charade for certain boosters and fans.  Maybe I am wrong here, but he just seemed a little slimy to me.  Especially when Hoke had to ask him "do you wanna take this one Dave" and Dave responds with "you take the first part, I'll take the second".  Then he takes the podium and said that Hokes timeline of a week ago was innaccurate.  Just kinda weird.

I am excited to see what Hoke can do though.  Go Blue.  Avoid the Noid!



January 12th, 2011 at 6:42 PM ^

Brandon came off as a huge dick.  Especially his comments about "Hoke doesn't need to learn the Victors, he already knows it" and things like that seemed like thinly veiled attacks on Rodriguez.


January 12th, 2011 at 9:34 PM ^

I never regarded RR as a great ambassador for the school. I sort of cringed whenever he spoke. But I did think DB was needlessly shoveling dirt on Rich. He also made too many digs about other candidates (Miles, no doubt). He sounded spiteful and haughty. And defensive. Just celebrate Hoke and sit down, Dave.


January 13th, 2011 at 3:04 AM ^

The apparent muddled and sloppy transition from RR to Hoke may not have been so. Consider this scenario: Brandon wanted to replace RR with Hoke at some earlier and appropriate time, say after the OSU debacle, but that would have created a firestorm (i.e. after firing RR, what’s the rush? where’s the national search with $ as no obstacle). DB needed to create a plausible artifice. Hence, he waits weeks until 2011 to begin his (as the sole search “committee” member) very public pursuit of two desirable but unobtainable “Michigan men” (Harbaugh and Miles) and his self-proclaimed whirlwind tour of unnamed but eminent coaching candidates (which he can never name), leaving him at the last moment - with signing day imminent - with the savior Hoke to parachute in without even inquiring about salary. DB did not get to be a CEO of a corporation run by venture capitalists by being a stumbler or accidental genius. Whether his Machiavellian shenanigans are also appropriate for a great public university is another question.


January 12th, 2011 at 11:26 PM ^

From what I watched Brandon came off as a guy with a weight lifted off his shoulders, relaxed, and happy.  He cracked jokes with the press, etc.  Honestly, I tohught it was pretty good.  Maybe I missed something?  I was listening to the upload on youtube while watching the end of FSU v Duke.


January 12th, 2011 at 6:50 PM ^

So we can expect that kind of thing to continue for a while.  Whether we like it or not, the athletic department and our former Carr players were all looking for the anti-RR and so that is what we got. 

Hope he does well, and that this works.  Coaches are sometimes a crap shoot, as we have found out.  Let's see how he does before we either raise him to sainthood or start burying him.

Mitch Cumstein

January 12th, 2011 at 6:57 PM ^

I think we need to be careful throwing that around.  While I know what you're getting at, RR was a pretty good guy and had some good qualities as a person. From what I've seen, Hoke shares some of those qualities.  I was especially impressed with how Hoke acknowledged RR right away in the presser.  I think Hoke showed a lot more class than Brandon in that regard.


January 12th, 2011 at 7:05 PM ^

I agree completely. Though I think the poster above wasn't taking a stab at RR at all.

Hoke was very classy and very impressive. We just need to remember that the clock is ticking with him now. We all gave him his due as the new Michigan coach today, but come tomorrow it's time to back up the talk with good hires, a halfway decent job salvaging this class and keeping Denard and Co. around.

I for one am giving him the benefit of the doubt until he gives me reason to do otherwise.


January 12th, 2011 at 10:58 PM ^

That's exactly where I'm at. But I guess I just realized that no matter how much I wish RR was still the coach (Randy fucking Shannon was available!), in no way is this Hoke's fault, or the team's fault. They both deserve all of us behind them for now.


January 12th, 2011 at 9:43 PM ^

Supporting RR and supporting Brady Hoke don't need to be mutually exclusive. Most of us wish that Coach Rodriguez succeeded - unfortunately that wasn't the case. We need to throw our full support behind Coach Hoke. If we want to honor RR lets remind people that the rooster is filled with his recruits - especially when they have success next year.


