- I traveled to five cities in six days. I interviewed several coaches face to face and several more via telephone.
- I learned that all that glitters is not gold when it comes to some coaches. A two or three hour interview can reveal much more than you can get off the internet.
- If I met him when he was a coach here, I don't remember.
- The first time I met him was this summer at a charity event. Contrary to some folks' belief, I didn't know Brady Hoke very well until the several hours we spent together during this process.
- There were 12 criteria that I established.
- #1 is his love for this football program and intense desire to compete for this job. #2 his reputation as a coach.
- He is clearly a players coach. It's not about him.
- As the search process progressed, I started to become more and more interested in Brady.
- "He's also a guy that knows how to coach defense." (Simply not true, about which more tomorrow)
- I want to thank coach Rodriguez and his staff. Coaching profession is a tough job. Coach Rodriguez and his staff gave three years of their lives and commitment to Michigan football. That's not to be forgotten.
- We've had a love for Michigan for a number of years.
- We understand what Michigan football means and what Michigan football is. We will always be about the team at Michigan.
- The foundation is going to be our character.
- Character wins in life and character wins on the football field.
- We're going to have a foundation of toughness. You have to be mentally tough and physically tough.
- We are going to be a team that competes with a high degree of effort every time we take the field.
- (Breaks down in tears when talking about past players.)
Q: Reaction of new players?
- I went through a transition when I played in college
- I can tell you that that has always stuck with me. You understand there is a transition process.
- I thought the guys were enthusiastic. We talked about what our path is.
- It's sad that this great university has divisions. I can promise you that this is about the guys that play in this program. It's about them become husbands and fathers and great community leaders when they graduate.
- We understand one thing: we've got a special guy in Denard. He is a guy that can do an awful lot for your football program.
- When you have talented players, it's your job as a coach to mold that into what's best for your football team. Most of the time, it's what's best for that player.
- You want to win them. You want to prepare to win them.
- Lifeblood of your recruiting has to be in the Midwest and has to be in Michigan.
- We've been in both situations before.
- I plan to meet with all of the seniors and as many of the other guys as well.
- I will be on the phone as soon as we are done here to the guys that have committed.
- You're never going to please everybody and that's something I don't care about. We're going to do what is best for the program and what is best for these kids.
- Nope. If you win your conference, you should have a chance at national championships.
- Our goal is to win the Big Ten championship. Multipally [sic].
- I coach with a linebackers' mentality.
One word: AAAHHHHHHHHH. If I was terrified about Hoke before this press conference, I'm barricading my bedroom and stocking up on ammunition. Aside from his general demeanor as bumbling, jolly oaf and fan favorite, Hoke just seems unprepared. Saying things like you're not preparing for national championships because, if you win the Big Ten you might have a chance at the national championship, is insane. Hoke is going to recruit the shit out of Michigan, which is going to make local papers happy but reduce Michigan to the bare minimum of talent.
He pumped the crowd full of coachspeak cliches: character wins, doing what's best for the players, preparing players for life and making them good husbands and fathers. None of this is what I want from a football coach. I want someone that knows what the hell he's doing on the field. Brady Hoke is, more clearly than ever, not that man.
To all of the reporters that mocked Rodriguez for his southern stylings, is this what you wanted? Hoke could barely put sentences together coherently (and even made up words as he went along) and seemed completely out of touch with modern football. This was terrifying and his existing resume doesn't comfort any fears about his public persona. We're in for a long haul.