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Greg Mattison has been here before, coaching the defense at Michigan in 1995 and 1996 under Lloyd Carr. Under Mattison's guidance, the Michigan defense thrived, ranking among the best in the nation. With the Wolverines' defense hitting a low-point in 2010, leading to the firing of Rich Rodriguez, Mattison has a tough task ahead, but has the track record that shows he can get it done.
In 1995, Mattison took over a defense giving up 22.3 points per game, ranked 38th in the nation. Not bad, but not dominant, either. In his first year at the helm -- the first year of Carr's tenure -- the defense improved, giving up just 17.2 points per game, ranked 13th in the nation. The defense took a step forward in his second, and final, year overseeing the defense at Michigan, giving up 15.3 points per game, ranked 8th in the nation.
Though points per game are the only stats available going that far back, there's a clear improvement along the way, at least in the broadest sense. Of course, it helped he had Charles Woodsen roaming the defensive backfield, but the point still remains.
In Mattison, Michigan is getting a coordinator with an immense amount of experience on the defensive side of the ball, plucking him straight from the NFL to boot. It's clear the Wolverines need all the help they can get, and head coach Brady Hoke's ability to lure Mattison back to Ann Arbor is a step in the right direction for a team that desperately needs a defensive spark.
Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator Greg Mattison will take over as Brady Hoke’s Michigan Wolverines defensive coordinator, the school announced Tuesday. The 61-year-old Mattison is beginning his second stint as Michigan DC, having held the role 1995 and 1996 and coached the Wolverines defensive line three years prior.Brady Hoke discussed the hire in a statement:
“Greg loves Michigan, loves recruiting and is excited about coming back to Ann Arbor and the University of Michigan,” Hoke said of the Baltimore Ravens’ defensive coordinator. “Greg is one of the top defensive coordinators in football, and his defensive units have always prided themselves on stopping the run. He will be a great asset to our program and an excellent addition to our staff.”
Ravens coach John Harbaugh is quoted as wishing Mattison well in his new venture and announcing secondary coach Chuck Pagano’s ascent to the DC spot:
“We’re excited for our defense and for Chuck, and we’re happy for Greg Mattison,” said Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh. “I will talk more about it tomorrow when we formally announced Chuck as our new coordinator in a press conference.”
Before working for the Ravens, Mattison coached at Florida, Notre Dame, Texas A&M, and elsewhere in addition to his time in Ann Arbor. You’d like Midwestern bona fides, you say? He grew up and went to school in Wisconsin and has coached at Illinois and Indiana schools in addition to his stints at Michigan and Western Michigan. His son was a captain of Iowa’s football team. Out-Midwest that!
The status of QB Denard Robinson has been the most immediate concern related to Michigan’s coaching search post-Rich Rodriguez. New head coach Brady Hoke has told a west Michigan radio station, WBBL 107.3, that Robinson will stay at Michigan.
Thursday morning Hoke said he met with Robinson for about 20 minutes on Wednesday, and that the two would meet again shortly. After that second meeting, it was apparently settled that Robinson would agree to play in the new offense installed by Hoke’s offensive coordinator. Hoke on Robinson:
There’s no question he believes in Michigan, he loves Michigan, and he’ll be a big part of our program. I’ve seen enough of him to know he can be the quarterback of the Wolverines.
The worry for Wolverines fans has been that the team could lose
its best player its entire offense if Robinson felt the new offense wouldn’t fit his unique talents. But Hoke has expressed openness in adapting the team’s offense to suit personnel, starting with the program’s most important player.
Brady Hoke was formally introduced as the new head football coach of the Michigan Wolverines in a Wednesday press conference, and he immediately set to work convincing the Maize and Blue faithful that he is the right man for the job.
Unlike reported candidates Jim Harbaugh and Les Miles, Hoke isn't a Michigan alum. But he looked to assure fans that this was his dream job. From the Detroit Free Press:
In his opening remarks, Hoke stressed how much he wanted the job: "I promise you we would have walked to the University of Michigan."
Hoke also nodded to the program's glory years to spark up the hype machine for his tenure.
Hoke said, for eight years, Bo Schembechler wanted to know why U-M wasn't tougher on the defensive line. Hoke thanked the late coaching legend for that.
