Brady Hoke Through 40 Games

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The First 40

With the 52-14 win over Appalachian State, Brady Hoke has now coached 40 games for Michigan, with a record of 27-13. How does this compare with Michigan football coaches who have coached at least 40 games for the maize and blue?

40 Games W App St
Ties are counted as 0.5 wins.

Arguments can be made all day that Brady Hoke should win more (or should win less) but hasn’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 40 games.

National Championship Comparison

Comparing Hoke’s wins versus coaches who have won National Championships in the BCS era:
40 games W App St


Trend Graph 40 games W App St

The “M Head Coach” line makes a sharp increase between games 37 and 38. This is because Rich Rodriguez was Head Coach for Michigan for a total of 37 games, with 15 victories in that time. His low total of 15 wins is no longer factored into the Michigan Head Coach average number of wins once the discussion begins of Head Coaches who have coached 38 games or more for Michigan.

Brady Hoke Wins in first 40 games: 27

  • Michigan Head Coach average is 30.7; Median is 32.0.
  • National Champ Head Coach average is 31.3; Median is 32.0.

The U of M data presented here were 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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National Championship Rivalry & Bowl Trends

Facebook Twitter Email has reviewed the record of every coach who won a National Championship in the just-concluded BCS era. Specifically, trends in total number of wins, records against rivals, and records in bowl games were evaluated. How does Brady Hoke compare?


In terms of wins through 39 games, Hoke is behind pace of the national championship coaches:

Trendline Graph thru 39 games

Hoke’s trendline was parallel to the national championship coaches until the disastrous 2-6 ending to the 2013 season. Through Hoke’s first 31 games as Michigan Head Coach (through the Minnesota game in 2013), Hoke was 24-7; the BCS era national championship coaches averaged 24.3 wins through their first 31 games. The numbers were in Hoke’s favor; his trendline was good when compared with the elite coaches in the land. The final eight games of 2013 did, unfortunately, occur, and at this point Hoke’s 26 wins in his first 39 games is well below the national championship coach average of 30.6 wins at the same juncture.


Brady Hoke’s Michigan teams are 1-2 against Ohio State. Among National Championship coaches in the BCS era, only Nick Saban at LSU and Gene Chizik at Auburn had just one win in their first three rivalry games; all others had at least two wins in their first three rivalry games (Tennessee’s Phil Fulmer was 1-1-1 in his first three games against his main rival before overtime was instituted).

Nat Champ 3 games v rival pre 2014 season

What about 2014 against Ohio State? Should Michigan lose to the Buckeyes, Hoke will of course be 1-3 against them in his first four attempts. Has there been a Head Coach in the BCS era who won a National Championship despite winning just one of his first four games against his biggest rival? The answer is yes. There is only one. Gene Chizik with Auburn won a National Championship despite winning just one of his first four games against Alabama – that one being the incredible Cam Newton comeback victory. Chizik never got to face Alabama for a fifth time, as he was fired after his fourth season at Auburn as the program cratered.

Nat Champ 4 games v rival

Bowl Games

Brady Hoke is 1-2 in bowl games as Head Coach at Michigan. Among National Championship coaches in the BCS era, only Mack Brown and Bobby Bowden won just one of their first three bowl games.

Nat Champ 3 Bowl Games

Looking ahead to Michigan’s 2014 season, every single National Championship coach won at least two of his first four bowl games.
Nat Champ 4 bowl games pre 2014 season

If past performance is any indicator of future results, according to the numbers, a victory over the Buckeyes this November and a corresponding bowl game victory are paramount for Hoke’s National Championship aspirations with Michigan.

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Brady Hoke’s Michigan Trendline

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With Team 135 set to kick off the season in 11 days, wanted to review where Brady Hoke ranks, according to the numbers, in the pantheon of Michigan football coaches.

Brady Hoke is 26-13 as Michigan’s Head Coach. Among the nine coaches who have been Head Coach of Michigan football for 39 games, Hoke’s 26 wins ranks tied for seventh.

Start of 2014 season

The immortal Fielding H. Yost leads the way with 38.5 wins (Yost had 38 wins and one tie in his first 39 games; for purposes of counting wins, ties are counted as half of a win). Michigan coaches averaged nearly 30 wins in their first 39 games; the median number of wins in their first 39 games is 31 wins.