January 13th, 2011 at 2:30 AM ^

As others said, don't think the poster was saying anything about Rich.  The past players, Lloyd Carr, the media, etc. seemed to hate Rich and made him feel like an outsider.  It's actually pretty sad because while these are the people we root for, they are at the same time destroying any respect I have for them by further tarnishing Rich's name.  Rich Rodriguez is a great coach/guy and I hope he gets his name back from the 'bad guy' reputation he's been given by West Virginia and then furthermore, us.


January 13th, 2011 at 6:22 PM ^

I supported RR and wanted him to have another year with a new defensive staff.  My point was that DB went for the exact opposite of RR in this hire.  No hot young genius in the making coach move.  I think Hoke will do fine, but we need to wait and see how he works out.  Might be good, might be great, might be just ok.  I don't think we will see the epic transition fail that RR suffered through in his first two years simply because of where Hoke gets to start.


January 12th, 2011 at 6:50 PM ^

Yeah, there was one particular instance when he seemed to be taking a silent jab at RR when he was saying that he was looking for a coach who could adapt to the roster at hand and not be narrowminded in terms of thinking their way to do things is the only way to do things.


January 13th, 2011 at 12:41 AM ^

Agree with controversialidea 100%. 

A lot of what DB said at the beginning... he came off as, well, a DB.

Seemed like he was taking thinly veiled cheap shots at Rodriguez for not being a "Michigan Man" and that he was placating the media and the Carr-folk saying, "Look, I went out and got you what you wanted."

At one point in the introductory comments at the beginning, he even mentioned that Hoke knows his way around Ann Arbor already....  as if that's somehow a positive asset we should have been looking for in our football coach....  which caused me to scream, "What the fuck does that have to do with anything!?" at my computer screen and made me want to throw things.

I was willing to give Brandon the benefit of the doubt until today, but, the press conference in my mind clearly demonstrated that he was looking at all the wrong criteria in his hiring decision, and, pandering to the media and former players in getting someone from the "Michigan Man" club took precedence over who will be the coach that will put us in the best position to win.  

As others have said, it seems like this hire indicates we've resigned ourselves to aiming at being a regional power at best (underscored by all the emphasis on B10 championships instead of Natoinal Championships) and that is sad.

With the RR hire, it may have been a swing and a miss, but at least we were swinging for the fences.

Now it seems like we're not even trying.  

All that said, maybe Hoke will work out great here and be the right guy to take us to the promised land.  I hope that's the case and I hope he succeeds beyond all of our wildest expectations.

But, DB's reasons for hiring him seem horribly misguided to me.


January 12th, 2011 at 6:43 PM ^

I give Brandon a pass today.  I agree he came off a bit loose temptered, but I'm going to chalk that up to being sleep depraved as he kept saying.  I know if I dont get at least 7 hours of sleep every night, I'm a cranky SOB


January 12th, 2011 at 6:45 PM ^

It seemed  like he was saying to everyone, "Fuck you, get off my back. What kind of crazy lunatics follow a guy on flightaware during a coaching search?" We do, that's who. Get used to it, Dave. 


January 12th, 2011 at 7:33 PM ^

Not sure he'll regret it. Certainly, he won't regret the mini-reunion. I've got a cogent thought somewhere in here, but will have to save for another time. It's going to take a bit for me to put down. Even longer for BH as a choice to be validated/invalidated...


January 12th, 2011 at 6:46 PM ^

Look, he obviously is not going to say that he offered the job to JH and LM and they are not going to say he offered it to them either.  Pretty obvious that he talked with both at some point and sought their advice and also let it be known that we were interested if they were interested.  I'm sure it was one of those wink wink and nod nod conversations so that both sides could say that the job was not offered.

