Blog Entry

Michigan must give Hoke a chance to succeed

Posted on: January 11, 2011 4:47 pm
Edited on: January 11, 2011 7:38 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli

He's not the man Michigan may have wanted with its first choice, but as things stand, Brady Hoke is the new head coach in Ann Arbor.  He's the 19th coach in the school's history, and though some members of the Michigan fan base may respond with "Who?" upon hearing his name, he's not simply an afterthought.

Of course Les Miles or Jim Harbaugh would be Dave Brandon's first choice.  They are the quintessential "Michigan Men" that seems to be so important in Ann Arbor.  They've played at the school. Miles coached at the school, and he even has a national championship under his belt. Jim Harbaugh hasn't done either, but he was the coach du jour this winter.  And one with Michigan roots at that. Hoke isn't the definition of a "Michigan Man," as he played his college ball at Ball State, but he did spend eight seasons coaching Michigan's defensive line.  Including the 1997 season, the last time Michigan won a national championship. So he knows what it takes to win in Ann Arbor, as he's done it before. 

There's another difference between Les Miles, Jim Harbaugh and Brady Hoke other than their "Michigan Man" credentials, and it is probably something that is a lot more important than where either played college football.

Brady Hoke wants to be at Michigan.  It's clear that after two failed attempts to land him that Les Miles doesn't.  He may say he does, as he doesn't want to denigrate where he came from, but Miles is happy at LSU. He knows he can win there, and he's not sure that he can do the same at Michigan.  Harbaugh always had his sight set on the NFL, and now he's got his dream job.

Michigan is Brady Hoke's dream job.

Brady Hoke seems to believe he can win in Ann Arbor, and what reason do we really have to doubt him?  He took over his alma mater in 2003 and turned the program around in six seasons, leading the team to a 12-1 campaign in 2008.  Hoke then left for San Diego State, and Ball State hasn't won 12 games since.  Hell, they haven't won seven games since.

Hoke then took over a San Diego State program that had been dormant since Marshall Faulk was tearing apart defenses, and in two seasons turned the program around and led the Aztecs to a 9-4 mark in 2010.  Including a win over Navy in the Poinsettia Bowl.

Do you notice a trend here?  Hoke has gone to programs that were trending downward and built them back up.  Sure, there's a difference between the Big Ten and the MAC and Mountain West.  There's no denying this, but there's also a difference in building a program up when there's that block "M" on your hat and not the Ball State or San Diego State logo.

As long as Michigan gives Hoke some time, and I know it will be tough considering the down times of the Rich Rodriguez era, he will get this program on the right track.  Will he lead them to a national championship?  Only time will tell, but here's something else that Michigan fans should remember before dumping all over the Hoke hire.

Jim Tressel wasn't Ohio State's first choice after it fired John Cooper. He was just some coach from tiny Youngstown State. How's that worked out for them?

Since: Nov 18, 2006
Posted on: January 11, 2011 6:54 pm

Michigan must give Hoke a chance to succeed

RichRod did not out recruit the Big Ten the last 2 or 3 years. He brings in 3 star players that would have a hard time starting for West Virginia. In fact he brought in players that he would have gotten at WVU. Check the results, he never beat anyone that was good and he wouldn't as long as he was there. Hoke is a great hire and will have Michigan back in 2 to 3 years.

Since: Jan 3, 2011
Posted on: January 11, 2011 6:48 pm

Michigan must give Hoke a chance to succeed

Kochmaples, I have been reading your posts.  Are you Dave Brandon by any chance?  RR did not screw anything up but Brandon did by miscalculating on Harbaugh and Miles.  If Hoke was the man all along, Brandon fires RR right after the season and pulls Hoke out of SDSU to save the recruiting year.  Hoke is a cheap hire - why wait if he's your man?  Brandon waited because Harbaugh would not talk to anyone until after the bowl game. 

