The Brady Hoke era has arrived at Michigan. And Big Blue fans can only hope that this era works out better than the previous one.
Michigan officially (and finally) introduced their new coach on Wednesday, ending a prolonged coaching-search drama that saw the school approach both Jim Harbaugh (now with the 49ers) and Les Miles (staying at LSU) before apparently settling on Hoke, who arrives in Ann Arbor after a short-but-successful stint at San Diego State.
Speaking to Michigan fans for the first time at his introductory press conference, an at-times emotional Hoke said pretty much all of the "right" things, making clear to Wolverine fans that, while he may not be a "Michigan Man" (he went to Ball State), he is more than respectful of the program's grand old traditions.
"We want to live up to the traditions and the legacies and high regard," Hoke said, according to the Detroit Free Press. "We understand what Michigan football is."
If that's true, Hoke--who served as a defensive line coach under former Michigan coaches Gary Moeller and Lloyd Carr--will represent a major and much-needed change from Rich Rodriguez, who seemed reluctant to embrace Michigan's football traditions upon his arrival there three years ago. Rodriguez's tenure turned into a disaster, and as a result, the Michigan program today is a mere shadow of its former self. It is no exaggeration to say the program needs to be completely rebuilt.
Hoke, however, seems undaunted by the challenge--because according to him, it's not much of a challenge at all.á "I don't know that I look at any of it as a challenge," he said. He added that his goal in Ann Arbor is to win multiple and consecutive Big Ten titles (I think he's talking to you, Jim Tressel).
Hoke went 13-12 in two years at San Diego State, including a 9-4 season in 2010 that was capped with a Pointsettia Bowl win over Navy. Before that, he was 34-38 in six seasons at Ball State. He also served as an assistant at Oregon State, Toledo and Grand Valley State, among other stops.
Photo: Brady Hoke has high hopes for Michigan. (Getty Images)
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