Brady Hoke

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Brady Hoke
Brady Hoke June 2011.jpg
Sport(s) Football
Current position
Title Head coach
Team Michigan
Conference Big Ten
Record 28–14 (.667)
Annual salary $2,000,000[1]
Biographical details
Born (1958-11-03) November 3, 1958 (age 55)
Dayton, Ohio
Alma mater Ball State
Playing career
1977–1980 Ball State
Position(s) Linebacker
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
Yorktown HS (IN) (DC)
Grand Valley State (DL)
Western Michigan (DL)
Toledo (LB)
Oregon State (DL)
Michigan (DE)
Michigan (DL)
Michigan (Assoc. HC/DL)
Ball State
San Diego State
Head coaching record
Overall 75–64 (.540)
Bowls 2–3 (.400)
College Football Data Warehouse
Accomplishments and honors
1 MAC West Division (2008)
MAC Coach of the Year (2008)
AFCA Regional Coach of the Year (2008)
MWC Coach of the Year (2010)
Big Ten Coach of the Year (2011)
Maxwell Football Club Collegiate Coach of the Year (2011)

Brady Patrick Hoke (born November 3, 1958) is the head football coach for the Michigan Wolverines football team where he has served since the 2011 season. He grew up in Ohio and attended Ball State University where he played linebacker from 1977 to 1980. He began his coaching career in 1982 and held assistant coaching positions at Grand Valley State (1983), Western Michigan (1984–1986), Toledo (1987–1989), Oregon State (1989–1994) and Michigan (1995–2002).

Hoke left his assistant coaching position at Michigan in December 2002 to become the head football coach at his alma mater, Ball State. In six years at Ball State, Hoke was credited with turning around the football program. In 2008, he led the Ball State football team to a 12–1 record and the first appearance in the Associated Press Top 25 (peaking at No. 12) in school history. In December 2008, Hoke was hired as the head football coach at San Diego State University. He led the 2010 San Diego State Aztecs football team to the school's first nine-win season since 1971 and a victory over Navy in the 2010 Poinsettia Bowl.

He returned to Michigan after he was hired to be the program's 19th head football coach on January 11, 2011. In his inaugural season with the Wolverines he led them to an 11–2, taking Michigan to their first BCS Bowl game since the 2006 football season, where Michigan defeated the Virginia Tech Hokies in the 2012 Sugar Bowl.

Early years[edit]

Hoke graduated from Fairmont East High School in Kettering, Ohio, in 1977.[2] While at Fairmont East, Hoke played linebacker/defensive end and was also on the school's wrestling squad. His father, John Hoke, played for future Ohio State coach Woody Hayes at Miami University, alongside future Michigan coach Bo Schembechler. Despite his father's association with Hayes, Hoke recalled that, while he was growing up in Kettering, he was a Michigan fan.[3] He went on to play football as a linebacker at Ball State University, where he was a four-year letterman from 1977 to 1980. He helped the Ball State Cardinals win the 1978 MAC championship. He tallied 99 tackles as a sophomore, 95 as a junior and 150 as a senior.[4] He was the captain of Ball State's 1980 team and was selected as a second-team All-MAC player.[4][5]

Coaching career[edit]

Assistant coach[edit]

Hoke began his coaching career in 1982 as the defensive coordinator and offensive line coach at Yorktown High School in Yorktown, Indiana.[4]

Hoke began his college coaching career as the defensive line coach at Grand Valley State University in 1983. The following year, he joined Jack Harbaugh's staff at Western Michigan University. He was Western Michigan's defensive line coach from 1984 to 1986. Also on the coaching staff were current Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh, current Michigan defensive coordinator Greg Mattison, and current Michigan special teams coordinator Dan Ferrigno.

Hoke next served as the linebackers coach at the University of Toledo from 1987 to 1989.

