In the wake of what has been in up and down season for the Michigan Wolverines, who currently sit at 7-4, athletic director Dave Brandon has come with some strong words in support of his head football coach, Brady Hoke.
According to Brandon: “I know that Brady Hoke will finish his career at Michigan as one of the most successful coaches in our program’s storied history”
The announcement is not a huge surprise as the program has improved under Hoke, even if it has not quite to the point where Michigan expects itself to be. Coming into the season, there were some that projected the Wolverines to be a far bigger threat within the Big Ten with the possibility of having a more national presence. That has not happened and the loss to Michigan State was pretty lopsided. On the other hand, Hoke and the Wolverines delivered an important win against Notre Dame, the last in their rivalry and a statement game for Michigan and Hoke. Before the game, Brian Kelly of Notre Dame said the two reasons for ending the rivalry were “strength of schedule and recruiting”. He and the Irish left with a loss.
The timing of this announcement appears to have been had two significant factors in light of the timing. First, they play Ohio State this week and while Michigan would love to go in and pull off a monster upset, they are a significant underdog. A bad loss could send fans reeling.
The other important aspect of this that comes into play is recruiting. Opposing coaches can use negative recruiting and the specter of Hoke being fired to try to convince kids not to go there. Brandon’s announcement sends the message that players committed to Hoke can expect him to be there next year and beyond. Michigan is supposed to have a pretty strong class coming in and this move is in hopes to make sure it stays that way.