Not that it's the place you'd necessarily expect to see big-money support for the football program, but no one can accuse the high-rollers at San Diego State of not caring about their Aztecs. Earlier this season a collection of high-profile boosters bothered to publicly harass BYU and the Mountain West over a botched replay call that might have cost SDSU a win, and now the San Diego Union-Tribune is reporting that an anonymous donor has pledged a cool $5 million to help keep Aztec head coach Brady Hoke from bolting to Minnesota .
The only problem? Even a huge raise (both for himself and his assistants) and a facilities upgrade might not be enough to keep Hoke from returning to his native Midwest and taking his first Big Ten head coaching job. As the Union Tribune reports:
"Casual," maybe, but quite obviously not unimportant, and Hoke's agent has admitted he has kept in contact with the Gophers.
Earlier Tuesday, Hoke said he could not confirm he's out of the running for the coaching job at Minnesota.
Since his "informal" meeting last week with Minnesota Athletic Director Joel Maturi, rumors about Hoke's involvement have been swirling around cyberspace. And, with Hoke not making himself available to the media Sunday or Monday, those rumors festered.
Hoke was given several chances to say he's not a candidate. But he didn't.
"I can't confirm that," Hoke said. "The job was never formally offered to me. Like I said, it was a very casual conversation."
Given the lack of confirmed interest from Minnesota on the part of other realistic candidates, Hoke's quality resume, his Big Ten ties, and now refusal to quiet the speculation, Hoke-to-Minneapolis may be the most logical outcome of this coaching search no matter how much money the Aztecs and their boosters pony up. Stay tuned.