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Michigan AD: Brady Hoke the right leader for Michigan

Brady Hoke AP

Things have not exactly gone to plan for Michigan in the Brady Hoke era, but as the 2013 season draws to a close job security is not going to be an issue in Ann arbor for head coach Brady Hoke. At least, that is if you believe what athletics director Dave Brandon had to say in a lengthy blog entry on Michigan’s athletics website Wednesday.

“Brady Hoke is our coach and will be leading our football program well into the future,” Brandon opened his post in definitive fashion. “There is no question about it… Anyone making efforts to stir up a coaching controversy at Michigan is ill-informed and is likely promoting a personal agenda that is not in the best interest of Michigan Football.”

Hoke took over a mess of a situation at Michigan following current Arizona head coach Rich Rodriguez.  Hoke quickly turned Michigan around in year one on the job by taking the 2011 Wolverines to the Sugar Bowl as a BCS at-large. Since then though things have take steps backward instead of forward when it comes to wins. Michigan won 11 games including the Sugar Bowl in the 2011 season, then won eight games and lost the Outback Bowl last season. On Saturday the Wolverines hope to get back to eight wins with an upset win over undefeated Ohio State. Michigan may be trending downward, an argument supported by the fact one of Michigan’s top commits in the Class of 2014, Jabril Peppers, has stated he will make other official visits in the off-season before announcing his decision.

Michigan’s transition to a more pro-style offense this season has not produced the kind of results expected by many before the year. the Wolverines have also struggled on the road (UConn, Penn State, Michigan State) and in big games, including last year’s match-ups against Alabama and Ohio State. Michigan has recruited well under Hoke but in year three as head coach it appears as though that talent is falling short of full potential in some areas. Brandon says there is no room for excuses at Michigan.

“We don’t make excuses at Michigan when we fail to reach our goals, and we never will,” Brandon said. “When we don’t meet those expectations there’s disappointment — and that starts with Brady, the coaches, players and everyone else that represents our football program. If you saw how hard everyone inside Schembechler Hall works every day, you would understand why they are disappointed.”

There have been times when an AD will come out and show a sign of support for the head coach they are responsible for hiring. That is what we see here at Michigan. Brandon has to say these things about Hoke and his staff, because his job could ultimately be on the line if it backfires. Hoke’s contract does not expire until 2016, so it would be unlikely Michigan makes any change at head coach. It would cost Michigan over $2 million to buy out his contract this off-season.

Considering Brandon did not want to pay to send Michigan’s marching band to Arlington, Texas last season for the week one match-up with Alabama, it would be a financial shock if he made a decision to buy out Hoke’s contract at this point in time.

Of course, if Hoke can lead Michigan to a win over Ohio State this weekend, all of the talk about a hot seat will vanish for a while.

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24 Responses to “Michigan AD: Brady Hoke the right leader for Michigan”
  1. henryjones20 says: Nov 27, 2013 9:08 PM

    they should snatch up that coach in Arizona.

  2. joerevs300 says: Nov 27, 2013 9:11 PM

    Here’s a list of things that have a better chance of happening then Michigan beating Ohio State:

    – Hitting the Powerball jackpot
    – Getting struck by lightning. 12 times.
    – Daniel Snyder dropping the “Redskins” name.
    – Miley Cyrus putting clothes on
    – The Jacksonville Jaguars making the playoffs

    Not. Going. To. Happen.

  3. asimonetti88 says: Nov 27, 2013 9:52 PM

    Crazier things have happened. Anything can happen in rivalry games. Ohio State is clearly the better team, but all Michigan would have to do is play better for 60 minutes.

  4. zigsmart says: Nov 27, 2013 9:53 PM

    Fixed RichRod’s mess? The mess that the media made you mean. Turned it around in year one? You mean he won with RichRod’s players then started sucking when his recruiting class started seeing playing time. RichRod may or may not win a championship in Tucson but he won’t be blamed for not being a “Michigan guy” (barf) ever again.

  5. MyTeamsAllStink says: Nov 27, 2013 9:58 PM

    Say when did the governor of New Jersey find time to coach Michigan?

  6. normtide says: Nov 27, 2013 11:20 PM

    I agree that the Michigan mess was a media creation. RichRod seems to be doing fine in Arizona.

    A three year back slide is telling. Not only that, the gap between them and OSU is getting wider. A coach is the life blood of a program. You must have a good coach to succeed on a regular basis. At this point, I seriously doubt Hoke is that guy. Give him one more year with a new OC, after that you have to make a hard decision.

    Not only Michigan, but the B1G itself must start playing better ball. OSU and Wisconsin can’t keep the revenue pumping on for the entire league. Reinvest that football money into some coaches. The PAC did, and it is working. Do not think you will keep getting top $ for an inferiour product.

  7. BrownsTown says: Nov 27, 2013 11:23 PM

    You won’t catch me saying nice things about UM often, but he’s really not the problem there. They still have a 6th-year Jr who used to play WR at QB. Not exactly the centerpiece of a pro-style offense. Give it time to work.

