Michigan Wolverines head coach Brady Hoke was hired in 2011 after replacing then head coach Rich Rodriguez.
Now hindsight is 20-20 of course, but I do believe the Wolverines Athletic department botched both hires. After both hires, the Michigan program has been nothing short of a failure. Hoke was a coach that seem to be on the rise when taking over the program, leading the Wolverines to a Sugar Bowl victory over Virginia Tech in 2011, and nabbing one of the best recruiting class is in the country.
So today interim Athletic director Jim Hackett will meet with Hoke regarding his future later today, but ultimately, I do believe he will be handed the pink slip. It’s a shame because Hoke is a good guy, a good recruiter, but just couldn’t get it done in the Big Ten. If Hoke is given one more shot, I truly would be intrigued, simply because The last two seasons, and to see if the players will still continue to play for him.
Let me start this off by saying two things quickly, I am not in any way, shape, or form calling for another man’s job to be taken from him. Hoke has owned up to his recent bumps in the road, most notably Shane Morris and his concussion, and rumors about his termination, so he has gained my respect in doing so.
Now to the good stuff. Let’s play a game where the fans act as the athletic director in 2011. I will not name the athletic director, sort of like Voldemort, so he shall remain nameless, but won’t get an opportunity to do this do over. Listed below I have five coaches who I believe could have taken this program to new heights after Rodriguez’s firing.
Les Miles: (LSU Head Coach. 41-11 since 2011)
Miles is a Michigan man, and has been thrown around in conversation numerous times when the Michigan job is opened up. Although he was never actually offered a job from the Wolverines, you have to wonder if Miles would’ve excepted. Miles has gone 41-11 since 2011, and I can guarantee Michigan fans would sign up for that in a heartbeat. Miles consistently brings in recruiting classes that are top notch, and that can prove to be dangerous when coached up, so I wonder what Michigan could have done with Miles as head coach. But let’s not forget there may be another opportunity to offer the job to Miles this season, so I have to wonder if Hackett will look in his direction.
Kevin Sumlin (Texas A&M Coach. 27-11 since 2011)
The former Houston head coach, and now head coach at Texas A&M, Kevin Sumlin May have been able to breathe a breath of fresh air into the Michigan football program. We here nonstop about the helicopter he takes on recruiting trips, his relationships with players, and that he is a quarterback developer. Johnny Manziel, Ryan Tannehill, and Kenny Hill have all thrived under Sumlin, although Hill has gone through growing pains. Someone may have been able to turn Denard Robinson into a healthy, productive quarterback, and could have done the same for Devin Gardner. Although Robinson was one of the most prolific athletes to ever don the winged helmet, it was always more of a runner than a passer, glorified running back so to speak, and with proper coaching, it makes you feel like Robinson could have been a Heisman winner. From a player development standpoint, it would’ve been hard to say no to Sumlin had we known that ahead of time.
Jim Harbaugh (49ers Head Coach. 41-14-1 since 2011)
Talk about the girl got away, am I right? Jim Harbaugh has been nothing shy of great as a head coach in the NFL, bolstering a 41-14-1 record since taking over for the San Francisco 49ers in 2011. He turned around a program at Stanford, he turned around a franchise in San Francisco, so it’s hard to argue that Harbaugh would not of been successful in Michigan. Harbaugh was a former quarterback, playing under Bo Schembechler, and also play quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts. Harbaugh has excellent recruiting skills, and always found players to fit his system. Also player development seem to work for him just fine as well, having players like Andrew Luck, Alex Smith, and Collin Kaepernick all developed under him. Smith had one of his best seasons, career-wise anyway, when he was coached by Harbaugh, maybe save his career. Luck, a former first-overall pick, was anointed a franchise savior as a junior in college. Arbonne potentially could have developed Devin Gardner into a more than average quarterback, and could have done wonders in Ann Arbor.
Greg Schiano (Buccaneers Head Coach. 20-25 since 2011
Schiano was the name that was around 2007, after Rutgers put together one of the best seasons in school history. Although the Wolverines were on the verge of naming Schiano the head coach that year, things fell through and the Wolverines ultimately named Rodriguez the coach, his name was relevant again after 2011. Schiano has an unimpressive career coaching record, both in college and the NFL. Going 20-25 since 2011, Michigan fans would have been equally furious as they are today. I would politely tell Schiano, “thank you, but no thank you.”
Gary Patterson (TCU Head Coach. 32-17 since 2011)
Gary Patterson is a guy that I believe could have done wonders for the Michigan program. Making appearances in bowl games yearly making recruiting classes live up to their potential, and doing a lot with less than he would’ve had at his disposal in Ann Arbor. Patterson posted a 32-17 record since 2011, and I believe that he could have actually improve that if he was in Michigan head coach. Maybe even a Darkhorse for the opening now, so maybe he would make me eat my words, or look like a genius. TCU has always been a competitive program under Patterson, and the horn frogs should be happy having a coach like him. I was the athletic director, I’d be finding the next flight to Texas.
Now get all of this is just a do over, and Hoke is still technically employed by Michigan. Well Hoke is still the coach, I’m sure there is a search going on either already, or in the near future.
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