Posted on: January 13, 2011 6:31 pm
Edited on: January 13, 2011 6:31 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
One of the biggest question marks surrounding the hire of Brady Hoke at Michigan was how his stated preference for a smashmouth, pro-style offense would mesh with the handpicked spread-n'-shred personnel left over from the Rich Rodriguez regime--specifically, reigning Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year Denard Robinson.
The marriage appeared to be such a bad one (particularly once it became public knowledge that Hoke would be bringing West Coast offense proponent Al Borges with him from San Diego State to run the Wolverine attack) that many have expected Robinson to transfer. And for his part, Robinson has declined comment when publicly asked if he would return for his junior season in Ann Arbor. But Hoke was expected to meet with Robinson yesterday, and on local radio this afternoon, he said that Wolverine fans had nothing to worry about :
The story's not over just yet; until Robinson himself declares that he'll be in maize-and-blue this fall, there's still enough wiggle room for a change of heart.
But if Hoke is confident enough to point-blank say that Robinson is sticking around, clearly the odds are overwhelmingly in favor of Robinson staying. Breathe a little easier, Michigan fans.
Posted on: January 11, 2011 5:42 pm
Posted by Bryan Fischer
DALLAS, Tex. - Les Miles joked about the hubbub involving Michigan’s open head coaching position while speaking at the American Football Coaches Association Conference. His cell phone even accidently dialed Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon’s phone.
At the end of the day though, he wasn’t a Michigan man but an LSU one.
“The need to stand by my commitment to the team that I coach and the school that I represent really overshadowed any other consideration,” Miles said. “I had a very nice talk with the Michigan A.D. He obviously is going to provide leadership for them. His concerns and his direction are straightforward. He represented Michigan as I would have as an alumnus and ex-Michigan player. I couldn’t be happier with the way things turned out and I root very strongly for my alma mater.”
Miles declined to discuss whether he was ever offered the job but did acknowledge that he met with athletic director Dave Brandon to discuss the position.
“I’m not really going to get into the specifics of that in deference to (Michigan),” he said. “We took a good portion of the evening.”
Miles was an offensive lineman at Michigan in the mid-seventies and considered taking the head coaching position in 2007 after Lloyd Carr stepped down. Miles did admit he has imagined himself as the head coach in Ann Arbor in the past but is at peace with his decision to remain at LSU.
“Absolutely,” Miles said. “The want to have our school, as an alumnus, to be successful is my greatest concern. I can’t imagine that it won’t be addressed and done right.”
Michigan announced the hiring of San Diego State head coach Brady Hoke while Miles was delivering a speech but he was later informed that Hoke had been hired.
“I know his background is as a Michigan assistant and I tried to hire him at Oklahoma State,” Miles said. “He’ll be a great representative of the University of Michigan. I don’t (know him) very, very well but I was at Oklahoma State and interviewed him for an opportunity there and think very highly of him.”
LSU announced Miles would return for his seventh season at the school on Tuesday morning.
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?
Posted on: January 11, 2011 4:30 pm
Edited on: January 11, 2011 4:32 pm
Posted by Chip Patterson
When Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon was done speaking with Les Miles, he took his jet to Southern California to hire the next head football coach for the Wolverines. There is no word yet as to if an official offer was made to Miles, but after the discussions Brandon wasted no time in getting the deal done with San Diego State's Brady Hoke.
“We are pleased to announce the hiring of Brady,” Brandon said in the official school release. “He is a terrific coach and will be a great ambassador and leader for our football program. We look forward to having him build a championship program on the field and in the classroom.”
Hoke was a member of the Michigan staff from 1995-2002 as the defensive line coach. His 1997 championship defense led the nation in rushing defense at 89 yards per game. He was named the 2010 Mountain West Conference Coach of the Year after guiding the Aztecs to a 9-4 record and 35-14 Poinsettia Bowl win over Navy.
