Athletic director David Brandon released a statement on Tuesday announcing that Brady Hoke, the San Diego State head coach, will replace Rich Rodriguez as the head coach at the University of Michigan. Hoke was a defensive line coach at Michigan from 1995-2002 and has since spent eight seasons as an FBS head coach at Ball State and SDSU. He's married with one daughter.
Hoke's results at Ball State . . .
2003: 4-8, 3-5
2004: 2-9, 2-6
2005: 4-7, 4-4
2006: 5-7, 5-3
2007: 7-6, 5-2
2008: 12-1, 8-0
Hoke's results at SDSU . . .
2009: 4-8, 2-6
2010: 9-4, 5-3
Totals . . .
34-30 in conference
1-1 in bowl games (Hoke did not coach in Ball State's 2008 bowl game)
The 2010 version of San Diego State finished 16th in total offense, 19th in scoring offense, 43rd in total defense, and 36th in scoring defense.
I am not a fan of this hire. At all. The all-time winningest program in college football history just hired a guy with a 47-50 career record, a .484 winning percentage. The all-time winningest program in college football history just hired a guy who has three winning seasons in his career, or 37.5% of the time. The all-time winningest program in college football history just hired a guy who was probably Michigan's third choice - at best - behind Jim Harbaugh and Les Miles.
I said after the 2010 Ohio State game that I thought Michigan's coaching ranking should be:
1. Jim Harbaugh
2. Rich Rodriguez
If David Brandon was going to wait until after the Orange Bowl to make a firing/hiring, then he should have sewn up Harbaugh immediately or retained Rodriguez (and forced him to fire Greg Robinson). There shouldn't have been a third option, like Miles or Hoke.
I don't care if Brady Hoke is a Michigan Man. He's not a proven coach. He loses more than he wins. It took him five seasons to get the exact same record (7-6) at a MAC school as Rich Rodriguez earned in his third season at Michigan.
Meanwhile, Hoke runs a pro-style offense whose two quarterbacks in 2010 were 6'4"-6'5" and between 210 and 215 pounds; Denard Robinson will probably either agree to change positions or transfer to Pitt. Meanwhile, Hoke had better hope that sophomore/redshirt freshman Devin Gardner can play quarterback fairly well, because . . . well . . . choices are slim. Well, "choice" is probably too broad of a term there. I know David Brandon can't make a decision about a program based on one player or one position, but when you go with a losing coach who also probably plans to totally revamp the offensive and defensive systems, that's kind of a double blow.
Hoke isn't all bad. He had two 1,000 yard receivers in 2010. He also had the 10th leading rusher in the country. He went 9-4 and won a bowl game. By all accounts he's a nice guy, a solid recruiter, and a fiery leader.
By the way, I'm keeping my Rivals account to follow recruiting, but not for the inside information. Chris Balas, the "insider" over there charged with following the coaching situation, originally implied that Harbaugh would be hired, then he switched his pick to Hoke, then Miles, then Hoke again. I said after the bowl game that I expected Harbaugh to be the next coach, but after that, I quit guessing. You get one chance to be right. If you screw it up, you just throw up your hands and say "I don't know what the hell is going on." Not Balas, though. I guess you're bound to be right if, once you're wrong, you get to change your answer a bunch of times. I wish the ACT had been like that back when I was in high school.
Marred with one daughter...man, you must really not like kids.ReplyDelete
Oh, you mean married.
@ Lankownia 6:17 p.m.ReplyDelete
lol Good catch.
I think RR is a better coach than BH, but if you're going to make a case for RR staying at Michigan you obviously have to look beyond W-L totals. Right? The case for keeping RR is the same as the case for hiring Hoke - they improve over time.ReplyDelete
Ball State isn't Michigan. It was a traditionally awful program that Hoke steadily built up into the MAC's best team. Ball State did NOT want to lose him and he left on the program on good terms. Ditto for SDSU. He beat out the much hyped coach at TCU for coach of the year...in an undefeated season!
Don't get me wrong, I think this is a massive failure by DB. He got worked by the process instead of working it. He failed to build on the foundation that RR built and will instead blow up the program to look backward into the past. DB failed in his process, but then again, RR looked like a success when he was hired and that ultimately did not work out...
