San Diego State head coach Brady Hoke is moving back east, replacing Rich Rodriguez at the helm of the University of Michigan. You’ve seen the details of his career and his rebuilding ability elsewhere. What you haven’t read is the opinions of the Interrobang staff. Well, whether you wanted it or not, here we are in convenient, e-mail chain form.
Brady Hoke, stud coach out of SDSU. Coached Ball St. for 6 yrs. prior to SDSU, amassing a spectacular 34-38 record with back-to-back crap bowl losses in the International and GMAC bowls. He did go 12-2 in his last season with Ball St., for what it’s worth. Has been similarly mediocre at SDSU: 2 seasons for a combined 13-12, including a win in the Poinsettia Bowl this year.
To go after Harbaugh and Miles, and have to settle on Hoke, has to sting a bit. Maybe if Ann Arbor wasn’t a you-know-what, they wouldn’t have this issue. Alas.
What’s important to look at with Hoke, though, is that SDSU had won a combined 9 games in the three years before he arrived. Must like Ball St., he built the program into a winner. I know he isn’t a glamor boy like Miles or Harbaugh, but Hoke was on the short list for almost every team that fired a coach this season.
Truth be told, unless someone could land Fridge (and I don’t know if he was even looking for a position after leaving Maryland), Hoke was the best FBS coach available – I don’t really count Harbaugh and Miles as available since Harbaugh was going pro and Miles was never seriously going to consider leaving LSU.
Plus, Michigan can be fairly certain that he isn’t bringing any NCAA sanctions with him. More than can be said of many of the coaches from major programs.
And some numbers to prove that Hoke is the best man for the rebuilding job.
Ar Ball State, Bill Lynch gets canned after am 0-11 season in 1999, 5-6 in 2000 and 2001, and a 6-6 campaign in 2002.
Hoke is brought in offeseason 2002-03
It takes him 3 years (03-06) to get a real turnaround, which is about the time to get the recruits and your system established. Then 7-6 in 08 and the best season in school history in 2008 at 12-2.
Hoke goes west to San Diego State, a school you’d figure that would be a little easier to draw kids to as opposed to the middle of nowheres Indiana. First season, 2009, 4-8. And the turnaround this year at 9-4. Now this was SDSU’s first winning season since 1998 and they hadn’t had a better year since going 10-1 in 1977. (BTW, http://www.cfbdatawarehouse.com/ might be the best website ever for records)
Now, he’s got a new rebuilding project and I think that the only thing that could keep Hoke from rebuilding Michigan back into a national power are the alumni and boosters themselves. Next year, Michigan will be terrible again. They may still suck in 2012, but those damn loud Michigan alum HAVE to suffer for a few more years. They didn’t want to give Rich Rod the time to get his system in place. (A horrible hire for Michigan to begin with. A full-on spread offense does not work in the Big 10. It’s a different type of football from the Big East and you have to adapt. Rodriguez did a poor job of adapting and was frankly rescued this year by him freshman phenom. A phenom that may not stay under Hoke.)
The offense was starting to click as he got his type of recruits, but the defense was terrible because he hadn’t gotten his players in there. Three years is not enough time to completly redo a college program and I think we can point to multiple attempts as evidence. But, they got the best man available for the job. I wish him luck, because it’s no fun kicking your rival’s ass when they are horrible. Sure there’s the satisfation of another pair of golden pants every year, but at the same time, there’s nothing as fulfilling as stopping your rival from winning a conference or division title or keeping them from the Rose Bowl. It’s time to bring back the atmosphere that was the Big Game in the mid-00s and the 70s and 80s when national titles were on the line.
If Hoke’s hire brings forth the next Ten Years War, then I am all for it and I honestly wish Brady Hoke and his staff the best of luck.
ADDENDUM – TJ:
Completely agree. I think it’s really funny that the coaching turnaround is so quick these days. Very few people have a reputation that will buy them the time needed to truly implement their system, and no one can really earn that rep because ADs and Alumni expect miracles every year.
Also, I was talking to several Ohio natives down here who said they refuse to ever root for Michigan or the Steelers because of how much they loathe them. I couldn’t convince them that the rivalry sucks if one team is awful every year. OSU gains nothing from playing an unranked Michigan team in the final game every year (especially true when their is no conference title game). In 2006, the teams were #1 and #2 in the country going into their matchup, and that’s how it should be. Both team’s season was on the line and a win meant playing for the title.
That is why the rivalry was great once, and that’s where it needs to go once again.