Hoke served as an assistant coach at Oregon State University from 1989 to 1994 under head coaches Dave Kragthorpe and his successor Jerry Pettibone. He was the Beavers' defensive line coach in every season except 1990, when coached the inside linebackers. The Beavers went 4–7–1 and 1–10 in Hoke's first two years in Corvallis, resulting in the firing of Kragthorpe. Hoke was retained in 1991 by Oregon State's new head coach, Jerry Pettibone. The Beavers had consecutive one-win seasons in 1991 and 1992 and back-to-back four win seasons in 1993 and 1994. Despite the team's struggles, Hoke later credited Kragthorpe with teaching him many lessons: "One of the big things coach Pettibone instilled in me was the recruiting process, and the work ethic that it takes to recruit, and the other factors, as far as trying to get a team ready every week, coming off a couple of lean years, and the intenseness of the rivalry with Oregon."[6]

In February 1995, Hoke was hired as an assistant coach at the University of Michigan under head coach Gary Moeller.[7] He was the defensive end coach in 1995 and 1996 and defensive line coach from 1997 to 2002.[8] In May 2002, Michigan head coach Lloyd Carr named Hoke as associate head coach, the only member of the staff with that distinction. At the time, Hoke told the press, "Every year you learn more and more what the head coach has to do. I'm very honored to represent this school. I grew up a big Michigan fan, and I think it's a place that's special in a lot of ways."[8] During Hoke's eight years at Michigan, the Wolverines compiled a 75–23 record, went to a bowl game every year and won the national championship in 1997. While at Michigan, Hoke was assigned to recruit in California. One of the players Hoke recruited to Michigan was Tom Brady. Hoke recalled: "Tom wasn't the greatest athlete, with those skinny legs, but there was something about him."[3]

Although Hoke was an assistant under head coaches Moeller and Carr at Michigan, Bo Schembechler remained at Michigan in the early part of Hoke's tenure. Interviewed in 2009, Hoke recalled the example set by Schembechler: "When I was at Michigan, Bo Schembechler's office was five doors down from mine. Having the opportunity to talk with him on a daily basis was something that transferred those values that are most important if you're going to be successful."[9]

Ball State[edit]

In December 2002, Hoke was hired as the 14th head football coach at his alma mater, Ball State University, signing a five-year contract at $125,000 per season.[10] He was among a group of candidates to succeed Bill Lynch, which included Illinois secondary coach Mike Mallory, Ohio State linebackers coach Mark Snyder, and Wisconsin offensive coordinator Brian White.[11] Hoke told reporters that the moment he heard the vacancy sign was out at Ball State, he knew he wanted to be the school's next head football coach: "There is no doubt."[10] Hoke added, "It is great to return to the school that enabled me to get an education and play football. I am looking forward to representing a great university with integrity and pride."[4] Michigan's head coach Lloyd Carr praised Hoke: "Brady has done a tremendous job at Michigan. He is a great recruiter. One of the things I try to do is hire people that have the potential to become head coaches. He is goal-oriented and has a great motivation to be the best that he can be."[4]

Hoke took over a Ball State football program that had not had a winning record since 1996. Hoke's teams won only 10 games in his first three seasons as head coach. Hoke began to turn this around in his fourth year as the team finished 5–7 (5–3) in 2006. In 2007, the team improved to 7–5 in the regular season, as sophomore quarterback Nate Davis passed for 3,376 yards and 27 touchdowns.[12] The 2007 Ball State team nearly upset the Nebraska Cornhuskers, but a late touchdown gave Nebraska a 41–40 win.[12] The team was invited to play in the International Bowl in Toronto, losing to Rutgers, 52–30.

During the 2008 season, Hoke led the Cardinals to the most wins in school history, finishing the regular season with an undefeated record of 12–0. The 2008 season marked the first time the Ball State Cardinals won a game against a BCS-conference opponent, a 42–20 victory over Indiana. And in October 2008, Ball State was ranked in the Associated Press Top 25 for the first time in the school's history. After his team achieved its top 25 ranking, Hoke told the media, "It's flattering obviously, but there's so much season left to play. You have to evaluate the season at the end. We've got a lot of big games ahead of us."[13] The Cardinals were ranked as high as #12 during the 2008 season.[14] After concluding an undefeated regular season, Hoke's 2008 team lost to the Buffalo Bulls in the 2008 MAC Championship Game.[13]

Ball State's rise to prominence led to Hoke's December 2008 appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman where he read a special "Top Ten List" of the "Highlights of the Ball State Cardinals Season," topped by "The Drunk 3 A.M. Coaching Tips from (Ball State alumnus) Letterman."[15]

While at Ball State, several football players were caught in a scheme to sell textbooks for classes they were not enrolled in. The NCAA cut three football scholarships and put the University on two years probation. Nine other sports were involved in the scheme.[16]

San Diego State[edit]