That said, if you're going to knock Hoke, you're going to have to make a case stronger than adding up wins and losses. Not when Gene Czizik just won a national title. Not when Gary Moeller revolutionized the Michigan offense. Not when Jim Harbaugh had a losing record in the BCS until this season. Not when Pete Carrol built USC into a powerhouse. Etc.
Funny comments about Rivals...been getting harassing emails about renewing my thewolverine.com membership, but now in light of the Chris Balas waffle-a-thon, I'll happily pass on the rivals membership & get my recruiting insider info from...well, here.ReplyDelete
Not the sexiest hire but a very solid one. We need a coach that stresses fundamentals and a tough mentality both physically and mentally. I think Hoke will bring that to the table. Oh yea I forgot the most important thing we need, an above average special teams. You have to win two out of the three phases if you want to be successful and RR clearly failed on defense and special teams. Hoke's selection of assistant coaches will define his career at UM, IMO.ReplyDelete
@ Lankownia 6:26 p.m.ReplyDelete
The difference between Hoke's and Rodriguez's W-L records at previous schools was that Rodriguez turned programs around relatively quickly. It took Hoke five seasons to get to 7-6, whereas it took Rodriguez only three. Meanwhile, Rodriguez has a CONSISTENT history of winning (prior to Michigan), whereas Hoke has three winning seasons out of eight total.
I don't mean to knock Hoke. I have nothing personally against the guy. I don't think he's an arrogant person. I don't think he's a shady character. I don't think he's a horrible coach. But has he honestly shown that he's good enough to helm the all-time winningest program and get it back on track?
Gene Chizik just won a NC with an ineligible QB (I don't care what the hypocritical NCAA says). Pete Carroll ran off to the NFL because his program paid a bunch of professio...er...uh...college athletes to win games for him. Gary Moeller took over a very good program and it dwindled to consecutive 8-4 seasons. Harbaugh took a crappy program and was winning in his third season at Stanford, whereas it took Hoke five years.
Don't get me wrong - I'm going to root for Michigan to win every single game. I want Hoke to be successful. But I just don't see him getting Michigan back to the elite level.
Rodriguez certainly didn't have great kickers, but his punters weren't bad. And his returners were okay (at least a couple of them). Coverage units weren't bad, either.
By the way, SDSU was 107th in kickoff returns and 93rd in punt returns in 2010.
Hoke obviously isn't a mastermind or innovator like RR. I don't mean to say he's a better coach objectively speaking. My point is that RR's track record also includes many losses, so just going by that is a pretty weak argument.ReplyDelete
You can't just pick out WVU and ignore UofM for RR then pick Ball State and not SDSU for Hoke. Thats cherry picking. You also need to consider context.
RR's "consistent history of winning" applied to exactly 1 school. Same as Hoke. Hoke took SDSU from 2 wins to 9 in his 2 seasons there. RR took WVU from 7 wins to 9 in his first 2 seasons there. I'll give Hoke the edge in turnaround there, and the Mountain West might be as good, if not better, than the Big East.
If you want to talk about Ball State, your point about the rate of the turnaround is more valid. And yet, the Ball State had far more inertia as a losing program than Michigan or West Virginia. Michigan was averaging 9 wins a year before RR arrived. Likewise, Don Nehlan had built up a solid foundation at WVU. Rodriguez obviously took it to another level, but was also had some good fortune and weak competition. In contrast, Hoke had very little to start from at Ball State - so it makes sense that it might take an extra year or two to get to winning 10+ games a year.
Michigan isn't Ball State. RR is (maybe) better at turning a 3 win team into an 11 win team, but that isn't what Michigan needed.
Hoke has shown that a) he wants the job b) he's supported by nearly everyone he works with c) he has a good track record of consistent progress.
Don't get me wrong...Hoke isn't an impressive hire. But he's not a bad hire either. Brandon painted Michigan into a corner. They still ended up with a decent coach because they're Michigan.
I don't expect great things out of Hoke. I'm disappointed with the process. But I'm going to give Hoke a chance.
Most of all, I'm extremely relieved we didn't end up with Miles as our coach. W-L record, or not, Miles is an idiot and a sleazeball. I'd have had a hard time with him representing the UofM that I came to know as principled and filled with integrity.