Hoke raised his voice as he declared: "We want to live up to the traditions and the legacies and high regard. We understand what Michigan football is. ... This is never going to be about Brady Hoke. This is a about a program. This is about a team."
SB Nation Detroit notes that Hoke, an Ohio native, also hammered the importance of Michigan's rivalry with Ohio State, saying, "That rivalry is special. It's like none other in football. It is the most important game on our schedule ... It's almost personal."
After unsuccessful attempts to attract big names as the next head coach of Michigan football, AD Dave Brandon settled on San Diego State’s Brady Hoke as the next leader of the Wolverines. It’s a less-than-sexy hire as Hoke comes into Michigan with what our own Maize N’ Brew calls a “mediocre” resume. So what does the hire mean for Wolverine fans? The wait to return to greatness continues:
Five of [Hoke’s] eight seasons as a head coach finished under .500. This team has just hitched it’s wagon to a guy who may or may not be fit to hold the reins. Unfortunately there isn’t anything to do now but wait and see.
And that is what this is really about: the waiting. You could say that Michigan fans have been waiting patiently (impatiently?) for three years, but that would be a lie. In all reality we have been waiting since January 1st, 1998, the last day that the program reached the heights at which we could finally step back, pat ourselves on the back, and know without a shadow of a doubt that there wasn’t anything better at that moment than being a Michigan Wolverine. Since then it’s been heartbreaking non-conference losses, in conference upsets, and a whole bunch of nine and ten win seasons. None of it was ever enough.
After three years of waiting for Rich Rodriguez to return Michigan to prominence, the cycle starts anew for Michigan. Although this time it comes with decidedly less optimism.
San Diego State offensive coordinator Al Borges will join his head coach Brady Hoke on the Michigan Wolverines staff, according to a report. Michigan hired their Michigan man in Brady Hoke, but what are the Wolverines getting in terms of X's and O's? In Hoke's tenure as the Ball State head coach and more recently at San Diego State, he has won with offense and an above-average defense in his team's good years.
Borges has over 20 years of experience as offensive coordinator at multiple BCS schools with varying success. Bringing along Borges could mean that Michigan will be moving away from the spread attack used under Rich Rodriguez, and toward a more open passing offense, but do not expect for Hoke to use an offense that would cause one of college football's most dynamic playmakers to transfer away.
The main concern from Michigan coud be the status of quarterback Denard Robinson, who is known more for his running skills then his passing ability, and if Hoke insists on having a pass-heavy offense then Robinson could transfer to find an offense that suits his skills. Hoke should have learned from Rich Rodriguez, who forced a round peg into a square hole when installing his spread option attack. Borges must find a way to utilize one of the most dynamic players in college football; after all, Robinson ended up finishing the season third in the nation in rushing yards.
Borges is thought of as a smart coach that looks to take advantage of his personnel. When he arrived at San Diego State he had a solid, strong-armed quarterback in place with Ryan Lindley and two quality receivers in DeMarco Sampson and Vincent Brown. He installed a pass-heavy offense and proceeded to throw the ball around with three- and four-wide receiver sets, and ran an up pace offense that was predicated on making big plays in the passing game.
For more on the Brady Hoke hire check out SB Nation's Maize N Brew.
While Michigan fans may have had dreams of a high-profile head coaching hire, they instead got an up-and-comer from San Diego State in Brady Hoke. The Aztecs head coach turned heads this year, compiling a 9-4 record at the helm in San Diego. On Tuesday, Hoke landed his dream job as he was named the head coach of the Michigan Wolverines.
Now that the coaching search is over, and Hoke has been introduced as the head coach, reactions are rolling in. The players were happy, the sentiment online spans the full spectrum of reactions -- from thrilled to forecasting impending doom -- and alums are rushing to praise Brandon for the choice.
Desmond Howard, former Michigan player and current ESPN analyst, hit Twitter shortly after Hoke's hiring was announced, saying he's heard plenty of positives about Hoke.
Jalen Rose also hit Twitter to give his opinion of the hire, opting to stick with the company line. Even Braylon Edwards chimed in, congratulating Hoke for landing his dream job and calling him a great coach.