In December 2008, Hoke was hired as the 17th head football coach at San Diego State University. Hoke signed a five-year contract with a guaranteed payment of $3,525,000, plus incentives for hitting revenue marks and bowl berths. San Diego State was also required to pay $240,000 to buy out the remaining two years on Hoke's contract at Ball State.[17] At the press conference introducing Hoke as the Aztecs' new coach, Hoke told reporters, "Number one, this program is going to be a program that's based on toughness. To play football at the Division I level, to compete academically at the Division I level and balance both, you have to be tough-minded. You have to be physically tough and mentally tough."[17]

San Diego State compiled a 2–10 record the year before Hoke arrived. A sports writer for the San Diego Union-Tribune described the challenge facing Hoke: "It's going to be difficult for [Brady Hoke], because with the Aztecs, we're basically talking about a sea change in everything from A to Zed. This isn't Urban Meyer taking over at Florida, where the cupboard already was full of epicurean delights. State has rotting skeletons in its closet. The Aztecs haven't had a winning season since 1998, just seven since 1980."[18]

Hoke won a reputation for recruiting at San Diego State. His brother Jon Hoke, an assistant coach in the NFL, noted: "I don't care where it is, whether it's San Diego State or anywhere else, if there's one thing he can do it's recruit. He's as good at it as anybody. He's relentless with recruiting. He has a great feel for parents and a great feel for players. As long as you give him the budget to (recruit) the way it needs to be done, he'll be fine."[19]

In 2009, Hoke led the Aztecs to a record of 4–8. During the 2010 season, Hoke's team improved to 9–4. Two of the Aztecs' losses in 2010 came in close matches against ranked opponents. The Aztecs gave the undefeated, #2 TCU team its closest game of the regular season, losing by a score of 40–35. Hoke's team also lost a close game against No. 12 Missouri by a score of 27–24. The team concluded its season with a convincing 35–14 win over Navy in the 2010 Poinsettia Bowl.

Prior to the 2010 season, San Diego State had not won nine games in a season since 1971 and had not played in a bowl game since the 1998 team lost in the Las Vegas Bowl. After the 2010 season, a reporter for the Orange County Register wrote that Hoke had given San Diego State "swagger."[3]


Brady Hoke (right) with Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon
Hoke and Jerry Montgomery with defensive linemen
Hoke in Sept. 2012

Following the firing of Rich Rodriguez as Michigan's head football coach, Hoke's name was discussed prominently as a replacement along with Jim Harbaugh and Les Miles. Fox Sports analyst and Ball State alumnus Jason Whitlock wrote an impassioned column calling Hoke "the perfect coach for Michigan."[20] Whitlock observed:

"Brady Hoke loves hard. He loves his family, his players, his assistant coaches, Ball State football and Michigan football. You think winning 12 games and getting into the BCS conversation is difficult at Stanford? Try doing it at Ball State. ... Jim Harbaugh's 12–1 can't touch Brady Hoke's 12–1. ... Michigan is his destination job. He has no interest in auctioning himself off to the highest bidder. He loves Ann Arbor. He'd crawl on hot, broken glass to work inside Schembechler Hall as the head coach. ... He has an uncanny ability to get kids to believe in him and believe in themselves. He doesn't do it with smooth words. He's not smooth. He does it by being the same genuine person day after day. ... He connects. The kids hang on his words, respond to his tough love and accept his discipline."[20]

Writing in The Detroit News, Lynn Henning noted: "(Hoke) is straight from the Bo Schembechler-Lloyd Carr schools of football control: Practices are closed. Media are to be kept far behind the moats. His preference is football over just about anything else planet Earth offers. And his players love him. Not because he's soft or cuddly or sympathetic to the tackle they just missed. Rather, it's because they believe in him and the football he coaches."[21]

Hoke had reportedly long considered the head coaching position at Michigan to be his "dream job". San Diego State University president Stephen Weber revealed that when Hoke interviewed for the Aztecs' head coaching position in 2008, Hoke told Weber that he saw the Michigan job as his "ultimate career goal".[22]

On January 11, 2011, Hoke was named the 19th head football coach of the Michigan Wolverines football team.[23][24] Michigan athletic director David Brandon described some of the factors that influenced his selection of Hoke: "The reason I wanted him to be prominent in this process was simply the combination of turning around two programs, being known as a terrific recruiter, and being a defensive-minded coach with a lot of experience. Everybody that I ever talked to just raved about the quality of person he is and how much he loves Michigan."[23] Although many speculated that Hoke had been a third choice behind Harbaugh and Miles, Brandon stated, "The job was never offered to them."[25]