Right now the best we can hope with Hoke is that he stops the attrition including Denard, coaches up the defensive talent we do have, and keeps whats left of this recruiting class.ReplyDelete
I would not mind seeing him retain Fry and he will need to bring in an OC that has used running QB's effectively - does not have to be a zone read guy.
He is behind in making the 2012 class relationships, but he needs to plug some holes in that 2012 class.
Brandon has really hamstrung him by giving him only 17 days to cobble a class together, and this will lower Hoke's ceiling no matter how good he is, unless the small classes all pan out.
Guh, this whole process has been depressing, and its not going to get better for a long time.
@ Lankownia 7:15 p.m.ReplyDelete
I can't disagree with most of what you said. I'm not saying that Hoke is a horrible coach. He's just not the caliber of coach (in my opinion) that Michigan should have.
But anyway, I wasn't cherrypicking when I talked about Rodriguez/Hoke. When I wrote that post, I was comparing Rodriguez 2007 with Hoke 2011; I was comparing their resumes at the time of their respective hire dates, not necessarily the overall record. But even with the past three seasons for Rodriguez, he was a more consistent winner at WVU, Michigan, and Glenville State.
The success at Glenville State doesn't exactly seem pertinent.ReplyDelete
I agree RR's 2007 resume obliterates BH's 2011...but I also think it bests Harbaugh's.
I'd like to agree with you that Michigan should have a higher caliber coach, however I suspect the reality is no such willing candidates exist. Or if they do, they require a dynamic salesmen to be talked into it. Brandon clearly doesn't have the ability or willpower to pursue it, so he went for the cheap/easy hire that will get media and community support.
Furthermore, I don't think Michigan is that great of a job. The Big10 is intense competition and Michigan is clearly a notch off the elite at this point. Its a challenging situation. The fanbase and media are unreasonably negative. The standards are unreasonably high. The pressure massive. The natural recruiting base - below average. The climate a major negative. The admissions/academics - challenging. The pay/funding - average.
Tell em again why this is a better job than LSU, than Stanford, than Nebraska, than Missouri, Iowa, etc? I don't think tradition means so much to 17 year old potential recruits as it does to older fans. Michigan has a national profile, a giant stadium, and a large fanbase. Thats nice, but it only does so much to help a coach be successful.
I came here hoping you could talk me back from the edge. And, much like my relationship with Michigan football these days, I am left wanting.ReplyDelete
@ Lankownia 7:46 p.m.ReplyDelete
Ignoring some of Rodriguez's head coaching success IS cherrypicking. Glenville State is certainly pertinent.
I think you're underselling Michigan. I think I'm a pretty unbiased observer. If Michigan were weak in some areas, I would tell you. But if I have to explain why Michigan is a better job/program than Missouri and Iowa, then I don't think you've been paying attention to football.
LSU is a premiere program, and I wouldn't argue if someone told me that they thought LSU was a better program.
But does Stanford have a better national profile? Does Stanford somehow have easier admissions/academic standards? Does Missouri or Iowa have an awesome natural recruiting base? I guess I've missed all those superstars coming out of Des Moines...
Michigan is obviously in a little bit of a rut, but let's not get crazy.
Sorry, man. For the record, I'm not jumping off the ledge. No need to jump. I'm just temporarily pissed.
Tomorrow it's back to looking at recruiting and seeing where Michigan can go from here.
I should've done my research on Hoke's special teams before calling RR out. Special teams are one of the hardest things to predict especially kickers. RR was fortunate though to have his name tied to Mesko though. He did find Hagerup, who has a bright future.ReplyDelete
I just think fans need to support Hoke or we will have another RR fiasco like the past few years. If Tom Brady and Charles Woodson like, respect, and back the guy then why cant we?
LOL...just noticed the Tony Siragusa reference under Hoke's picture. Nice WorkReplyDelete
Is our defense going to depend on who Hoke hires as DC or does he like a certain front? Either way a good DC has to be adaptive and run multiple fronts IMO.
@ 912Jeff 8:02 p.m.ReplyDelete
No harm, no foul.