If Braylon has your back, you're destined for head coaching success.
With Brady Hoke officially on-board as the head coach at Michigan, the attention turns to how the players will accept him. Hoke's first job is winning over the players still in the program, before moving quickly to secure the incoming recruiting class. Players were assembled in a team meeting on Tuesday, shortly after Michigan announced the hire, to be informed that Hoke would be the new man in charge.
According to Angelique Chengis, players were not only receptive to Hoke, but stood up and cheered when the hire was announced at a team meeting on Wednesday.
Not a bad start for Hoke, who at least brings a little stability after former head coach Rich Rodriguez spent his tenure in Ann Arbor almost constantly sitting on a hot seat. While we don't yet know how the players will take to Hoke, at least they put forth the effort to look like they're excited about the hire. Michigan is a program that needs some kind of excitement right now, after a disappointing end to the 2010 season.
Hoke will be introduced as the Michigan head coach at a press conference on Wednesday at 1 p.m. EST. For more on the Wolverines, check out SB Nation's Maize N Brew.
Just hours after Les Miles elected to stay at LSU, Brady Hoke has been hired as the Michigan head coach. Hoke, the head coach at San Diego State, emerged as a top-target of athletic director Dave Brandon on Tuesday after Miles, Jim Harbaugh and others declined to take the job. Reports surfaced earlier in the day that Brandon had been in talks with Hoke and was flying to California to meet with him.
The news was made official with a press release from the Michigan athletic department.
"We are pleased to announce the hiring of Brady," said Brandon. "He is a terrific coach and will be a great ambassador and leader for our football program. We look forward to having him build a championship program on the field and in the classroom."
Hoke spent the last two seasons at San Diego State, compiling a 13-12 record. That record, however, includes an impressive turnaround, from 4-8 in 2009 to 9-4 with a Poinsettia Bowl win in 2010. Before taking the job at San Diego State, Hoke spent six seasons at Ball State, finishing his last year at 12-1, only losing in the GMAC Bowl.
Hoke will be introduced as the Michigan head coach at a press conference on Wednesday at 1 p.m. EST.
For more on Michigan, visit SB Nation's Maize 'N Brew.
Michigan has already whiffed on its highest profile targets in the search for a new head coach after firing Rich Rodriguez. With Jim Harbaugh and Les Miles both passing on the job, the attention turns to San Diego State head coach Brady Hoke. Michigan has reportedly been in talks with Hoke and athletic director Dave Brandon is flying to California for a meeting.
Sign on San Diego had the news on Tuesday, which jives with what those following the Michigan plane have been saying, as well.
Hoke was in the Los Angeles area Tuesday recruiting for SDSU. Meanwhile, Michigan Athletic Director Dave Brandon has planned to fly to nearby Orange County for a meeting Tuesday.
If Hoke, apparently next on Brandon's list of target, is offered the job, the prevailing sentiment is that he will accept. The San Diego head coach has maintained all along that Michigan, his alma mater, is his dream job, and that he would head to Michigan if given the opportunity.
With Brandon flying to Orange County for a meeting, the Michigan head coaching search may finally be winding down after a series of high-profile missteps along the way.
Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon has struck out again. After Les Miles reportedly met with Michigan officials on Monday night, the LSU head coach opted to stay in Baton Rouge, spurning the Wolverines in the process. Miles was reportedly very interested in the Michigan head coaching job before announcing his intentions to stay with the Tigers on Tuesday.
LSU released a statement, passed on by Angelique Chengelis on Twitter, announcing that Miles would remain with the Tigers.
Miles becomes the second high-profile coaching candidate to turn down Michigan in as many weeks. Jim Harbaugh was reportedly the top-target for Brandon after Rich Rodriguez was fired, but also opted to stay away from Ann Arbor, instead choosing to become the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers.
With Miles out of the picture, Michigan's options become even more limited. Brady Hoke, head coach of the San Diego State Aztecs, has seen his name thrown into the ring before and could become a target of Michigan soon.
For more on LSU and Miles, check out SB Nation's And The Valley Shook.
WAFB in Louisiana is reporting that the worst-kept secret in college football is in motion. Monday night, LSU head coach Les Miles reportedly met with Michigan AD Dave Brandon at Miles’ house.