Hoke has placed a renewed emphasis on beating Ohio State, a rivalry that Hoke claimed was "almost personal".[26] Hoke refuses to refer to Ohio State by name, calling it "that school in Ohio" or simply "Ohio". Though each of the two schools Hoke previously coached at used red as a team color, Hoke wore black or white polo shirts on game days because red reminded him of Ohio State. Hoke has installed clocks inside the locker room that count down to both the Michigan State game and the Ohio State game.[27]

On November 26, Hoke's Wolverines defeated Ohio State in Hoke's first season as the Wolverines' head coach, clinching Michigan's first 10-win season since 2006. Hoke's 2011 team also held Michigan's first winning record in Big Ten conference play since 2007. Michigan's win over Ohio State in the long-standing rivalry was its first since 2003.

Following the 2011 Big Ten Conference football season, Hoke swept the Big Ten Coach of the Year awards, earning the Hayes-Schembechler Coach of the Year, as selected by conference coaches, and the Dave McClain Coach of the Year, as picked by the media.[28]

Hoke won his first bowl game as the head coach of Michigan in an overtime contest against Virginia Tech by a score of 23–20. It was Michigan's first BCS bowl victory since the 2000 Orange Bowl, and its 20th bowl victory overall. Hoke focused on the seniors after the game saying "I'm just real proud, real proud of our seniors. Real proud of how they took this football team last January and molded it and did a tremendous job," Hoke also made the point that only five teams in Michigan history had won 11 games in a season. Hoke always referred to this group as team 132 and said "We always have a tremendous legacy of Team 132 that a lot of teams are going to have to try and match up to."[29]

Hoke's second season in Ann Arbor started off with Michigan losing 41–14 to the defending and eventual repeat national champions, the Alabama Crimson Tide.[30] The Game was played at Cowboy Stadium on a neutral playing field, being broadcast to a nationally televised audience. Hoke said after the game "Obviously, we didn't play Michigan football, and that's something that bothers our team, bothers the coaches;" he continued "Win or lose your first game, you learn a lot."[31] Michigan ended the regular season with losses to AP #25 Nebraska (10–4), #4 Notre Dame (12–1), #3 Ohio State (12–0), and #1 Alabama (13–1),[32] before losing on the final touchdown to #8 South Carolina in the Outback Bowl, 33–28.[33]


Hoke is married to Laura (Homberger) Hoke, who is also a Ball State graduate. Hoke and his wife have a daughter, Kelly, who was born in 1986 and was also a Ball State graduate.[10] Brady is the younger brother of Jon Hoke, who is the secondary coach of the Chicago Bears.[34] Jon's son, Kyle Hoke, played for his uncle at Ball State and is currently a graduate assistant coach for the Western Michigan Broncos football team.[35]

Head coaching record[edit]

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs Coaches# AP°
Ball State Cardinals (Mid-American Conference) (2003–2008)
2003 Ball State 4–8 3–5 T–4th (West)
2004 Ball State 2–9 2–6 6th (West)
2005 Ball State 4–7 4–4 5th (West)
2006 Ball State 5–7 5–3 T–3rd (West)
2007 Ball State 7–6 5–2 2nd (West) L International
2008 Ball State 12–1 8–0 1st (West) GMAC*
Ball State: 34–38 27–20 * Did not coach in bowl game.
San Diego State Aztecs (Mountain West Conference) (2009–2010)
2009 San Diego State 4–8 2–6 7th
2010 San Diego State 9–4 5–3 T–3rd W Poinsettia
San Diego State: 13–12 7–9
Michigan Wolverines (Big Ten Conference) (2011–present)
2011 Michigan 11–2 6–2 2nd (Legends) W Sugar 9 12
2012 Michigan 8–5 6–2 2nd (Legends) L Outback 24
2013 Michigan 7–6 3–5 5th (Legends) L Buffalo Wild Wings
2014 Michigan 2–1 0–0 (East)
Michigan: 28–14 15–9
Total: 75–64
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title
Indicates BCS bowl, Bowl Alliance or Bowl Coalition game. #Rankings from final Coaches' Poll.
°Rankings from final AP Poll.