I don't plan to harp on the Hoke hire much. I don't think it's necessary - or productive - to continually voice my displeasure about the hire, because it's done and my opinion won't change it. I was not a fan of the Rodriguez hire, either, and I don't think I was particlarly anti-Rodriguez over the last few years. There were certainly some things that I disliked (his use of running backs, the defensive personnel, etc.), but I never wanted him to get fired until after the 2010 season was completed.
I'll back Hoke. I'm going to root for the team. I'm going to write about the team [hopefully] without bias. I absolutely, 100% want him to win. I would be ecstatic if my opinion about his hire turned out to be totally off.
But this is my initial reaction.
And by the way, it sure would have been nice if guys like Brady, Woodson, Dierdorf, etc. would have voiced positive opinions for Rodriguez, too. It seems like a lot of those powerful voices disappeared over the last few seasons, and the only guys who said anything were minor players like Morgan Trent and Toney Clemons, neither of whom had a positive take.
I don't know that a Dan Dierdorf Stamp of Approval would have helped Michigan win any more games, but it sure might have taken some of the heat off of Rodriguez and Co.
It's recruiting that scares me. We're bringing in a guy who runs a lot of 2-tight, 2-back sets, and we have a roster that features two tight ends and one (walk-on) fullback. We've got plenty of slot ninjas, but few big receiving threats. And we have one QB who (possibly) fits this system. With a spread guy, we could focus on recruiting defense. Instead, Hoke is going to have to spend a couple of classes bringing in pro-style guys.ReplyDelete
The delay blew up the current class, and I doubt Brady Hoke is going to be able to draw much interest from new recruits in the next few weeks. So we're basically looking at a couple of years of finger-in-the-dike recruiting.
That, and we'll have to recruit a new Program Messiah if Denard transfers.
Damnit, I've gone and gotten myself all worked up again.
@ 912Jeff 8:08 p.m.ReplyDelete
I think we can count on the 3-3-5 being a thing of the past. It all depends on who Hoke hires to be the DC, but I would expect that we'll see a 3-4 being deployed with Craig Roh as an edge-rushing OLB. Think 2007 with Roh as Shawn Crable.
That's just a guess, though. We'll see...
I have a feeling that fan support will have very little impact on Hoke's success.
@ BiSB 8:12 p.m.ReplyDelete
I think going from spread to pro-style is more difficult than going from pro-style to spread. So I don't think the transition will be extremely difficult except at the QB position.
Fullback is a position that can quite easily be filled by a walk-on, a beefy tailback, or a converted linebacker. We also have an incoming walk-on named Joey Kerridge (from Traverse City) who could be a very solid fullback if he follows through with his plans to walk on at Michigan.
The tight end thing might be difficult, but there are still some tight ends on the board. Any injury at TE might be really tough to overcome, but we should be fine there for next year, at least.
I also think we'll be okay at WR. I wouldn't recruit guys like Odoms, Terrence Robinson, Gallon, etc. for a pro-style offense, but Odoms has done okay on the outside, and basically every team can find a use for at least ONE kid like Gallon; he could be a change-of-pace running back or play some slot receiver. Otherwise, we have Stonum, Jerald Robinson, Jeremy Jackson, Roundtree, etc.
Anyway, the QB position scares me a bit - and it's an important position, obviously - but the rest of the team should translate fairly well, I think.
I agree on the QB position. I expect Hoke to sign a QB or two depending on how severe the attrition is. It looking like Tate's gone but hopefully him and Denard stay. I think Devin could be great in this system. Another thing, Aren't devin and DeAnthony Arnett pretty close? Could we possibly sway Arnett?
@ 912Jeff 8:54 p.m.ReplyDelete
I expected a QB in this class, whether Rodriguez was coach or not. I think the Hoke hire means that there definitely MUST be a QB in this class, if not two. Hoke has no choice but to bring in somebody.
Unless something changes at Tennessee, Arnett is sticking with UT. I don't want him, anyway. The kid is full of himself. Devin Lucien, the kid from Encino, was being recruited by San Diego State. I'm hoping the combination of Hoke's California recruiting ties and Lucien's interest in the University of Michigan will help reel him in.