No win situation, if he tells who he talked to beyond what was specifically known (Fitzgerald/Miles), it hurts Michigan and does not necessarily help the guy who he spoke with. 

double blue

January 12th, 2011 at 8:58 PM ^

he said he spoke to both and considered both but wanted to be in the nfo.  db said last week and this week that when he spoke with harbaugh harbaugh made it clear he wanted to go to the nfl.    he went to the nfl- so i don't fault db.  had he stayed at stanford- that would have been a collossal failure.


January 12th, 2011 at 6:49 PM ^

he probably could give a shit. If Hoke turns into BO#2 etc. he will be a God in Ann Arbor. I think he has a supreme confidence in himself. CEO's usually aren't regular guys who care about peons questioning their decisions. There are exceptions of course, but rare.


January 12th, 2011 at 7:25 PM ^

David Brandon is a businessman first and an athletic director second.  The rhetoric about increasing the profitability of the AD and this phantom coaching search has me convinced that he's committed to building the "brand" over all other priorities.  How do you build a football brand?  Restore the NFL pipeline.  How do you restore the pipeline?  Hire a coach your NFL bully-boys will rally around and fawn over in the media.  Done and done.

Of course, as a non-football player, I'm vulnerable to "you don't know the game, get off my lawn"-type arguments, but that's what the politics looks like to me.


January 12th, 2011 at 6:49 PM ^

if they got hung with a new rope. Brandon was great. Both he and Brady reminded me of Bo more than once. Brandon is a very impressive guy especially in person. Understand that the Michigan Athletic Department is first and foremost about the student athletes. In that context DB did it exactly right.


January 12th, 2011 at 6:52 PM ^

Hoke was more impressive than I thought he would be. I came into it upset about the way he was hired, and about him maybe not being ready for this job, but I left with a great impression. If he can get through this offseason with the team intact and put together a good staff, it should be hard to argue that he isn't a winner, and probably a good hire.


January 12th, 2011 at 6:51 PM ^

Fair enough on the confidentiality.  But I still think he spoke with others only as a formality.  I think it's been Hokemania for a while.  Also, if he was just offered yesterday how did they coordinate 40 former players to schedule flights with 12 hours notice to be at the presser?  Seemed like that may have been coordinated a few days ago to me?


January 12th, 2011 at 7:42 PM ^

But I still think he spoke with others only as a formality. I think it's been Hokemania for a while.

Even if you assume that Brandon had decided on Hoke last week, six weeks ago, or even six months ago, do you really think Brandon would have been stupid enough to simply fire Rodriguez last week and immediately hire Hoke? How well do you think that would have been received compared to the way things actually played out?

There were two other, higher-profile, Michigan-connected candidates out there. Brandon couldn't ignore them, the way that Bill Martin ignored Miles last time. The way Martin handled the last search undermined Rodriguez from day one.

I think it's possible that Harbaugh had a chance at the job first, but he essentially eliminated himself by choosing to the NFL. I don't believe Brandon was ever going to offer Miles the job, and I don't think Miles even wanted it this time around (he clearly did want it last time). I think Brandon and Miles basically conspired to make it appear that Miles had been offered the job and turned it down. Miles thus eliminated himself as well.

Brandon had to go through this process in order to--publicly--eliminate the other candidates, so that no one within the Michigan "family" (former players/coaches and fans) has a reason to be pining for Harbaugh or Miles or a reason to do or say anything to undermine Hoke.

And, in my opinion, Brandon was very smart to have handled the search in this way, and I for one couldn't be happier with the outcome.

Roy Hobbs

January 12th, 2011 at 8:09 PM ^

And there is no way he could have "done this on Nov 28" as others have mentioned. He fires RR and hires Hoke on Nov 28, and everyone is left wondering about Harbaugh, Miles, etc. And he couldn't have hired JH on Nov 28 cuz JH wasn't going to come at that point in time. If getting someone with UM ties was immensely important, as it appears to be, then the way it was done was really the only way.