Why Does Brady Hoke Hate Headsets?


Nov 16, 2013; Evanston, IL, USA; Michigan Wolverines head coach Brady Hoke coaches from the sidelines against the Northwestern Wildcats during the first half at Ryan Field. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Since Brady Hoke took control of the Michigan Wolverines fans have noticed there is something missing around his head. (Michigan State fans should insert joke here).

Unless you have been living under a rock you probably know by now that Brady Hoke refuses to wear a  headset while coaching the Wolverines. Most NCAA coaches wear a headset when on the sidelines to communicate with and give instruction to the coordinators in the booth. But Hoke subscribes to the theory that remaining headset free helps him be more effective in coaching his players.

"“What people don’t realize, I wear a headset when I need to wear a headset,” Hoke responded, adding, “I have a guy behind me who is telling me every call. When guys come off the field, when guys are on the sideline — (not wearing a headset) allows me to coach.”"

Is it realistic to think Brady Hoke can keep up with the fast pace of an NCAA game with relayed and subsequently delayed communication? When a decision about a play call in a key situation needs to be made, can the grapevine be trusted to relay Hoke’s message back to the booth? When a bad call is made should we blame the “guy who is behind” Hoke telling him every call?

The preceding questions seem silly when talking about a division one NCAA football program but Hoke’s insistence and reinforcement of his no headset policy combined with the lack of results leads fans to question his methods.

In fact the Brady Hoke’s hatred of headsets has led to both of his coordinators Doug Nussemier and Greg Mattison joining him on the sideline this season.  So who will be in the booth evaluating the formations on the field? Apparently it won’t be the men paid to do so.

It is unknown whether or not the coordinators will be allowed wear headsets or forced to play the same game of “telephone” the Brady Hoke likes to play on game day. One thing is certain this story is not going away anytime soon and if the Wolverines don’t have success this year it will become even bigger than it is now.