Brady Hoke Through 27 Games

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The First 27

With the 59-9 win over Central Michigan to kick off the 2013 season, Brady Hoke has now coached 27 games for Michigan, with a record of 20-7. Arguments can be made all day that he should have won more (or won less) but didn’t because of strength of schedule, talent inherited on the roster, coaching of that talent, ability to recruit and develop young talent, coulda/woulda/shoulda had another win/loss if it weren’t for a crazy play or bounce of the ball, desire to wear a headset, and so forth. The bottom line is that the same arguments could be made for most if not all of the head coaches in Michigan history who have coached at least 27 games.

Below are two charts: One compares Coach Hoke with all Michigan football head coaches who have coached at least 27 games for the maize and blue; the other compares Coach Hoke to all BCS-era National Championship coaches and their first 27 games at their national title school.


27 games W

Fielding H. Yost did indeed go a perfect 27-0 in his first 27 games as Michigan’s Head Coach.

To relate Hoke’s 20 wins to the bigger picture, Kipke won 20 games in his first 27 (along with 3 ties!) and won two National Titles. Oosterbaan won 20 of 27 (with 2 ties) and won a National Title. Carr won 19 of 27 and won a National Title.

Both Crisler and Yost won more than 20 of the first 27 and went on to win at least one National Championship, with Crisler having won 22 of his first 27 (one National Title); and Yost with 27 of 27 (six National Titles).

National Championship Comparison

Nat Champ First 27 Games

Former Michigan offensive lineman (senior with Team 96) and Offensive Line Coach (1987-94) Les Miles is at 23 along with Urban Meyer from his Florida days. Interestingly, Nick Saban had 19 wins in his first 27 games at both LSU and Alabama.


Brady Hoke Wins in first 27 games: 20.

  • Michigan Head Coach average is 20.2; Median is 20; Mode is 20.
  • National Champ Head Coach average is 21.1; Median is 21.5; Mode is 19.
  • The U of M data presented here was obtained in large part from the Bentley Library and its online information.

    The information presented here for the national championship coaches was obtained from the football websites of the individual schools.

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    2013 Week 1 College Football Wolverine Coaching Connection

    Facebook Twitter Email previews the college football games each weekend involving a University of Michigan Wolverine coaching connection. Former Michigan players, coaches, and former Brady Hoke assistant coaches are on the sidelines as coaches of various college programs (for’s University of Michigan football coaching trees, click here). Their schedules for this weekend (games listed in chronological order within header section):

    Former Michigan Players and/or Coaches


    Thursday August 29

    Doug Mallory (defensive back 1983-87 and Captain in ‘87)
    Greg Frey (OL Coach 2008-10)
    Mallory is now Defensive Coordinator for the Hoosiers, and Frey is the OL Coach. It is the Battle of Indiana as the Sycamores of Indiana State travel to Bloomington to take on the Hoosiers at 7:00pm ET on the Big Ten Network.

    Adam Braithwaite (Safeties Coach, 2010): Now in his second season with UT Chattanooga, and his first as Defensive Coordinator. The Mocs, in the FCS, host UT Martin at 7:30pm.

    Friday August 30

    Tony Dews (WR Coach 2008-10);
    Calvin McGee (Offensive Coordinator 2008-10); and
    Rod Smith (QB Coach 2008-10):
    All with the Arizona Wildcats and Rich Rodriguez – Dews as WR Coach; McGee as Offensive Coordinator; and Smith as QB Coach. The Wildcats host Northern Arizona in a 10:00pm ET, 7:00pm PT, tilt on the Pac-12 Network.

    Saturday August 31

    Tony Gibson (Secondary Coach 2008-10): Now Safeties Coach with West Virginia. The Mountaineers host William & Mary at noon on Fox Sports 1.

    Bruce Tall (Defensive Line Coach 2008-10): Now UNC Charlotte Defensive Coordinator. The 49ers, in the FCS, have their first game in program history at noon, hosting Campbell.