  1. ^ "Brady Hoke's contract to coach Michigan football: 6 years, up to $18 million … or more". Crain's Detroit Business. March 30, 2011. Retrieved November 24, 2011. 
  2. ^ "Brady Hoke Profile". 
  3. ^ a b c Mark Whicker (December 20, 2010). "Hoke gives San Diego St. swagger again". Orange County Register. 
  4. ^ a b c d e "Ball State alum Hoke returns to Muncie". South Bend Tribune, South Bend, Indiana. December 19, 2002. p. 1. 
  5. ^ Dave Long (September 25, 2003). "FAIRMONT EAST GRADS CLIMB TO TOP OF D-I SPORTS". Dayton Daily News. 
  6. ^ Ron Bellamy (October 10, 2008). "Hoke learned lessons at OSU". The Register-Guard, Eugene, Oregon. p. C.21. 
  7. ^ Donnie Webb (February 21, 1995). "The Post-Standard, Syracuse, N.Y.". p. D.3. 
  8. ^ a b Dave Lamb (May 2, 2002). "HERE AND THERE; KETTERING NATIVE GETS PROMOTION". Dayton Daily News. 
  9. ^ "Brady Hoke: Brady Hoke left his alma mater as head football coach in December to take the reins at San Diego State University, where the football program could use a miracle worker". San Diego Magazine. February 2009. 
  10. ^ a b c Phil Bloom (December 20, 2002). "Hoke, Ball State are a perfect pair: Michigan assistant ready for challenge". The Journal Gazette, Ft. Wayne, Indiana. p. 1.B. 
  11. ^
  12. ^ a b Ben Smith (December 12, 2007). "Hoke has brought Cards a long way". The Journal Gazette, Ft. Wayne, Indiana. p. 6.B. 
  13. ^ a b Ralph D. Russo (October 6, 2008). "Ball State earns 1st Top 25 rank". Journal-Gazette, Ft. Wayne, Indiana. p. B.9. 
  14. ^ Mick McGrane (July 22, 2009). "To drum up fan interest, Aztecs place hope in Hoke". The San Diego Union-Tribune. p. D.1. 
  15. ^ "The Late Show Top Ten by head coach Brady Hoke". CBS Television. 
  16. ^ USA Today (October 16, 2007). "Ball State gets two-year probation for NCAA violations". Retrieved 2007-10-16. 
  17. ^ a b Brent Schotenboer (December 17, 2008). "Hoke talks tough for SDSU byword: Players get an early (7 a.m.) dose of new coach's discipline". The San Diego Union-Tribune. p. D.1. 
  18. ^ Nick Canepa (October 22, 2009). "Hoke key man at a key time for the Aztecs". The San Diego Union-Tribune. p. D.1. 
  19. ^ Mick McGrane (April 8, 2009). "HE'S NOT AFRAID OF A CHALLENGE: Aztecs' Hoke takes over a team mired in its losing ways". The San Diego Union-Tribune. p. D.1. 
  20. ^ a b Jason Whitlock (January 7, 2011). "Hoke, not Harbaugh, perfect for Michigan". Fox Sports. 
  21. ^ Lynn Henning (January 6, 2011). "Brady Hoke fits the bill as a top candidate for U-M job". The Detroit News. 
  22. ^ Schrotenboer, Brent. "For SDSU coach Hoke, Michigan is career goal". 
  23. ^ a b Angelique S. Chengelis (January 11, 2010). "Dave Brandon: New coach Brady Hoke understands U-M football". The Detroit News. 
  24. ^ "Michigan introduces Brady Hoke as football coach". ESPN. January 12, 2011. 
  25. ^ Larry Lage (January 11, 2011). "Michigan hires Hoke, not Harbaugh or Miles". Associated Press. 
  26. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  27. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  28. ^ "Hoke Voted Big Ten Coach of the Year by Media and Coaches". CBS Interactive. 2011-11-30. Retrieved 2011-11-30. 
  29. ^ Press, Associated. "Brendan Gibbons' OT FG boots Michigan past Va. Tech, to Sugar Bowl title". ESPN. Retrieved 23 November 2012. 
  30. ^ Rothstein, Michael. "Tide has U-M's full attention". ESPN. Retrieved 23 November 2012. 
  31. ^ Press, Associated. "Alabama dominates in win against Michigan". ESPN. Retrieved 23 November 2012. 
  32. ^ Press, Associated. "2012 NCAA Football Rankings - Postseason". ESPN. Retrieved 5 May 2013. 
  33. ^ Press, Associated. "Dylan Thompson, South Carolina rally by Michigan to win Outback Bowl". ESPN. Retrieved 5 May 2013. 
  34. ^ "Jon Hoke". Chicago Bears. 
  35. ^

External links[edit]