Michigan V Ohio State: Win Or Lose, Brady Hoke Stays


As soon as the final whistle blew on last weeks loss to Maryland, Michigan Wolverines fans have been counting the days until Brady Hoke era ends and the national coaching search begins. But fans who are counting on an early exit for the embattled Wolverines head coach might be disappointed.

Fans better prepare themselves for the strong possibility that Brady Hoke won’t lose his job and instead be allowed to work out the final year of his contract with the Wolverines.

More from Michigan Wolverines

And he won’t even have to beat Ohio State to keep his job.

How is this possible you ask? The answer to the question has to do with the Athletic Director position.

Jim Hackett was named interim Athletic Director after David Brandon’s resignation.  Although there have been reports that the interim title is about to be lifted, university President Mark Schlissel has yet to make that official. As long as there is an interim director it will be difficult for Michigan to make a major hire to fill the coaching vacancy considering the uncertainty with the direction of the department.

To complicate the issue, two distinct factions have reportedly developed among the boosters.  That will create a fragile support network for the new coaching hire that will be difficult to manage without leadership from the Athletic Directors office.

That said interim or not Mark Schlissel has given the Hacket the job of evaluating the program and all indications are he is impressed with the job Brady Hoke has done despite the adversity.  At least that is the impression he gave during remarks to the press before the Maryland game.

Hackett also made clear that although the program is under evaluation he does not feel any pressure to rush his decision on the head coach position.

"“I’m sorry to use the phrase, ‘This is Michigan’,” he said. “If I’m a recruit and I’m staring at the history of this place and the academic standards… and what it’s like to be in that Big House next door, we have a fantastic story and it doesn’t depreciate with three or four weeks.”"

So will Hackett drop the axe on Hoke after 3 or 4 weeks?

Not necessarily.

The interim Athletic Director went on to comment about how impressed he has been with Brady Hoke’s ability to maintain a leadership presence despite the turmoil surrounding his program.

"“I’ve really enjoyed the time in talking to him,” Hackett said. “I’ve learned more and more what he’s had to address and deal with. Every football coach I’ve known in my life, and I’ve known more than the one that I played for I would tell you it’s always not obvious all the variables that they are managing in a very complex way to have the best outcomes. There’s probably always two stories, what our fans see and the product on the field and there’s things they don’t see that they have to manage through. In Brady’s case, the progress we’re making in academics is the best in recent times, under Brady. So he’s managing that. The values that he stands for. That really matters in a football program. He’s managing that. And he’s dealing with a quarterback’s down or somebody can’t play. When you mix all that up, that’s what defines great coaches.”"

Fans need to remember that there is a prevailing thought that David Brandon was a micromanager when it came to the football program, often sitting in on film sessions and coaches meetings.  It has also been rumored that Brandon, not Hoke, insisted on the firing of offensive coordinator Al Borges and the hiring of Doug Nussmeier.  A move that has turned out to be a complete disaster.

If Brady Hoke can convince Jim Hackett that David Brandon was a major factor in the football programs recent failures, he could get a chance to earn a contract extension next year.  If you put any stock in the interim AD’s recent comments, Hackett may be willing to give him that chance.