    Curt Mallory (linebacker 1988-91);
    Roy Manning (linebacker 2000-04)
    Mallory and Manning are both coaching with their alma mater. Mallory is in his third season as the secondary coach; Manning is in his first season as the Inside Linebackers Coach. The Wolverines, ranked 17th in the land, of course kick off their season at 3:30pm ET on the Big Ten Network.

    Mike Elston (linebacker 1993-96): A senior on Team 117, Elston is now the DL Coach for Notre Dame, ranked 11th by USA Today. The Fighting Irish host future Big Ten member Temple at 3:30pm on NBC.

    Scott Shafer (Defensive Coordinator 2008): Shafer is in his first season as Head Coach of the Orange, who will kick off their season in the New Meadowlands Stadium against Penn State in a 3:30pm ET clash on ABC/ESPN2.

    Jay Hopson (Linebackers Coach 2008-09): Now Head Coach of Alcorn State. The Braves, member of the FCS, will host Edwards Waters at 5:00pm ET. Strangely, this game won’t be televised.

    Scot Loeffler (quarterback 1993-96 and QB Coach 2002-07): In his first season as Offensive Coordinator with Virginia Tech. The Hokies play #1 ranked and two time defending champion Alabama in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game in Atlanta, 5:30pm ET on ESPN. Loeffler’s final game as Auburn’s Offensive Coordinator last season was against Alabama, a game won by the Crimson Tide 49-0.

    Ron English (Secondary Coach 2003-05; Def Coordinator 2006-07)
    Stan Parrish (QB Coach 1996-99; Off Coordinator 2000-01)
    Mike Hart (running back 2004-07)
    English is now the Head Coach at Eastern Michigan, where Parrish is the Offensive Coordinator and Hart is the Running Backs Coach. The Eagles host Howard University at 6:00pm ET on ESPN3.

    Steve Stripling (Defensive Line Coach 2005-07): Stripling is beginning his first season as Defensive Line Coach at the University of Tennessee. The Volunteers host Austin Peay at 6:00pm ET on ESPN3.

    Chuck Heater (running back 1971-74): Heater is beginning his first season as Marshall’s Defensive Coordinator. The Thundering Herd will host Miami (OH) at 7:00pm ET on CBS Sports Network.

    Nick Sheridan (quarterback 2006-09): Sheridan is in his first season as Quarterbacks Coach with the University of South Florida. The Bulls host McNeese State at 7:00pm on ESPN3.

    Jerry Montgomery (Defensive Line Coach 2011-12): Montgomery is beginning his first season as DL Coach with Oklahoma. The Sooners, ranked #16 in the country, host Louisiana-Monroe at 7:00pm ET in a pay-per-view game. Hope the folks at State and Hoover don’t notice the PPV…

    Les Miles, offensive lineman 1972-75 and Offensive Line Coach 1987-94
    Cam Cameron, WR Coach 1986-89; WR & QB Coach 1990-1993
    Miles, a senior on Team 96, is now Head Coach at LSU, where Cameron is his Offensive Coordinator. The Tigers are ranked 13th in the USA Today and will face TCU in the Cowboys Classic at 9:00pm ET on ESPN.

    Mike Hankwitz (tight end 1967-69): A senior on the 1969 team, Hankwitz is now the Defensive Coordinator for Northwestern. The Wildcats, ranked 22nd in the country, will visit California to take on the Bears at 10:30pm ET, 7:30PT on ESPN2.

    Sunday September 1

    Vance Bedford (DB Coach 1995-98; Secondary Coach 2007): Now Louisville’s Defensive Coordinator. The Cardinals, #9 in the country, host Ohio University at 3:30pm ET on ESPN.

    Jim Lyall (defensive lineman 1970-73);
    Robert Thornbladh (fullback 2006):
    Lyall is now Head Coach of the Siena Heights Saints; Thornbladh is his Outside Linebackers Coach. The Saints, in the NAIA, will begin their season on Sept 7 when they host Grand View (Iowa).

    Marcus Knight(wide receiver 1996-99): A senior on Team 120, Knight is now Northern Michigan University Wide Receivers Coach. A Division II squad, the Wildcats will begin their season on Sept 14 when they will host Findlay.