    And if they fired Hoke, I couldn’t laugh at him sweating in short sleeves in 30 degree weather. OK, so maybe my motives here aren’t completely altruistic.

  8. BrownsTown says: Nov 27, 2013 11:29 PM

    RichRod was indeed an unmitigated disaster. And this is coming from someone who enjoyed every minute of it. As far as I recall, the last game of Carr’s tenure was a bowl victory over Tebow and the Gators. Shortly thereafter, I don’t think Michigan was even playing in bowl games.

    RichRod set that program back at least five years. Funny what wasn’t good enough by Carr is way better than about anything they’ve done since.

  9. sportsguy3434 says: Nov 27, 2013 11:41 PM

    At least he didn’t say 1000 percent.

    Missing Carr yet?

  10. polegojim says: Nov 28, 2013 12:00 AM

    Great piece and I respect Brandon’s comments.
    I’ve been critical lately… maybe too much so.

    Now… he said HOKE was the right leader. I’m still not convinced about Borges value…

    @zigsmart… yes he won and got MORE from the same team than RR did. Yes, he did exactly what Brandon described.
    RR was 7-6
    Hoke immediately went 11-2 with the same team

    @norm… not a backsliding… but rebuilding… which is painful. RR toilet-bowled the program and had a HORRID defense… no… a non-existent defense. They need to be MUCH better, but I also thought the comparison with Saban’s efforts at Alabama was pretty interesting. Hoke is not Saban… but we’ll see what happens next.

  11. Romulus says: Nov 28, 2013 12:18 AM

    Michigan….most over rated program of last thirty years. Brady Hoke…wear a GD headset.

  12. thegeneral7694 says: Nov 28, 2013 12:29 AM


    The comparison with Saban is ridiculous. Yeah, he was 4th in his division in his 4th year…and that was with a 9-3 record. That’s also conveniently leaving out that Saban’s record over his 2nd and 3rd years was 26-2 with 2 division titles, 1 SEC title and 1 BCS championship…..any comparison whatsoever between what Saban has done at Alabama and what Hoke has done at Michigan is extraordinarily laughable. Even suggesting that reeks of desperation to justify on Brandon’s part. Saban and Hoke are both white guys that played on defense….that’s about all they have in common.

  13. normtide says: Nov 28, 2013 1:18 AM

    Polegojim- I could be misreading the situation. My perspective is purely an outside one. RR’s biggest fault was not having a DC. He had the talent there. The scheme was horrid. Hoke is going through the same thing on the offensive side. RR’s biggest sin was the AppState loss.

    Saban’s situation at Bama was much different. His first year was mediocre, including a loss to ULM. His second and third had undefeated regular seasons, with the third winning the SEC and BCS titles. He won ten games in his fourth season, including dominating b1g co-champs MSU. In fact since his first season, he won at least ten games a year.

    He has recruited well, and he understand Michigan. It could click for y’all next year, maybe this Saturday. But at some point you have to start gaining ground on OSU. Like Meyer or not, he has OSU rocketing forward. Hoke needs to show a great leap forward next year, or better to start anew.

    A great example of what I’m trying to say. The parable of Auburn and Tennessee. UT made a bad hire with Kiffen, and then Dooley. Butch Jones inherited a program that will take a couple years to get competitive. Auburn had coach two years away from a great season, a title winning year. He had recruited a ton of talent. But he let the program slide from there. Auburn fired a coach two years away from a BCS trophy. The next coach turned a three win team into legit contenders.

    None of this is a knock on Michigan. In fact, UM is one of a hand full of programs that could do what Auburn did. But don’t forget, Tennessee is also one of those programs. They are second in the SEC in all time wins. And it all comes down to hiring the right coach and firing the wrong one.

  14. floridacock says: Nov 28, 2013 7:55 AM

    Michigan and the Big 10 overall has had it’s time come and go. They are so far behind the rest of the country’s big programs that only wholesale changes in philosophies will give them a chance to succeed at the SEC, PAC 12’s level again. Coaches are a big part, but so are the fan’s overblown expectations. Also the segment of the population fleeing the weather and settling in the south, dilutes the pool of potential recruits. The Michigan way worked 25 years ago, not so good now.

  15. BrownsTown says: Nov 28, 2013 8:42 AM

    Wow, floridacock. That’s the biggest cliche smorgasbord I’ve seen in quite some time.

    That obsolete program took South Carolina down to the wire in the bowl game last year. You may not know that as most fans were [self-edited] all afternoon after that Clowney hit.

  16. polegojim says: Nov 28, 2013 9:28 AM

    @ norm – Trust me… I’m swallowing hard on this one… ‘my’ personal timetable is over… but I’m a fan with extraordinary expectations. I’m willing to ‘reopen’ my mind and cut him a bit more slack… one more year.

    And… my comparison as you mentioned is Meyer at Ohio. They floundered and flailed under one year w Luke as I-Head Coach… giving Brady a nice first year V… then they took off with the ‘right guy’. I believe one reason is that Meyer understands his role… as Head Coach, not Head Buddy. He calls it fair… but straight. He helps guys man-up, not panders and tiptoes in fear of hurting feelings.