Brandon and two other Michigan representatives left the meeting and were taken to Baton Rouge Metro Airport in a Cadillac Escalade, where they were seen boarding Brandon’s Domino’s Pizza plane at 7:40 p.m. The plane left moments later.
The jet, on loan to Brandon, landed in Baton Rouge Monday afternoon fueling speculation that he was on his way to a meeting with Miles.
Earlier in the day, Miles spoke at a press conference to announce that junior cornerback Patrick Peterson would enter the NFL Draft. During the presser, Miles said he met with LSU players Monday morning and told them he expects to remain at LSU.
We know Miles isn’t going to say anything that makes sense in response to a direct question about the job, so we’ll likely hear something from Michigan in the next day or so.
Rumors have been flying for some time, but we now have the first tangible reports that LSU head coach Les Miles could be in the running for the head coaching position at Michigan. Joe Schad is reporting that the university is interested in talking to its colorful alumnus.
One source close to Miles said a time and place has not been finalized. Another source said the coach would give LSU 24 hours notification before the interview and that had not occurred.
Miles, a Michigan alum, would be interested in listening to athletic director Dave Brandon, one source close to him said.
Miles' candidacy likely got a boost when Stanford coach and fellow Michigan man Jim Harbaugh decided to go to the San Francisco 49ers. The possibility of San Diego State head coach Brady Hoke has been met with mixed reaction among fan blogs and the like, to say the least.
Whenever talk of Miles going to Michigan crops up, it's important to remember that ESPN has reported that Miles was already on his way to Michigan -- in 2007. And to watch his reaction.
At that time, Miles was in the middle of a national championship season. But it was clear from his comments after he decided to return to LSU that he would have loved a clearer shot to coach his alma mater. He might get it yet.
Pity Michigan fans. Their last athletics director reportedly missed out on a chance to continue talks with Les Miles because he was on a yacht-related trip. No, really. Their current athletics director has instead decided that it’s best to wait until Jan. 5 to begin a national coaching search. Again — no, really. Michigan fans are not pleased with this tack, which our Michigan blog, Maize n Brew, sums up thusly: “The Plane has Crashed into the Mountain.”
If Rodriguez was going to be fired today, Brandon needed to have a coach lined up in the next 24 hours. Not have a nationwide coaching search that he hopes to wrap up by Wednesday of next week. If the plan was always to have a nationwide coaching search, Rodriguez needed to be let go on Dec. 1 and the search needed to have started then.
Anyone doubting the idea that a coaching search beginning in January is a bad idea need only ask Florida fans. Steve Spurrier resigned from his legendary run in Gainesville on Jan. 4, 2002, and the man Florida found to replace him was Ron Zook.
Meanwhile, Big Ten blog Off Tackle Empire is chewing over the reasons that Rich Rodriguez’s tenure in Ann Arbor didn’t work. Their take: It’s not that Rodriguez’s spread offense didn’t work, it’s that Rich Rodriguez’s spread offense was the only thing that did work.
After 3 years at the helm, only 1/3 of this team worked. The other 2/3rds (some may call that a “majority”) of this team withered into nothingness. Michigan’s field goal percentage was… wait for it… 28.6% (4 of 14). … Attempts look a little low? That’s because Michigan had to either punt or go for it on 4th down if they were outside the, oh I dunno, 15 yard line.
For whatever reason it happened, Rodriguez is gone. And the search to replace him is already off to a bumpy start.
Michigan now faces the daunting task of replacing Rich Rodriguez as head coach at Michigan. Daunting means "discouraging," a word most appropriate due more to timing than to the difficulty of replacing a coach who in his tenure managed to lead Michigan to the worst three-year stretch in school history. A hundred terrible caches could do the same, and would be happy to take Michigan's dollars to top Rodriguez's era of anti-acheivement.
The discouraging part part comes with the timing and the reported indifference of Michigan's most obvious candidate, Jim Harbaugh. Without Harbaugh the list of viable candidates for the Michigan job becomes a pretty slim pool of possibilities, but it's what they'll have to work with in a relatively short period of time.