    Matt Dyson (linebacker 1990-94): A senior on Team 115, Dyson is now Head Coach for George Mason University. A club team, the Patriots will start their season in a few weeks.

    The Brady Hoke Coaching Tree

    Brady Hoke and Fitz Toussaint
    By Cbl62 (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

    Thursday August 29

    Trent Boykin (Brady Hoke’s Running Backs Coach at Ball State 2003-04): Running Backs Coach for Akron Zips. The Zips kickoff their season at University of Central Florida, 7:00pm ET on ESPN3.

    Phil Burnett (Brady Hoke’s Defensive Line Coach at Ball State 2003-08): Burnett is now the Defensive Coordinator with Morehead State. The Eagles, who play in the FCS, host Pikeville at 7:00pm ET.

    Sidney Powell (Secondary Coach 2006-08 for Hoke at Ball State): Now Tennessee Tech Secondary Coach. The Golden Eagles of the FCS host Cumberland at 8:00pm ET, 7:00pm CT in the season kickoff for both teams.

    Saturday August 31

    Eddie Faulkner (Running Backs Coach for Hoke at Ball State 2005-08): Now North Carolina State Tight Ends Coach. The Wolfpack kick off their season by hosting Louisiana Tech at 12:30pm ET on the ACC Network/ESPN3.

    Don Treadwell (Hoke’s first Offensive Coordinator at Ball State in 2003); and
    Ed Stults (variety of coaching positions under Hoke from 2003-08 at Ball State):
    Miami University Redhawks. Treadwell is Head Coach; Stults is Offensive Line Coach. Miami visits Marshall (with Defensive Coordinator Chuck Heater, former Michigan running back) at 7:00pm ET on the CBS Sports Network.

    Eric Lewis (Hoke’s Defensive Backs Coach at Ball State 2003-05): Now in his second season with Weber State, and his first as Defensive Coordinator. The Wildcats, an FCS team, host Stephen F. Austin at 8:00pm ET, 6:00pm MT.

    Rocky Long (Defensive Coordinator for Hoke at San Diego State, 2009-10)
    Brian Sipe, (Quarterbacks Coach for Hoke at San Diego State, 2009-10)
    Tony White, (Cornerbacks Coach for Hoke at San Diego State, 2009-10) and
    LeCharls McDaniel (Wide Receivers Coach for Hoke at San Diego State, 2009-10):
    All remain with San Diego State. Long is Head Coach; Sipe is QB Coach; White is Cornerbacks Coach; and McDaniel is WR Coach. The Aztecs host Eastern Illinois at 8:00pm ET, 5:00pm PT on the Mountain West Network.

    Sunday September 1

    John Powers (OL Coach 2006-07; TE Coach 2008 for Brady Hoke at Ball State):
    Now Bethune-Cookman’s Offensive Line Coach. The Wildcats travel to Tennessee State for an 8:00pm ET kickoff on ESPN3.

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    Wolverines of the Past in the Coaching World

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    With the start of the 2013 football season fast approaching, a recap of a Where Are They Now in the coaching world is in order. Below is a list of former University of Michigan football players and coaches now coaching at the collegiate and professional levels. The links will take you to brief writeups of their careers at Michigan.

    For more on the Michigan Coaching Trees, check out our coaching trees

    Head Coach

    1. Jim Harbaugh, San Francisco 49ers, NFL
    2. Les Miles, LSU, FBS
    3. Ron English, Eastern Michigan, FBS
    4. Scot Shafer, Syracuse University, FBS
    5. Jay Hopson, Alcorn State Braves, FCS
    6. Jim Lyall, Siena Heights University, NAIA
    7. Matt Dyson, George Mason University, Club Team

    Special Teams Coordinator

    1. Mike Mallory, Jacksonville Jaguars, NFL

    Defensive Coordinator

    1. Bill Sheridan, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, NFL
    2. Mike Hankwitz, Northwestern, FBS
    3. Chuck Heater, Marshall University, FBS
    4. Doug Mallory, Indiana University, FBS
    5. Vance Bedford, University of Louisville, FBS
    6. Bruce Tall, University of North Carolina Charlotte, FCS
    7. Adam Braithwaite, University of Tennessee Chattanooga, FCS

