Michigan Coach Brady Hoke is not and should not be on the hot seat


One of the problems with coaching at places like Michigan is dealing with expectations.

About a week and a half ago, I wrote a piece about Nebraska fans and their sense of entitlement that lit a fire under the Husker fan base. Most of what I said in that article could be true for Michigan as well.

There are whispers around the web that indicate that Michigan head football coach Brady Hoke may be on the hot seat. Even if he’s not actually on the hot seat in the eyes of the University of Michigan, his employer, the fact that it’s even being mentioned indicates that a considerable amount of Michigan fans and media feel like he should be.

That doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me.

Less than three seasons ago, Michigan fired Rich Rodriguez after he was only able to win 15 games in three seasons. Obviously, winning five games a year at any school, let alone Michigan, is enough to get you canned.

Enter Brady Hoke, a midwestern guy who knows Michigan and Michigan football. Hoke has spent 14 years of his coaching career in the state of Michigan — ten of them with the Wolverines. In his first three seasons at the helm in Michigan (the third of which in still in progress), Hoke has won 25 games, been to two major bowl games and beat Ohio State once. If the Wolverines only split the rest of their games in 2013, Hoke’s winning percentage at Michigan will be 71 percent. Historically, the University of Michigan has won 72 percent of its games.

As far as beating Ohio State goes, that’s going to be a tall order for Michigan anytime in the near future and something the Wolverine faithful just need to accept. In college football, two coaches stand above everyone else in terms of their ability to recruit, develop talent and win games. One is Nick Saban. The other is Urban Meyer. A win over either should be cause for celebration init of itself. A loss to either should never be the nail in the coffin of a career.

Many will try to create a subplot for this weekend’s game against Nebraska — dubbing it a must win for both coaches in order to save their jobs. I’m here to tell you that’s only the case for Pelini — or at least it better be. Michigan supporters have to ask themselves “If we get rid of Hoke, who replaces him, wins at the same rate, and beats Urban Meyer?”

That’s the big question for any winning program who wants to improve. Do you sacrifice what you know you have for something there is a slight chance you might be able to get? Personally, I only bet on sure things and sure-thing bets are hard to find. Brady Hoke is the surest thing Michigan has had since the first half of Lloyd Carr’s tenure.

I say ride it out, let these recruiting classes grow into upperclassmen and let Hoke do his job. Michigan is back in the national conversation, playing meaningful games in primetime. Brady Hoke is the reason for that and anyone calling for him to be on the hot seat needs to step back and realize what they have — a great football coach.

In 2013, great football coaches are not easy to come by.


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About J.P. Scott

Owner and editor of Know It All Football, contributor to AthlonSports.com and GridirionExperts.com. Member of the Football Writers Association of America.

7 thoughts on “Michigan Coach Brady Hoke is not and should not be on the hot seat

  1. Adam Gibson
    November 8, 2013 at 9:37 am

    Nebraska and Michigan are both 25-10 since 2011. So, neither coach should really be on the hot seat. They are pretty equal.

  2. Aristotle
    November 9, 2013 at 3:14 pm

    Brady Joke is without a doubt a great coach and we at Ohio State are certainly glad to see him at Michigan

  3. Tom
    November 9, 2013 at 9:23 pm

    Like it or not Hoke is on the hot seat. After last season Michigan fans believed the program was improving and on the road back to being a national power. They perceive this season as a step back. The offensive line play is awful, and that causes the running game to be bad. This season is going from bad to worse.

    Hoke should last through this season, but next year is make or break. Three losses or more next year and he will gone.

  4. Anonymous because i don't want to be hunted down
    November 10, 2013 at 6:15 pm

    Brady Hoke needs to be named VP of Recruiting, and Greg Mattison needs to be interim coach until we find a real football coach. A $6 million coach. I mean right now, this week. Years of Michigan feeling superior to all others, whether they deserved it or not, has given them a sense of entitlement that can only be cured by bringing in a NMM – a non-Michigan man, and having him hammer these guys into thinking they need to toughen up in order to win. If I hear BH one more time saying that “We’re not playing Michigan football”, I think my pancreas are going to explode. WHAT WE ARE PLAYING NOW IS TODAY’S VERSION OF MICHIGAN FOOTBALL, like it or not.

    This is going nowhere, and the NCAAF universe is getting quite a chuckle as a result. MSU “little brother”??? What a laugh. We’re the little brother, and it’s only getting more so. Remember when we used to brush MSU aside and then battle OSU? Check out this season’s probable outcome … pretty much the same but exchange UM and MSU. Two weeks ago we were easily brushed aside. But we still think we’re great. We are the most undeservedly pompous collection of people I know of.

    Get him out now, and let’s start understanding that we’re just another state university that has to work to win.

  5. James Waugh
    November 18, 2013 at 11:03 pm

    How much longer do Michigan fans have to accept losing to Ohio State! Michigan could have had Urban Meyer if they had offered him the job while he was still at Utah (could have pushed Lloyd Carr out the door in his declining years). The truth is, nobody at Michigan seems to give a hoot to losing to Ohio State year after year after year. There is no reason to keep a jerk like Hoke who has a 6-7 won loss record on the road in the Big Ten-is that a sign of a coach who has the 8th highest salary in the country? We have to tolerate Hoke for two more years while we’re still trying to forget the nightmare of Rich Rod? Like it or not, Ohio State is dominating Michigan because Gene Smith has the smarts to hire only outstanding coaches WITH PROVEN, CONSISTENT WINNING BACKGROUNDS, like Tressel and Meyer. It is a very sad thing that the winningest football program in the history of the NCAA is now a second rate program that can’t even compete with it’s in-state rival Michigan State.

  6. richski
    November 25, 2013 at 7:11 am

    Michigan has a ton of talent, however cannot seem to develop it!!

  7. Leroy Strong
    September 21, 2014 at 2:14 pm

    The coaching became pathetic when we took bench penalties. Followed by coaches obviously
    yelling at each other. Teams win when they have fun , I don’see any fun on our side lines.
    Talent should be able to count and be in correct position. Blown coverage,and no coverage.
    We need 100 + % on every play not great then none. Where are the hungry souls
    If Gardner can not see the difference between maze and blue and awful colors ,he should go back to going deep and taking 2 players with him.The Warren QB has a good arm and some go.
    Position and a 100% effort is missing that is coaching and discipline you can not accept this on a top 20 prefer a top 10 team ,yes a point a minute should be our Sunday headlines a hurry up Fielding Yost. No more no score from the offense and no coverage defense, otherwise coaches just leave.