Meanwhile, RR was knee-capped by Brandon.  On average, he was out-recruiting everyone in the B10 the last 2 years.  He took the offense from #106 to #6 in 3 years.  He improved by 2 wins each year for 3 years.  He developed the 2010 B10 Player of the Year and a Heisman fave for next year, who by the way, was the ONLY QB to run and throw for 1,500 yds in NCAA history.  Think about that.  Except for the atrocious defense, which is almost instantly correctable with a new D-coordinator, RR had the program on the upswing, but he was railroaded by the media and Brandon bit.  All he needed to do was fire Greg Robinson and bring in a real D-coordinator - that was all.  We never got to see what RR and his kids could do.  Yes, Hoke is everything RR wasn't, namely an accomplished HC.  We downgraded severely with Hoke.  There is much sadness in Ann Arbor today.

Since: Oct 21, 2006
Posted on: January 11, 2011 6:46 pm

Michigan must give Hoke a chance to succeed

I love how this article brings Ohio State into it at the end by bringing up Jim Tressel.

Whats funny is how they compare Hoke to Tressel.  Sure Tressel was a no name guy but he won a national championship at Youngstown State.  Brady has has won no national championships.

He wont be given 6 years to turn Michigan around.  He will probably be fired in 3.

Since: Nov 14, 2006
Posted on: January 11, 2011 6:39 pm

Michigan must give Hoke a chance to succeed

Rake dude you are an idiot.  Obviously we wanted Miles or Harbaugh.  But they didnt want us.  I cant blame them for turning it down.  The 49ers paid more and LSU can win now.  But Hoke is what we have so it is our job as Wolverine fans to rally behind him and give him the support he deserves.  GO BLUE!

Since: Nov 19, 2006
Posted on: January 11, 2011 6:32 pm

Michigan must give Hoke a chance to succeed

I agree that Brady Hoke is a great hire and the right man for the job.  He has turned around two programs already, but more important is the way he has done it - by instilling discipline, toughness, and an emphasis on defense.  These are the missing qualities from RichRod's era.  RichRod was a great offensive coach, but you can always compete with a good defense.  Michigan proved this year that the same is not true of a good offense.

Since: Jan 2, 2007
Posted on: January 11, 2011 6:24 pm

Michigan must give Hoke a chance to succeed

In your rant, you asked whether Auburn would hire someone like Brady Hoke.  Well, they pretty much did just that with Gene Chizik who had a slimmer head coaching resume and what did that bring them?  As of last night a national championship.  

Since: Mar 24, 2010
Posted on: January 11, 2011 6:18 pm

Michigan must give Hoke a chance to succeed

Facerake7, you could not be more wrong. Brady Hoke will not only turn the program around at U of M, he is absolutely THE best hire Michigan could have had. Give the man 2 - 3 years and all those schools you mentioned will be wishing they had hired a coach as good as Brady Hoke. Understand one thing he turned around programs that were door mats. Ball State did not win before him and has not won since he left. At San Diego State they were more interested in surfing, partying and hot chicks than they were about the football program. That is until Brady Hoke was hired. Coach Brady Hoke WILL return The University of Michigan football program back to a national power, just have a little patience. RichRod really screwed things up, but there is not a better man to change things around for the positive than Brady Hoke!

Since: Jan 3, 2011
Posted on: January 11, 2011 5:57 pm

Michigan must give Hoke a chance to succeed

Fornelli, c'mon man.  This is a ridiculous hire for a premier college football program.  Would Alabama or Texas or USC hire Brady Hoke?  Would Oregon or Auburn or Florida hire Brady Hoke?  The answer, of course, is NO!!  Even Minnesota would not hire Brady Hoke.  Why?  Well, maybe because Hoke brings no credentials as a head coach.  He has just one double digit win season in his career and suddenly this man will save Michigan because he was Lloyd Carr's D-line coach?  Let's just say that Michigan deserves what it gets for the next 3 years when both Hoke and Brandon are fired. 

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