    Defensive Line Coach

    1. Mike Trgovac, Green Bay Packers, NFL
    2. Mike Elston, Notre Dame, FBS
    3. Jerry Montgomery, Oklahoma University, FBS
    4. Steve Stripling, University of Tennessee, FBS

    Linebackers Coach

    1. Jim Herrmann, New York Giants, NFL
    2. Roy Manning, University of MEEEECHEEEEGAN, FBS
    3. Robert Thornbladh, Siena Heights University, NAIA

    Secondary/DB/Safeties Coach

    1. Teryl Austin, Baltimore Ravens, NFL
    2. Curt Mallory, University of MEEEECHEEEEGAN, FBS
    3. Tony Gibson, West Virginia University, FBS

    Offensive Coordinator

    1. Harold Goodwin, Arizona Cardinals, NFL
    2. Scot Loeffler, Virginia Tech, FBS
    3. Cam Cameron, LSU, FBS
    4. Stan Parrish, Eastern Michigan, FBS
    5. Calvin McGee, University of Arizona, FBS

    Offensive Line Coach

    1. Andy Moeller, Baltimore Ravens, NFL
    2. Greg Frey, Indiana University, FBS

    Quarterbacks Coach

    1. Nick Sheridan, University of South Florida, FBS
    2. Rod Smith, University of Arizona, FBS

    Running Backs Coach

    1. Tyrone Wheatley, Buffalo Bills, NFL
    2. Jerald Ingram, New York Giants, NFL
    3. Mike Hart, Eastern Michigan, FBS

    Tight Ends Coach

    1. Terry Malone, New Orleans Saints, NFL

    Wide Receivers Coach

    1. Erik Campbell, Montreal Alouettes, CFL
    2. Tony Dews, University of Arizona, FBS
    3. Marcus Knight, Northern Michigan University, Division II

    Offensive Quality Control

    1. Kurt Anderson, Buffalo Bills, NFL

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    An Interview With Former Coach and QB Dennis Brown

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    Dennis Brown 2 had the pleasure of interviewing the engaging Dennis Brown. An All Big Ten Quarterback for the University of Michigan in 1968, Brown went on to be an assistant coach at Michigan under Bo Schembechler from 1972-79. When Don Nehlen left the Wolverine staff after the 1979 season to become Head Coach at West Virginia University, he took Brown with him, where Brown was his Defensive Coordinator from 1980-87. Among the players on his defense at WVU was Rich Rodriguez. Brown left WVU after the 1987 season to head to Arizona State, where he was Defensive Coordinator for two seasons. After coaching high school football in Detroit for a few years, Brown returned to the University of Michigan as an Assistant Athletic Director for two and a half years under Tom Goss. Brown has spent the last several years as an Assistant Principal at Annapolis High School in Dearborn. He retired this past spring.


    I think I got into coaching because of all the coaches I had prior to being a college player and all of the guys that I came up with. I started getting involved in organized sports when I was eight. I played basketball, football, baseball, hockey. There were days between the 8th and 9th grade and we did three different sports a day in the summer and they were all organized by coaches. We would play basketball in the morning, football in the afternoon – drills in the gym and hitting bags and so on – and then in the night we’d play baseball. That’s all we did. They didn’t have to worry about where I was, they knew where I was. There’s no questions that those coaches and some of my teachers drew me into coaching. My goal when I graduated high school was to be an English teacher and a high school football coach. That’s what I wanted to do.

    When I went through the program at Michigan and did my student teaching at Ann Arbor Pioneer, I remember talking to my advisor and telling him, “No, I’m not going to teach in high school, there’s no way.” And he was shocked. He said, “Really?” And I said “No, I’m not going to do that. I’m going to try to get into college coaching.” He advised me and told me it was pretty tough to do. But of course being at the University of Michigan it was less difficult, and so I started out by talking to Bump about being a graduate assistant in the spring.

