Former Michigan Assistant Coach Brady Hoke
Brady Hoke is now a legitimate candidate for the head coaching position at Michigan.
Some people think he is a great college football coach and nothing to worry about. I think such ideas are preposterous. They are the cranial productions of blind fools who do not understand college football and offer no evidence to support their views.
Below I share a summary of Mr. Hoke's illustrious track record of college football coaching. In the appropriate words of Charles Dickens, he has "labored on it since. Ah, it is a ponderous chain!"
Now settle down. You didn't let me finish:
Mr. Hoke is a certified, verified, triple-stamped, no erasies, quincies,......
No, NOT a Michelin man! What I was trying to say was that Brady Hoke is a verified......
.....No. That's "Alabama Man". Brady Hoke is a genuine "Michigan Man!".
Good lookin' out, man. What a relief!
Now on with the horror show:
1983 Grand Valley State (MI) - Defensive Line Coach for Head Coach Bob Giesey. Lakers team record:
1983: 4-6. At the time this was the worst and first losing season for GVSU football in over a decade.
1984-1986 Western Michigan - Defensive Line Coach for Head Coach Jack Harbaugh Broncos team records:
1984: 5-6, finished 44th in scoring defense, 19 points per game
1985: 4-6-1, 43rd in scoring defense, 19 points per game
1986: 3-8, 63rd in scoring defense, 23 points per game
1987-1989 Toledo - Linebackers Coach for Head Coach Dan Simrell.
Rockets team records:
1987: 3-7-1, finished 54th in scoring defense, 22 points per game
1988: 6-5, finished 42nd in scoring defense, 20 points per game
1989: 6-5, finished 60th in scoring defense, 25 points per game.
1990-1994 Oregon State - Defensive Line Coach for Head Coach Jerry Pettibone, a former OC for Barry Switzer at Oklahoma and major disciple of wishbone option offense, plus.....now wait for it....a "Michigan Man!" to boot. Pettibone was born in Detroit).
Beavers team records:
1990: 1-10, finished 99th in scoring defense, 34 points per game
1991: 1-10, finished 100th in scoring defense, 33 points per game
1992: 1-9-1, finished 99th in scoring defense, 33 points per game
1993: 4-7, finished 68th in scoring defense, 27 points per game
1994: 4-7, finished 32nd in scoring defense, 22 points per game.
Not too shabby Mr. Hoke. Even a blind fool can see why you would be selected to run the defensive line at a storied college football program like.....
Michigan defensive lineman Glen Steele 1997
1995-2002 Michigan - Defensive Line Coach for Lloyd Carr
Wolverines team records:
1995: 9-4, 17 points per game
1996: 8-4, 15 points per game
1997: 12-0, 9.5 points per game
1998: 10-3, 18 points per game
1999: 10-2, 21 points per game
2000: 9-3, 19 points per game
2001: 8-4, 20 points per game
2002: 10-3, 20 points per game
The 1997 defensive line was arguably one of the most talented in Michigan football history. Hoke won 3 Big Ten Championship rings while coaching at Michigan (1997, 1998 tie, 2000 tie). Michigan was Hoke's longest, most consistent and most successful coaching stint noted on his coaching resume.
2003-2008 Ball State - Head Coach (34-38 over 6 seasons).
Cardinals team records:
2003: 4-8, offense ranked 88th (22 ppg), defense ranked 92nd (32 ppg)
2004: 2-9, offense ranked 101st (20 ppg), defense ranked 111th (37 ppg)
2005: 4-7, offense ranked 94th (21 ppg), defense ranked 114th (38 ppg)
2006: 5-7, offense ranked 39th (27 ppg), defense ranked 84th (26 ppg)
2007: 7-6, offense ranked 40th (32 ppg), defense ranked 69th (28 ppg)
2008: 12-1, offense ranked 18th (35 ppg), defense ranked 29th (21 ppg)
Ball State's football history is amazingly similar to that of San Diego State's (see more on SDSU below). When it comes to meaningful victories on the gridiron, Ball State has been borderline bankrupt since about1978 when the Cardinals last finished 10-1 and Hoke himself was a star linebacker on the team. Unfortunately, the only truly memorable moments of Brady Hoke's Cardinal football teams took the form of "moral victories" only. The first moral victory exhibit would have been the 26-34 loss at Michigan (12-2) in 2006, in a game where up until the 4th quarter most of Michigan Stadium had their eyes closed, thinking to themselves "Please God, don't do it. Not this time. What would we tell our children?". This time God listened, allowed Ball State to lose the game, only to delay his wrath upon Michigan until September 1st the following year.