What we need here is a Michigan man who can do what only Michigan can. Lloyd Carr still holds sway within the Michigan football program, and if he and those who worship the fourth down pooch punt have their way, the only candidate for the job is Brady Hoke.
Hoke is a former Carr assistant and who is not without his accomplishments. Ball State went 12-1 and won the MAC under Hoke in 2007, and then took the comatose San Diego State program off the floor and made a bowl game with nine wins in just his second season. He has a demonstrated record of winning and rebuilding programs, something Michigan is in desperate need of at the moment.
He also lacks anything you might call sex appeal in the eyes of those looking for more sparkle in their new hires. Aside from those two peak years his teams in his short career have been pedestrian. Coaching demands may hinder his budding acting career. Will probably get the job from sheer safety and familiarity.
If we can't get a Michigan Man we'll at least get something like one. I.e. a low-key, self-effacing guy with solid football chops and the people skills to mend fences in Ann Arbor after the long siege of Rodriguez's tenure. Kyle Whittingham and Chris Petersen fall into this category, have won loads of games as head coaches, and are completely unavailable and happy where they are, but they'll come up in a lot of lists so you might as well know their names to say, "Yeah, that'd be a great idea! And it will not happen. But it's a great idea!" And then you can give them a cookie, because being patronizing is always more tolerable when you get a cookie at the same time.
Who's willing to escape this burning building by jumping into this burning car with me? Once you get out of the country of safe and normal ideas and get into full honest desperation, you might consider any of the following candidates for the Michigan job.
There’s no more reporting or speculating to do: Rich Rodriguez has been fired by Michigan, as was officially announced by the school’s athletic director Dave Brandon at a press conference on Wednesday.
Brandon said that he met with Rodriguez for several hours on Tuesday morning for a performance review. The head coach was evaluated in several areas, after which Brandon wanted to take the night to think about his decision. On Wednesday, he informed Rodriguez that he would be relieved of his head coaching duties.
Via SB Nation Detroit, some of the things Brandon had to say about Rodriguez:
“I believe this is the best decision for the future of Michigan football.” … “I don’t intend to do a public performance review.” … “I appreciate the hard work that (Rodriguez) and his staff have put forth. Rich Rodriguez is a good man.” … “I don’t believe this is the result of a lack of effort.”
Brandon went on to say that he will not form a committee to search for the next Michigan head coach, and that he hopes to find a successor quickly. One name that has been swirling around the program is Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh. Brandon quickly put that notion to bed, saying that he believes Jim Harbaugh is headed to the NFL.
Rich Rodriguez is not expected to meet with the media, but will release a statement on Wednesday, according to the university.
The firing or Rich Rodriguez also includes almost the entire Michigan football staff, according to a report from the Detroit News’ Angelique Chengelis. Included in this bloodletting is defensive coordinator Greg Robinson, the focal point of much of Michigan fans’ ire this season. Michigan’s defense ranked 110th in the nation this season and gave up 52 points to Mississippi State in the Wolverines’ blowout in the Gator Bowl.
The firings do not include one key element who may be valuable for any incoming coaching staff: strength and conditioning coach Mike Barwis. Barwis is employed by Michigan on a separate contract from the rest of the football staff, and will not be affected by this round of firings. Barwis is very well-thought of by his colleagues, and his reputation as a cutting-edge S & C coach seems to have survived the debacle of the Rodriguez era. Like Will Muschamp at Florida did with Gators strength and conditioning coach Mickey Marotti, the incoming candidate (whomever that might be) could consider keeping him for continuity’s sake, especially since the weight room and facilities in Ann Arbor were built to Barwis’ specifications.
After reports circulated on Tuesday that Rich Rodriguez had been fired as Michigan football coach, we now have more official confirmation that RichRod has, indeed, be relieved of his duties. Several outlets are confirming it via Twitter, including ESPN’s Joe Schad and Detroit Free Press’ Angelique Chengelis.
Chengelis is reporting that Rodriguez’s staff has been fired, as well, and Schad tweets that RichRod is meeting with his coaches Wednesday morning to inform them of the decision. Athletic Director Dave Brandon will hold a 12:30 p.m. press conference on Wednesday to announce the decision.