    Meeting Bo

    Well the next thing you know, Bo came in. I was shocked. I was sad for Bump, such a great, great man. He was so good to all of us in his 10 years there. You’ll never find anybody who has anything bad to say about Bump Elliott. (A short while after Bo was hired) I went down to the Athletic Department and Maxine O’Neill, who passed away recently, who was just a dearth of athletic information, she was at the switchboard and I had walked right in at the ticket office. So I walked up and I said, “Max, what do you know about this new guy? What can you tell me about him?” She was… if you don’t know who Max was, Max didn’t pull any punches and she was quite a character. She said, “Well, I don’t like him to be honest with you. He’s rough and he’s gruff and he’s loud and he’s everything that Bump isn’t.” At that time, it couldn’t have been two seconds after she said that, there was a rumble of guys coming down the stairs from the second floor. And her mirror was right in front of the switchboard and it looked right up the steps. Out of the side of her mouth she says, “Here comes the old boy now!” I remember this like it was yesterday. So, he comes down to the bottom of the stairs and she says, “Hey Glenn Edward, I have somebody I’d like you to meet.” So the rest of the guys went to wherever they were going and he comes over and says, “What is it, Max?” And she says, “I’d like you to meet Denny Brown, the quarterback.” So he steps over and he looks at me, and the first thing he says to me is, “No way! You’re too little!” So I said, “Well, it’s nice to meet you, too.” Shook hands, and Bo had a tendency when he shook hands, he would pull you into him. So he pulled me into him and said, “What do you want?” And I said, “I want to coach for you. Coach Elliott said I could be a G.A. and I was hoping I could do the same for you.” He said, “Doesn’t sound like a bad idea. You’re gonna have to come back in a day or two, and I’m sure we could work something out.” And that’s how I got started with Bo.

    Jerry Hanlon was instrumental in me getting my first job at Dartmouth College. I remember Bo telling me, “If you expect to come back here you better do a good job.” I read that as, “I better do a good job.” Ideally, I think most guys want to come back to their alma mater and coach at some time. Well, a year and a half later I got the call to come back. I was shocked. I remember telling my wife that I thought it would be at least five years before I would come back. Timing… one guy left, and Bo had a specific role that he wanted to fill.

    “The Best Boss I Ever Had. Ever.”

    Bo made me promises and he kept every one of them. Absolutely without question the best boss I ever had. Ever. You had a job to do, he let you do it. If he gave you a task, he gave you a time frame, and he might just say, “Have it ready when I want it.” There was never an agenda for a meeting. That used to drive Don Nehlen crazy. The agenda was in his head. When he wanted to start the meeting, the meeting started, and you had better be in your seat. That’s the way it was. We’d be in the middle of a meeting and his secretary Lynn Cook would come in and say, “So and so is on the phone.” He’d get up and leave, and everyone would look around and say, “Well, let’s see how long this one’s gonna be,” (laughter).

    Bo’s offensive practices. Speed. Time. First group. Second group. Right hash. Left hash. Middle. Short. Just boom boom boom. But if you screwed up the play, back on the ball. It was something.

    He was extremely bright but he knew how to delegate. He wasn’t afraid to delegate, he didn’t care who got the credit. He worked with his coaches the way he worked with his players: everybody on the same page going in the same direction. We’re not going to single out anybody – we’re not going to have a campaign for Anthony Carter to be a Heisman Trophy winner. The Team, The Team, The Team. That was it. I think all of us as coaches that went on, whether it was as head coaches or as coordinators, that’s what we preached to our kids. Most of them bought in. But winning buys in quicker than anything. And he won.

    Gary Moeller

    He thought an awful lot of all of the guys, whether they went on to be head coaches or not. I remember when we opened with Illinois and Moeller took that job. I remember him saying when we first started meeting for that game, “How do you get angry, how do you get mad, at Gary Moeller? We’re going to have to find a way to be angry here. But how do you get mad at Gary Moeller?” Gary was a great coach, great coach, he had a wonderful career, and I have a lot of admiration for him. He offered me a job at Illinois, and I was very seriously considering it, because I was kind of itching to move myself, for whatever reason. I went to Bo. And Bo said, “I’m not gonna tell you one way or the other.” So my wife and I mulled it over. I was recruiting in Illinois at the time, and even the coaches were saying it’s a sleeping giant down there, we don’t know what’s wrong. I wasn’t a risk taker at that time, so I went back to Moeller and told him I really appreciate it, and it would be an honor, but no. I went and told Bo, and Bo said, “I’ll tell you when it’s time for you to leave.” (laughter). And I said, “OK, all right,” (more laughter).

