When I first heard that Rich Rodriguez was no longer going to be the head coach at the University of Michigan, I was very relieved yet extremely nervous. I always convinced myself that if we didn’t sign a quality coach to replace him like Les Miles or Jim Harbaugh then we’d just end up getting stuck in the same slump “Rich Rod” left us in only a few short months ago.
And when I heard that a man named Brady Hoke was looking more and more like the possible successor as head football coach I was skeptical and somewhat upset.
At the time, I didn’t realize or recall Brady Hoke’s prior involvement with the Michigan program nor was I aware of his passion for Michigan football. But then it happened. Like it happened with many others I know. Brady Hoke gave his introduction speech as our new coach. After that I was sold hook, line and sinker… without a doubt!
Today I can firmly say that since the introductory press conference, I have been a true believer in Brady Hoke almost more than any coach before him.
He clearly was and is the right choice for our program for many reasons.
First Brady brings a dedication and tenacity to our program and the game of football unlike anything I’ve ever seen in collegiate athletics…or at least he speaks like he does.
As far as credentials go Brady Hoke has taken two programs — Ball State and San Diego State — from the blights of college football obscurity and shown each of those programs some of the brightest days in their football histories. His apparent passion to reinstall character and core values back into Michigan is my personal favorite attribute that I admire most about the man.
Another huge selling point for me personally is his knowledge, respect and understanding of our biggest rivalries and what victories against those teams mean to us all.
Everything from his covertly anger-ridden statement of how we will beat Ohio State to Brady’s compulsion to refer to OSU only as “that school in Ohio” just reminds me of the intense passion this rivalry has lacked in recent years.
But I know, there will need to be more than just attitude and character to win on the field and I expect some struggles.
The transition back to traditional “Michigan” football will be tough yet we can overcome and excel.
Going back to a pro style offense and 4-3 defensive scheme will work, like it worked in the past. It may just take some time. The addition of Greg Mattison as the new defensive coordinator will make the transition faster and that choice will go along way towards revamping the Michigan defense back into the intimidating force it was known to be some short seasons ago.
It’s obvious; Brady Hoke understands and respects our traditions. He is making it a mission to preserve the character and integrity of our proud program. Brady asks our student athletes to uphold these traditions with character and will accept nothing less for our storied and revered athletic program.
Michigan men are men of high honor, toughness and morals…the best of the best in all walks of life and career fields. Coach Hoke exemplifies these traits through his coaching and leadership abilities.
Above all though, to me the best thing about Brady Hoke is the fact that his name is not Rich Rodriguez. That’s not a slight at the man Rich Rodriquez is or a shot at his personal efforts to deliver a winner to the fans of the Michigan football program. It’s more so an affirmation of all that Brady Hoke is and what Brady stands for today.
In short time, Coach Brady Hoke will provide the truth behind one of Michigan’s most powerful quotes, ”Those who stay will be champions.”