Thursday, January 12, 2012

My Personal Mea Culpa to Brady Hoke

Brady Hoke was hired as the head football coach at the University of Michigan on January 11, 2011. On that day, and most of the days leading up to that date, I pretty much killed the idea of Hoke as the head coach of Michigan. He had an unproven resume as an HC including a pretty mediocre 13-12 record in 2 years at San Diego State, and I was in no mood for another blind rebuilding process after the Rich Rodriguez disaster. On top of that, I was actually on board with keeping Rodriguez for one year (provided he got rid of Greg Robinson) because of the progress the offense had made, and the way he was using Denard Robinson. Basically, it was the perfect storm of frustration in my mind as a life-or-death Michigan fan.

So, why am I writing this post? Well, I want to publicly state the fact that I was wrong about Brady Hoke. Now, I'm doing this with the strong caveat of only a one-season sample size, but in my wildest dreams, I wasn't picturing 11-2 and a BCS bowl win in year one, and Hoke deserves tons of praise. Unequivocally, the best move that Hoke made was bringing in Greg Mattison to run his defense. Mattison was a finalist for the 2011 Broyles award as the best assistant coach in the country, and overhauled a defense that was near-last in the NCAA in 2010, and made it a top-25 unit in the country the following year with identical personnel. Brady Hoke made that hire.

The culture is back. The swagger is back. Brady Hoke did all of that, and along with Dave Brandon as the AD, I feel infinitely better about the state of the program that I love more than any other sporting entity.

I was wrong, Brady. Hail to the Victors.

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