    One of my reasons for cutting Hoke slack is the Offense – you and I both know that offenses should be designed for current player capacity, not a boiler plate playbook that is just opened and attempted to be ran. I believe Borges is either horrible at designing a strategy for his ‘current’ players… or at making adjustments. It’s got to be one or the other.

    On top of that, Gardner has shown why they moved him to WR… he’s not a good game manager and is very slow to read play development. On replays, we can see guys get open… then not open right in front of him. The rookie O line also adds to the trouble. They need time to get to a more mature and competitive strength, weight, and technique.

    I’m a Michigan fan who doesn’t ‘hate’ OSU. Many of my business associates are Buckeyes… who are completely inferior in education and intelligence and if you take away their football… what do they have??? It’s more like ‘pity’ really… ; )

  17. sillec28 says: Nov 28, 2013 9:37 AM

    Jeremy Foley (Florida AD) and Dave Brandon must be Siamese twins who were separated at birth. Neither is willing to recognize that their head coaches should be doing a whole lot better by now than they’re doing. Oh, and another similarity between Michigan and Florida – both lost to an FCS team. But at least Appalachian State was a pretty good team. Georgia Southern had a 6-4 record and had lost to Wofford, Samford, Furman, and Appalachian State before beating Florida.

  18. basebuck says: Nov 28, 2013 10:04 AM

    Hoke has his heart in the right place, he really wants Michigan to win! However, he just isn’t head coaching material! He is a coordinator at best, but keep him in there. We buckeyes love it!

  19. sparky151 says: Nov 28, 2013 11:23 AM

    Shouldn’t Michigan try to catch up to Michigan State before they set their sights on Ohio State? UM has a lot of support for the program but Hoke’s results thus far have been subpar. At the least they should let Borges go after the season. But if Hoke doesn’t participate in the playcalling (no headset) and the guy who does isn’t very good, isn’t that a poor reflection on Hoke’s personnel management ability as well as his game management skills?

  20. jarzmel says: Nov 28, 2013 1:07 PM

    “…..I’m a Michigan fan who doesn’t ‘hate’ OSU. Many of my business associates are Buckeyes… who are completely inferior in education and intelligence and if you take away their football… what do they have??? It’s more like ‘pity’ really… ; )”

    And you have nerve to talk about “inferior” intelligence ?

    Seems YOUR the one that would fall under YOUR comment.

  21. normtide says: Nov 28, 2013 2:12 PM

    Polegojim- You are correct about offense, because that is what Florida is doing. Cramming a style through with the wrong athletes.

    Wasn’t Borges at auburn I’m the 00’s?

  22. chinahand11 says: Nov 28, 2013 3:17 PM

    I respectfully disagree with the assessment that Rich Rod fire bombed the program. I never thought he had support from the media so I have to wonder if the AD staff gave him their full support. That “Michigan Man” BS. Ugh. At least RR never lost to Appalachian State (before it was fashionable to lose to Div II teams). Nice how the Zona program is going these days.

  23. polegojim says: Nov 28, 2013 4:41 PM

    @ China… Ok so he never lost to App St… but he lost to just about EVERYBODY else… and felt like his team was running backwards in the mud during his entire tenure.

    @norm – yes – and here are some points published about Borges… that have proved completely true:

    1) He needs the talent: Obviously, the array of tools at Borges’ disposal in ’06 and ’07 wasn’t nearly what it was in ’04 and ’05, but the cupboard wasn’t as bare as to totally excuse the off-the-cliff plummet Auburn experienced. It may be fair to say that Borges is well-equipped to maximize a talent advantage over lesser opponents — his success with a very talented SDSU offense by MWC standards this year would seem to be more evidence — but isn’t as effective “coaching up” lesser weapons. In the long term this is probably a good thing.

    2) He’s not going to recruit that talent himself. Can’t speak for what he’s done at SDSU or his previous stops, but virtually any skill position player who truly shone at Auburn — during his tenure or after — was either recruited under his predecessors or after he’d departed.

    3) He’s not super-flexible. Borges’ schemes didn’t change a whole lot as Cox’s effectiveness decreased and his receiving corps began sucking. It was still the same array of mostly off-tackle and iso runs, play-action passes (yes, waggles!), and occasional pro-style passing concepts. They just stopped working. Borges made some offseason comments to the effect that Auburn would do more to get the running backs and tight ends involved in the passing game (as they had been in 2004), but that never really seemed to develop.

  24. dkhhuey says: Nov 28, 2013 7:02 PM

    Thank you David!!! We love TSUN pinning their hopes on a career .500 coach!!! I thought maybe he would do better there but he hasn’t done much but confirm that he will always be a .500 coach. His comments about not have a different game plan to deal with Indiana’s offense was telling, INHO. If you’re not setting up a game plan for each team you face both offensively and defensively, then you are going to be predictable and make it easy for the coach to beat you! I never underestimate TSUN during this game because I went to the games there during the Cooper era – however, I love the Buckeyes chances given their talent and their coach!

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