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Michigan hires Hoke as coach

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Associated Press
January 12, 2011
— Brady Hoke has at least a few things in common with the late, great Bo Schembechler.

They both hail from the Buckeye state, didn’t attend Michigan and climbed the coaching ladder before getting a shot to lead the Wolverines. Schembechler restored Michigan as a national power after being welcomed with “Bo Who?” headlines.


Hoke? Despite successful head coaching stints at San Diego State and Ball State, the former Michigan assistant might get a lukewarm reception, too, after fans clamored to bring Jim Harbaugh or Les Miles back to their alma mater.


Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon picked Hoke as his new football coach Tuesday, insisting he was Plan A and not a backup option after Harbaugh left Stanford for the San Francisco 49ers and Miles stayed at LSU.


“The job was never offered to them,” Brandon said in an interview with The Associated Press Tuesday after informing the team of his decision.


Harbaugh was the popular pick when Brandon bought out the last three seasons of Rich Rodriguez’s three-year contract last week. When Harbaugh went to the NFL, Miles appeared to be a logical choice.


Instead, it will be Hoke. And he knows his way around Ann Arbor, too.


“Brady Hoke understands Michigan, and he wanted this job because it has been his dream job,” Brandon told The AP. “We won’t have to teach him the words to “The Victors,” and I believe our players will respond to him because I got 100 percent positive feedback from anybody who played for him here or since he left Michigan.”


Green Bay Packers cornerback Charles Woodson is one of the many former Wolverines who rave about Hoke.


“I’m excited for Brady Hoke and even more excited for Michigan,” Woodson, who won the Heisman Trophy and 1997 national championship at Michigan, wrote in a text message. “I’m glad this process is over and we can begin to restore the tradition and respect that was once Michigan.”


Hoke is scheduled to meet his new team this morning before being introduced at a news conference .


He was on Lloyd Carr’s staff from 1995-2002, coaching the defensive line during the 1997 national championship season, and went on to turn around Ball State and San Diego State.


The Dayton, Ohio, native replaces Rodriguez, who was fired after going 15-22 in three disappointing seasons with the Wolverines.


That includes an 0-6 mark against rivals Ohio State and Michigan State.


Hoke has 28 years of college experience with assistant coaching stints at Grand Valley State (1983), Western Michigan (1984-86), Toledo (1987-88), Oregon State (1989-94) and Michigan (1995-2002). He graduated from Ball State in 1982.


San Diego State gave Hoke a five-year contract worth $3,525,000 in December 2008 to replace the fired Chuck Long. He went 4-8 his first year but last season led the Aztecs to their first winning season (9-4) and bowl berth since 1998.



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