The second memorable Ball State moment has to be the 40-41 defeat to Bill Callahan's Nebraska team at Lincoln in 2007. Hoke's Cardinals had there way with Nebraska's "Blackshirts" all day long and were literally within a nanometric butt-hair from handing the mighty Cornhuskers their most embarrassing defeat in school history. A Ball State win at Nebraska (gasp) might have rivaled Appalachian State's monster upset victory at Michigan only a few weeks earlier. OK, maybe not. Anyway Michigan fans everywhere said "thanks a lot Brady".
The stand out season that everyone remembers was 2008, where Hoke prodded and cajoled his Cardinals to 12 wins and just one loss (a conference title-losing shellacking at the hands of Turner Gill's Buffalo Bulls team 24-42). So how in the hell did Brady Hoke cook up 12 victories for Ball State? It was easy, man. Schedule the least difficult schedule imaginable (ranked 120th among 120 teams that season) by peppering it with opponents like Northeastern and their ilk.
2009- 2010 San Diego State - Head Coach
Let's face it. For years San Diego State's football program has been a mixed up screenplay of both horror and comedy. SDSU football had taken the form of a zombie: Not quite dead. Not quite alive. Sort of writhing to and fro, strapped to a gurney, begging to eat its fans' brains so that all the suffering and pain can finally subside.
The last winning football season at SDSU was under head coach Tom Craft back in 2003 and even then it was an unconvincing, undead-like, you-don't-know-where-you-are, it's dark, OMG ZOMBIE!, 6-6 finish.
You'd have to go way back to the Ted Tollner regime (1994-2001) at SDSU to find the last ray of sunshine in San Diego State football, when the then failed-USC-coach led the Aztes to
a victory over Hernan Cortez, a 7-6 finish in 1998 (and another bowl loss). There was also that magical and mystical 8-4-1 finish back in 1991 (right again, another bowl loss) under Al Lugenbill that nobody talks about anymore.
Look, it's in no way easy for any man to follow the kind of abject head coaching failure that perfectly describes Chuck Long's HC stint for the San Diego State Aztecs between 2006-2008 (3-9, 4-8, 2-10). After the 2008 football season, Long had SDSU's offense running on all cylinders, ranked 104th in the land with 19 points per game. Defensively the Aztecs finished 114th in the country, surrendering 37 points per game.
Chuck Long, SDSU head coach 2006-2008. Waiting impatiently for spite to show up.
So Brady Hoke arrived on the scene and proceeded to pump untold voltage back into SDSU stammering corpse of a football program - reversing a 2-10 record in 2008 to 4-8 in 2009 and then 9-4 in 2010, including a surprising Pointsettia Bowl win in downtown San Diego against Navy.
Happy Aztecs, 9-4 with bowl win over Navy in 2010
Stop everything. All you guys wearing in red and black right now. Yeah. You are no longer zombies.
San Diego State Aztecs records:
2009: 4-8, offense ranked 85th (23 ppg), defense ranked 98th (31 ppg)
2010: 9-4, offense ranked 20th (35 ppg), defense ranked 37th (22 ppg)
Hoke achieved this success in large part with some "interesting" staff choices, namely Rocky Long (former New Mexico head coach, 65-69 career record) as his defensive coordinator, and selecting savvy offensive coordinator Al Borges (Boise State, Oregon, UCLA, Cal, Indiana, Auburn).
In aggregate Brady Hoke is 47-50 as a head football coach, and 127-109-3 as an assistant defensive football coach.
Mr. Hoke is already checked off as a "Michigan Man" by the sports media and Michigan fans, because of his 8 successful seasons of defensive line coaching under Jim Herrmann and Lloyd Carr outlined above.
But overall Brady Hoke's resume reads consistently below average and less than impressive. It's also full of shocking scenes of futility and defeat on the gridiron. Most importantly, Hoke's few accomplishments would probably pale in comparison to those of the man he would supposedly replace at Michigan - Rich Rodriguez.
This is not an argument to keep Rodriguez as Michigan's head coach. Far from it. Rich Rodriguez had his chance at Michigan and failed.
This is, however, a justified appeal that the "Michigan Man!" filter be shut off completely. It should not be applied as the first and primary selection criteria to the exclusion of all others that might be both viable and available to Michigan football for 2011. Other candidates may be far better options for the Wolverines over the longer term. Choosing dilapidated, refurbished, versions of what was familial and/or familiar can have negative consequences too. Insisting on "Made at Michigan" can be short-sighted. David Brandon must choose wisely and hire the very best coach available. Brady Hoke can't be Michigan's only option. Nor would he be Michigan's best.