    Defensive Coordinator

    Bo hired guys to coach, and he let them coach. When I went with Don Nehlen to WVU, he fortunately did it the same way. He would ask me maybe on Thursday if we were playing against a particular player that he was concerned about, “What are you doing about this guy?” But we never sat down and met. He let you coach. Don’s thing was, “Get me the ball back.” He would say that on game Saturday. They’d be driving or something and he’d say, “Get me the ball back.” And I’d say, “Don’t throw the post cut coming out on your own 5 yard line.”

    Bo was in complete control. He had a defensive coach that coached the defense. Now if he didn’t like something… My whole thing, and even as a Defensive Coordinator myself for 8 or 9 years, I would tell my coaches, “I’m not going to tell you how to coach your position unless it’s not looking good.” And when we game plan, this is a concerted effort. I’m not going to come in and say, “This is what we’re going to do.” We’re going to look at down and distance, we’re going to look at their favorite plays. When we have our practice organization the secondary coach should know more about what goes on in the secondary than I do. I’m going to know what goes on with all of it, and seeing as how I’m going to be in the forcing portion unit of the defense, I’m going to know a whole lot about the run responsibilities, but so is the OLB coach and the DL coach.

    More at Michigan

    Halftime was about adjustments. Offensive coaches get together. Defensive coaches get together. Talk about what went good, what went bad. What we might have to do, maybe don’t do this, let’s stay away from that, that sort of thing. Just business. I can’t even think of a game that there was ever any inkling that regardless of what the score was that we weren’t going to do better or pull it out or whatever the case may be. Bo was more under control in the big games than he was in the other games.

    The guys that he treated the worst revere him the most. And we all revere him whether we played or coached for him. Yeah, the guys that he would be in their grill… Jimmy Brandstatter. When I first came back and they had the Brandy and Bo show, I would listen to that and I would just think about all of the times that Bo ripped him from one side to the other. I remember one specifically. Spring ball is over with. The transcripts are coming in, the grades are coming in. One morning in the office I hear, “Jerry! God Dammit Jerry! Get down here!” So here comes Jerry. And all I hear is, “I want him down here and I want him down here now!” Brandstatter. He had screwed up some grade or something. Within the hour Big Jim was down there getting raked over the coals big time. Of course I wasn’t there in ‘69 when Jim did the majority of his playing but Jim was constantly being ripped and berated. “Brandstatter goddammit….” I remember telling my wife how funny this is when I hear it.

    Jerry Hanlon

    He probably fired Hanlon 50 times.

    He (Bo) had a lot of analogies for when we’d be looking at film about guys. He’d make names up for guys. Sunday night, particularly, going through the starting lineups. There was one team that had a lot of players down through the years that were from Ohio, from what Bo called the “75 Corridor.” Well, guess who recruited the 75 Corridor – Jerry Hanlon. And Bo would go, “all right, number 75, Jerry, Jerry, how come this guy never came to our campus Jerry? Did you miss another one, Jerry? Their whole starting line is from the 75 Corridor. I never saw one of those guys. Why is that?” Jerry would say, “Well goddammit Bo, we beat their ass every year. Why would we want to bring these guys here?”

    What A Career

    Guys that I just happened to work with and the things that they did afterward – now some of those people have names on buildings. I mean, they were probably in their early 40’s when I got there in ‘65, there were just so many people who were legends in Michigan lore, and there are people out there that remember them. Sometimes when I’m talking to people at my work who are in athletics I want to be very careful as to what I say because I came in at such a time where all of these guys who went on to do all of these things, and their assistants, I knew them. So, I don’t want to be one of those guys who says “I worked with him.” But I was very fortunate in my mind, athletically being where I was, and knowing who I knew, because of where I was.

    It’s a great game. I love it. I still do. will publish more later this season from our converation with Dennis Brown.

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