I see that SDSU has a decently rated QB in their class. I wonder if we can flip him. I'm gonna spend some time perusing the Rivals lists and see if there are any other PQB's that we could snatch.ReplyDelete
Also, I agree with Magnus, I'm tired of Arnett. Give me Lucien any day.
Is there any reason to think Denard should stay? Isn't he better off transferring to Pitt or Auburn or Oregon or any other run-oriented spread? With Al Borges as the coordinator its going to be old-school I-form. I suppose you can argue Denard would benefit from learning a new system, but he'll benefit more from potentially winning a heisman trophy in a system that fits his skills. Sitting out 1 year really won't hinder him much.
It seems to me the biggest area where transition could be an issue (besides QB) is OL. The line is relatively undersized and won't they have to learn very different techniques in a pro-style offense. It would seem to me that OL and DL would be the recruiting priorities for Hoke since those are need area anyway. And yeah, TE too. Its going to be slim pickings perhaps, this late in the year, but hopefully Hoke learns from RR's mistakes and just finds some reliable players who fit positional leads and can provide reliable system depth over the next 4 or 5 years. Don't swing for the fences till you establish a reliable base.
@ Lankownia 10:40 p.m.ReplyDelete
I am not optimistic with regard to Denard Robinson. The best thing I think Hoke can do is try to convince Robinson to change positions. We all know (at least I think we do) that if Robinson has any NFL future, it will be at receiver or running back. Hoke MIGHT be able to convince Robinson that he might as well begin the transition to WR/RB right now, but I don't think Hoke could make an honest pitch to Robinson that he could play QB in Hoke's offense (assuming Hoke still disdains the spread option, which is a reasonable assumption).
My initial guess is that Robinson will probably transfer to Pitt, but that's based on nothing except my personal musings.
I don't think the OL is particularly undersized. They're all about 300 pounds or more, except Molk . . . and Molk is the strongest OL on the team.
Regarding Denard - we don't even know if he can catch. He's certainly not a RB given his size, fumbling, and injury history. He was conference player of the year while being a QB...a position switch just seems crazy to me.ReplyDelete
Going back to the quality of the Michigan job thing. I agree the Michigan program and therefore head coach job has more prestige than say Missouri or Iowa. But what does prestige really get you when it comes down to it?
What does a national profile get you. TCU doesn't need a national profile. Neither do Stanford or Miami. They recruit their states. Maybe 15 years ago when you could only see a few games a week. Today, you can watch almost any game in the country.
Yeah, Stanford has tougher admissions but they also have a less demanding fan base and meddling media. It has better weather, more prestigious academics, higher quality of life (by most subjective measures) and faces less competition in the Pac10 (basically just have to beat Oregon) plus no championship game hurdle.
Iowa and Missouri have (arguably)easier admissions/academic standards. They have stable and respected coaching staffs. They have job security. They're not under great pressure/scrutiny. They've performed at a high level for years.
Michigan, obviously, is a bigger brand name. Yet Pinkel and Ferentz turned down the option of talking to Michigan. Harbaugh wouldn't have been talking to Michigan if it wasn't his alma mater.
If you're a head coach, prestige and tradition and brand name for recruiting are nice, but so are job stability, supportive fans, rational media, pay and quality of life. You have to weigh many factors when deciding and many coaches realize that Michigan comes with as many negatives as it does positives. You have to see that a fairly renowned and successful coach was just fired after 3 years and what seemed like progress, albeit slow progress.
I realize to some the prestige factor plays a bigger part than to others. But clearly, this isn't as much of a draw as it maybe once was. People with decent BCS jobs aren't knocking down UofM's door to be head coach in Ann Arbor. Even people in some non-BCS schools aren't interested. Things have changed from the 1990s.
I think Hoke can try to sell Denard on using a lot of shotgun with 4 wide sets, including some occasional zone reads and QB draws. Promise him he won't run as much, but sell him on health and long-term development as a passer. Use him more like Pryor - run only when its needed.ReplyDelete
I know Borges may prefer the I-form, but obviously the personnel may not be there quite yet and they're smart enough to know that losing Denard would be a huge hit. So utilize your slot WR while you have them instead of a ho hum FB.
