Tuesday, January 11, 2011
The University of Michigan reported this afternoon that San Diego State University football coach Brady Hoke has been hired as the new coach of the Wolverines.
In announcing Hoke as the 19th coach in the 131-year history of Michigan football, UM Athletic Director Dave Brandon said:
"We are pleased to announce the hiring of Brady," said Brandon. "He is a terrific coach and will be a great ambassador and leader for our football program. We look forward to having him build a championship program on the field and in the classroom."
Hoke coached San Diego State for the past two seasons. His overall record was 13-12, but the Aztecs went 9-4 this past season and beat Navy in the Poinsettia Bowl last month. Hoke, who previously coached at Ball State, was named Mountain West Conference Coach of the Year for his work in turning around the SDSU program.
Hoke is expected to be replaced by SDSU defensive coordinator Rocky Long, at least in the interim. The coaching change comes in the midst of the intense football recruiting season, leaving the future of the SDSU program in jeopardy.
Hoke, a former Michigan assistant, was considered as a front-runner for the job after Michigan Coach Rich Rodriguez was fired last week. He told SDSU when he interviewed for the Aztecs job two years ago that his ultimate goal was to coach the Wolverines.
Hoke, who never signed a contract extension offered him last month by SDSU, must pay State $1 million to buy out the remaining three years of his contract.
Hoke spent eight seasons in Ann Arbor before embarking on his head-coaching career, coaching the Wolverines' defensive line. It was a group that helped Michigan rank annually among the nation's best in rushing and total defense. Hoke coached three linemen to All-America honors during his tenure.
A member of Michigan's staff during its 1997 national championship season, Hoke helped the defense lead the nation in rushing defense at 89 yards per game and 2.7 yards per carry. Michigan's team posted 5-3 records against arch-rivals Michigan State, Ohio State and in bowl games during Hoke's tenure on the staff.
He led SDSU to its first bowl game in 12 years, a 35-14 victory over Navy. Six of his players earned first-team All-MWC honors in 2010, including running back Ronnie Hamilton, the league's freshman of the year. In his first season at San Diego State, Hoke had five players named to All-MWC teams, while 11 players were MWC All-Academic selections.
Hoke has 28 years of collegiate 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).
A 1982 graduate of Ball State University, Hoke earned four letters (1977-80) with the Cardinals. He was part of the only two teams in school history to post undefeated conference seasons: as a player in 1978 and as head coach in 2008. Hoke led BSU to the 1978 MAC championship, and as a team captain in 1980 earned All-MAC second team honors.
A native of Dayton, Ohio, Hoke graduated from Fairmont East High School in 1977. Hoke and his wife, the former Laura Homberger, have one daughter, Kelly.
Brandon will formally introduce Hoke at a press conference on Wednesday.