The University of Michigan fired head football coach Brady Hoke on Dec. 2 after a 5-7 season.
Brady Hoke is out as Michigan Wolverines head football coach.
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University of Michigan interim athletics director Jim Hackett made the announcement on Dec. 2 via a press release on Michigan's official athletics website:
"I met with Coach Hoke today and informed him of my decision to make a change in the leadership of our football program. This was not an easy decision given the level of respect that I have for Brady. He has done a great job of molding these young men, making them accountable to their teammates, focusing them on success in the classroom and in the community. I wanted to make sure that Brady received adequate time to exhibit the results that would come from his effort and I believe that Brady and our coaching staff had enough time to produce those results and unfortunately they are not there. In the end, I feel that moving in a different direction is the right decision. I wish Brady and his family all the best in the future."
For his part, Hoke poured out his sentiments on the coaching change, per the University of Michigan press release:
"I feel very fortunate to have been an assistant and head coach at the University of Michigan. I will always support the university and this football program. This is a special place and one that Laura, Kelly and I have enjoyed representing during our time in Ann Arbor. I want to thank all of the sons that played for our teams and appreciate the commitment that our coaches and support staff made to the program every day.
"I will miss the relationships that I've been fortunate enough to make within this university and community. I additionally appreciate all of the support that our fans, alumni, students administration and former players have provided our program. I leave with fond memories of my experience at Michigan. Thanks and Go Blue!"
ESPN Dan Murphy confirms the news of Hoke's dismissal. Hackett, who knows Hoke is a man of integrity, told Murphy that it "was not an easy decision."
Hoke met with his players for the last time on Tuesday at the Wolverines' practice facility. Many of them were teary-eyed after learning of their head coach's dismissal. Hackett also told Murphy he had a short meeting with Wolverines football players on Tuesday afternnon, but didn't want to spend too much time with them as he knew they wanted to bid Hoke goodbye. The Michigan interim athletics director intends to meet with the players sometime in the future to discuss criteria they feel is important in a head football coach.
He also said the search for a new coach, which will be done with the help of an executive search firm, will commence immediately, per Murphy. The criteria he and other recruiters will be looking at is "winning with the shared values of the University of Michigan." Hackett implicitly stated he wants to do away with the word "Michigan Man."
He has a certain deadline in mind for the hiring of Michigan's new head football coach, but will not divulge when it will be, per ESPN. The university still owes Hoke a $3 million buyout.
Hoke was a Wolverines assistant football coach from 1995 to 2002 before becoming head coach of the Ball State Cardinals (2003-2008) and San Diego State Aztecs (2009-2010). He wound up with a 34-38 (.472) win-loss record with the Cardinals while he finished 13-12 (.520) with the Aztecs, per Sports-Reference.com.
Murphy notes Hoke got off to a good start in his Wolverines head coaching stint in 2011, when he guided Michigan to an 11-2 (.846) record and a Sugar Bowl triumph. The Wolverines' records over the past three seasons have steadily declined under Hoke's guidance. He finishes with an overall 31-20 (.608) record as Michigan's head football coach, according to Sports-Reference.com.
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