I guess my question about the OL is technique. We've seen Notre Dame and Michigan really struggle with bigger slower OL that didn't fit the demands of the zone block schemes. Won't the some of the same problems come up with power football. Michigan's lineman aren't tiny, but 290-310 isn't really that big for lineman either. I think these guys are good enough to be decent but after spending 3 years learning on style, it'll be a challenge to just move to straight up power blocking.
at LANK 11:21ReplyDelete
I saw Denard at the Friday Night Lights camp in Gainesville his senior year and he was one of the better WR's there and it was loaded with talented guys. I am a coach in Savannah, GA so we had a player down there that year. Needless to say,when Denard signed with us I was elated bc I saw how explosive he was/is. That being said I hope he continues his career at Michigan whether WR or QB.
Another Hoke stat: he has never won a conference championship as a head coach. Not once. Even in 2008, they got soundly beaten by a 7-5 Buffalo team in the championship game.ReplyDelete
It's interesting you list the two options after OSU (1 = Harbaugh, 2 = RR w/o Gerg), but few brought up #2 at the time b/c many people seemed so confident JH would come here. I never understood why people thought that (he always seemed NFL-focused to me), but in wishing for the stars, we fell on our face.
I think Hoke will be OK. Lots of 8-4 type seasons, with a +/- 2 wins if we're lucky or unlucky. But I can never see us getting back into BCS level games with him, let alone winning them (which was the whole point when replacing car - beating top nonconf teams and OSU).
Finally, I think Denard would be insane to want to switch positions. He set multiple records this year; if I were him, I'd assume I'd only get better. He can wait until the NFL to become another Randle-El.
@ Lankownia 11:32 p.m.ReplyDelete
I don't think Michigan's offense will resemble Wisconsin's, in which 320 lb. linemen are necessary. Michigan probably won't be running the ball for, say, an entire half. Hoke likes to move his quarterbacks around and pass the ball. If our linemen can be 300-310 pounds, then I think that will be just fine.
It's the same issue as it was in 2008. Should Michigan run the spread even though the coach doesn't like it/run it, or should we run a pro-style offense despite not having the personnel (with Denard at QB)? Personally, I'd rather Hoke run HIS offense rather than DENARD'S offense. I think you're overestimating the talent a fullback needs for him. We're going to see some split back sets and a more athletic fullback (think BJ Askew), not a thumping blocker who doesn't know what to do with a football.
@ Rob PollardReplyDelete
It would be tough to switch positions, but Denard is going to have to change at some point or another. He could be Chris Johnson...or he could be Eric Crouch. Personally, I'd rather be Chris Johnson.
Wasn't Borges Jason Campbell's OC at Auburn? While certainly not a conventional spread, Auburn's offense his final year was pretty diverse and featured a fair number of qb running plays.ReplyDelete
I keep hearing about how Hoke is not a "sexy hire", but he's the right guy. Since when are those two mutually exclusive? Is Hoke a great hire for Michigan because he has a career losing record and nobody else wants him? Minnesota didn't want him. Indiana didn't want him. Think about that for a moment.ReplyDelete
Record. For what it's worth, you have his conference record wrong. He was 3-5 in his first year, not 3-9 in conference. That changes the totals to put him slightly over .500 in conference.ReplyDelete
@ Andy 11:33 a.m.ReplyDelete
@ Anonymous 10:40 a.m.ReplyDelete
I've heard that Brady Hoke interviewed with Indiana and Minnesota to keep his options open, but ultimately he had his eye on the Michigan job the entire time. I'm not terribly excited about the Brady Hoke hire, but I don't think he's a sub-Indiana/sub-Minnesota coach.
About the "national profile" thing...
TCU, Stanford, and Miami only need to recruit their states because California, Texas, and Florida are football gold mines.
Michigan needs a national profile because the state of Michigan is decidedly NOT. We crank out a few good players annually, mostly from the Detroit area, but we don't compare with the aforementioned states.
Thanks for the info about Denard...still hope he stays at QB though, for his sake.
I know, that was my point. If you're a coach why not prefer a job where you have a fertile recruiting ground at your feet? The Michigan coach has to work much harder and cover much more ground than many programs, including some that aren't considered to be nearly as prestigious.