Rodriguez went 15-22 in his three years at Michigan, and led the team to its first winning season of his tenure in 2010, going 7-6. The Wolverines lost their bowl game, however, as they were destroyed by Mississippi State in the Gator Bowl. Rodriguez’s spread offense finally got on track this season, but the defense was the team’s ultimate undoing.
For much more on this, check out SB Nation’s Maize N’ Brew.
Just hold your coaching carousel horses there one confounded minute, media speculators and internet prospectors. Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon is the boss around here, consarnit, and he'll have you know that Rich Rodriguez will not be fired until Dave Brandon says he is fired. Dave Brandon is the decider:
The University of Michigan has denied reports thathas been fired. The school released a statement that said:
"This is media speculation at this point the definitive voice on this matter is [Athletic Director] Dave Brandon and he has not and will not speak publicly until a final decision has been made."
It will be a shame if he's still there next year, really, for all involved, because a) the Detroit Free Press will never, ever stop hounding after his destruction, and b) there's still an opening for the skipper's chair at Pitt, and wouldn't that make for a howdy-do of a Backyard Brawl.
Get your fix of Michigan athletics news at SB Nation's Maize N Brew and SB Nation Detroit.
And now we’ve entered the next phase of the Rich Rodriguez saga: TheWolverine.com is reporting “no decision on the Michigan head coach’s future will come until tomorrow,” and that a players’ meeting has been delayed until Wednesday afternoon.
The Associated Press reports the players’ meeting was postponed after Rodriguez met with Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon “for hours Tuesday afternoon.” While there’s of course no word on whether Rodriguez’ firing will be announced at Wednesday’s meeting or not, it is curious that a meeting which presumably involves a termination would last “hours.”
How long does it take to tell a man he’s fired? Could Rodriguez have talked himself into earning one last chance to prove himself as Michigan coach, now that Stanford Cardinal coach Jim Harbaugh is reportedly no longer an option? Or did the firing ceremony simply progress at Big Ten speed?
Earlier Tuesday the Detroit FOX affiliate reported Rodriguez had been fired, with the rest of the Detroit media looking into potential replacements shortly after.
Now that Rich Rodriguez has reportedly been fired as Michigan Wolverines head coach (and with Stanford Cardinal coach Jim Harbaugh reportedly no longer a candidate to replace him), San Diego St. Aztecs head coach Brady Hoke’s name is suddenly all over Michigan as a potential replacement.
The Detroit News lists Hoke as an alternative to Harbaugh, FOX’s Detroit affiliate lists Hoke alongside Harbaugh as being on a “list of candidates,” and Michigan Live approves of the potential Hoke hire, among others.
Hoke coached defensive line at Michigan from 1995 to 2002, leaving to take the head coaching job at Ball State, where he had played linebacker from 1977 to 1980. From there he moved to SDSU in 2009.
Born in Ohio, his only coaching jobs outside of the Midwest have been stints as Oregon State’s D line coach and the SDSU job. Other than that he’s coached all over Indiana, along with jobs in Ohio and Michigan. His brother is an assistant for the Chicago Bears — it really doesn’t get more Midwest than the Hoke family.
He has a 47-50 head coaching record, but both of his gigs have been turnaround projects. In six years he took Ball State from 4-8 to a 12-1 MAC title, and San Diego State improved by five wins and collected a bowl win in his second season.
Michigan head coach Rich Rodriguez has been fired after three seasons in Ann Arbor, according to a report from the local FOX affiliate in Detroit. The school reportedly informed him of the decision on Tuesday.
Rodriguez went 15-22 in three seasons as the Wolverines head coach, but finally had his first winning season this year, going 7-6 and securing a Gator Bowl berth for Michigan. The season ended in ugly fashion, however, as the Wolverines were crushed in the bowl, losing to Mississppi State, 52-14.
Michigan's offense showed plenty of signs of improvement in 2010 as Rodriguez finally found a QB to run his spread option system in Denard Robinson. The defense was a disaster though, and the improvement on the offensive side apparently wasn't great enough for Michigan to continue with Rodriguez, if the FOX report is accurate.
Rumors swirled around Stanford head coach Jim Harbaugh as the possible replacement for Rodriguez, but reports early on Tuesday indicated Harbaugh is not interested in the position.
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