Brady Hoke's name has always been on the Michigan radar, and it has been widely speculated that he has always been willing to accept the job if offered. But before the Wolverines were ready to ink the eager Hoke to a contract, they had to at least ask about the services of alum's Jim Harbaugh and Les Miles. In the last week the rumors flew from every direction, but after Harbaugh got hired by the San Francisco 49ers, and Les Miles announced he would stay with LSU; the move for the Wolverines became obvious.
Hoke will be officially announced as the head coach in a press conference at 1 p.m. EST on Wednesday.
Posted on: January 11, 2011 2:40 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
Now that it's official that Les Miles won't be leaving LSU to take over for Rich Rodriguez at Michigan, it seems the school has turned its eyes towards San Diego State head coach Brady Hoke. A quick look at the flight tracker shows that a plane owned by Domino's Pizza -- the company Michigan AD Dave Brandon used to run -- is on it's way to sunny southern California as you read this. Then there's this report from the San Diego Union-Tribune that says the school has already begun talks with Hoke.
The agent for San Diego State head football coach Brady Hoke has been in discussions for Hoke to possibly become the next head coach at the University of Michigan, a source close to the situation said.
Trace Armstrong, Hoke's agent, has declined comment. Hoke and other SDSU officials have not returned messages for several days.
Hoke was in the Los Angeles area Tuesday recruiting for SDSU. Meanwhile, the plane that Michigan Athletic Director Dave Brandon has been using for his coaching search planned to fly to nearby Orange County Tuesday afternoon.Now, unlike Miles, I have a hard time believing that Hoke would turn Michigan down if the school did make an offer. First of all, Michigan is quite the step up from San Diego State. Second of all, Hoke has basically said as much in the past. So it's possible that Michigan could have a new head coach by this time tomorrow, as you have to think that time is of the essence in this search as signing day creeps ever closer.
Posted on: January 11, 2011 12:40 pm
Edited on: January 11, 2011 12:58 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
UPDATE: LSU as made it official, announcing on Twitter that Miles will be staying in Baton Rouge.
I never really believed that Michigan had a shot to get Les Miles to leave LSU, but I have to admit that over the last few days, I changed my mind. Miles was giving vague answers to questions by reporters, those Michigan planes were in Dallas and Baton Rouge, and he was spending a whole lot of time talking to the school. Of course, I should have known that as soon as I changed my mind and thought he was headed to Ann Arbor that there was no shot.
And it seems there's no shot. According to various reports, Les Miles will be staying at LSU.
The school issued a release last night saying that it was prepared to do whatever it had to in order to keep Miles in LSU, and it seems that they have. Considering the amount of time that Michigan spent with Miles over the last few days, you have to think that the school made an offer, and that Miles turned it down. That or he let LSU know what Michigan was offering and LSU decided to match or surpass it.
We'll likely find out more in the coming days.
As for where Michigan goes from here, nobody knows for sure. However, if you're Brady Hoke, you have to have a smile on your face right now.
Posted on: January 5, 2011 1:38 pm
Edited on: January 5, 2011 1:39 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
Now that the news is official, and Rich Rodriguez has been fired at Michigan, the process of finding a replacement is underway in Ann Arbor. If we're to take Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon's words at his press conference on Wednesday to heart, it doesn't sound like a replacement will be announced quickly. In fact, Brandon made it sound like he hasn't even begun the process yet, which, if true, doesn't bode well for Michigan in 2011.
Still, if he hasn't begun the search yet, here are a few names that will likely be hearing from Michigan in the coming days.
Jim Harbaugh - Actually, from what Brandon said, I'm pretty sure Harbaugh has already heard from Michigan. Brandon may say he hasn't begun the process but reading between the lines, it sounds like Michigan has contacted Harbaugh and that Harbaugh has told the school he's not interested. Which is why Brandon didn't seem to have any problems addressing Harbaugh-related questions and even say that he feels Harbaugh is headed to the NFL. Still, until an official announcement is made by Harbaugh, a portion of the Michigan faithful will hold out hope.
Brady Hoke - Hoke's name has come up as a possible replacement, and he's made it known that Michigan is his dream job and he'd have no problem leaving San Diego State for the job. Still, even though Hoke has been successful at Ball State and with the Aztecs, I don't think that's enough to make him Michigan's top choice. Odds are the school will take a stab at some bigger names with Hoke as a backup plan.
Les Miles - Before Michigan hired Rodriguez, rumor was that Miles was one of the school's top choices to replace Lloyd Carr. Miles stayed at LSU, but it's possible that Michigan could make a run at their former offensive lineman once more. The question is whether or not Miles would want to leave his nice contract at LSU to take the job, or whether Michigan would be comfortable bringing him home.
Chris Petersen - Any athletic director at a BCS conference school who is looking for a head coach that doesn't call Boise State's Petersen isn't doing his job. Petersen's done a remarkable job at Boise State, helping keep a tiny commuter school in Idaho a power on the national scene. If he could do that at Boise State, imagine what he might be able to do with the resources available to him at Michigan.
Gary Patterson - During his press conference, Dave Brandon pointed out that whoever he brings in to replace Rodriguez, an emphasis will be placed on defense. That doesn't necessarily mean it'll be a defensive-minded head coach, but if Brandon wants a strong defense at Michigan, he could do a lot worse than TCU's Patterson. The question here is whether or not Patterson would want to make the transition north, or if he has a need to. After all, TCU will be joining the Big East in 2012, so if Patterson wants to coach in a BCS conference, he no longer has to leave the school.
Mike Leach - I don't think Brandon has any interest in Mike Leach, but I'll bet Leach has interest in Michigan. Hell, he has interest in every school.
Kyle Whittingham - Whittingham hasn't had any trouble maintaining what Urban Meyer started at Utah, and could bring that success to Ann Arbor. Of course, considering that Whittingham has been at Utah for 16 years, it doesn't seem as though he's in a hurry to leave the place. Plus, like Gary Patterson, he's now running a program that is bound for a BCS conference, so the motivation to leave isn't as strong as it may have been.
Urban Meyer - Speaking of Meyer, how about Urban Meyer? Do I think this would happen? No, I believe Meyer was serious when saying he wants some time off. Still, you know it's only a matter of time before somebody throws his name out there, so I may as well.
Posted on: January 5, 2011 11:35 am
Edited on: January 5, 2011 11:47 am
Posted by Chip Patterson
After a day of back and forth, the deed was finally done on Wednesday morning. Rich Rodriguez has been fired as the head coach of the Michigan Wolverines. While the potential Michigan opening has been the subject of discussion for coaches such as Jim Harbaugh, Les Miles, and San Diego State's Brady Hoke; the move also makes Rodriguez, a high commodity himself, available on the coaching market.
Many people are quickly trying to link Rodriguez to one of the currently vacant head coaching positions, but sources believe otherwise. The Detroit News reported that those close to Rodriguez believe there is a strong possibility he will take a year off to spend with his family before returning to coaching. The move would give Rodriguez a chance to reboot after three frustrating seasons in Ann Arbor, as well as give him the option to pick his options when he decides to return to coaching. That's not to say there aren't suitors that are interested in obtaining Rodriguez's service.
One of the popular thoughts for Rodriguez's next stop, should he make a move this offseason, is the recently vacated position at Pittsburgh. With new hire Mike Haywood pushed out just as soon as he arrived, speculation has swirled at the possibility of Rich Rod coaching the rival of his Alma mater. There is also the opening at Connecticut, now available with Randy Edsall leaving to take the job at Maryland. Another interesting possibility would be at Clemson if Dabo Swinney is relieved of his duties. Rodriguez spent two years as Clemson's offensive coordinator under Tommy Bowden before accepting the head coaching position at West Virginia.