Coach Hoke got off to a great start at Michigan, going 11-2 in his first season. Somewhere along the line his trendline tapered off. Where did Hoke stop “keeping up with the Joneses?”

Trendline Graph thru 39 games

There are three factors that have contributed to Hoke not keeping pace with Michigan coaching legends of the past. The first is the miserable last six games of the 2013 season, starting with the game in East Lansing against Michigan State. Including the bowl game, Michigan was 1-5 in those last six games. Prior to that, Hoke’s trendline was actually tracking above that of Michigan coaches of the past, and was tracking right along with National Championship coaches of the BCS era.

The second factor contributing to Brady Hoke’s record not keeping pace with Michigan coaching legends of the past is the remarkable success of Michigan football. As Head Coach of Michigan football, Hoke has a winning percentage of 0.667 through 39 games, yet this ranks in a tie for seventh out of nine coaches who have coached at least 39 games for the maize and blue. Of the nine head coaches with 39 games under their belt for Michigan, five have won national titles; another is named Schembechler; two others are Gary Moeller and Bump Elliott; and one is Brady Hoke. With Michigan as the leader in total wins in all of college football, Hoke has some incredibly high standards to try to live up to. The college football landscape has changed in the last few decades, and there is more high level competition in any given year than there ever was before. There are incredibly talented players in every NCAA football program. I’m not sure the same could be said for the Yost era, or even the Schembechler era.

The third factor is the Rich Rodriguez Effect. Rodriguez was 15-22 as Michigan’s Head Coach. He coached a total of 37 games for the Wolverines, and his win total dragged down the average number of wins by Michigan coaches through those 37 games. But starting with Game 38, Rodriguez’s record no longer factored into the trendline of wins by Michigan coaches simply because Rodriguez never coached 38 games for Michigan. In short, Hoke’s trendline is now comparing to the more successful Michigan coaches – those who have been around for at least the same number of games as Hoke (39 games entering the 2014 season).

This 2014 season, Hoke’s fourth with Michigan, will be interesting in terms of Hoke’s trendline. Fergodsakes will be tracking it throughout the year.

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Wolverines of the Past in the Coaching World, 2014 Edition

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With the kickoff to the 2014 season rapidly approaching, a recap of Where Are They Now in the Coaching World is in order. Below is a list of former University of Michigan Wolverines football players and coaches currently coaching at the collegiate and professional levels. Twenty-two different collegiate football teams are represented in addition to ten professional teams (nine in NFL; one in CFL).

For more on Michigan Coaching Trees, check out the Fergodsakes Coaching Trees.

Head Coach

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

Special Teams Coordinator

1. Mike Mallory, Jacksonville Jaguars, NFL


Defensive Coordinator
1. Teryl Austin, Detroit Lions, NFL
2. Vance Bedford, University of Texas, FBS
3. Tony Gibson, West Virginia University, FBS
4. Mike Hankwitz, Northwestern, FBS
5. Chuck Heater, Marshall University, FBS
6. Greg Robinson, San Jose State, FBS
7. Adam Braithwaite, University of Tennessee Chattanooga, FCS
8. Bruce Tall, University of North Carolina Charlotte, 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. Bill Sheridan, Detroit Lions, NFL

Secondary/DBs/Safeties Coach
1. Curt Mallory, University of Michigan, FBS
2. Roy Manning, University of Michigan, FBS


Offensive Coordinator
1. Harold Goodwin, Arizona Cardinals, NFL
2. Cam Cameron, LSU, FBS
3. Scot Loeffler, Virginia Tech, FBS
4. Calvin McGee, University of Arizona, FBS

Offensive Line Coach
1. Andy Moeller, Cleveland Browns, NFL
2. Greg Frey, Indiana University, FBS
3. Adam Stenavich, Northern Arizona University, FCS

Quarterbacks Coach
1. Rod Smith, University of Arizona, FBS

Running Backs Coach
1. Tyrone Wheatley, Buffalo Bills, NFL
2. Mike Hart, Western 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

Nick Sheridan was QB Coach, UCF; now Offensive Grad Asst, University of Tennessee, FBS

Were coaching last year; out of coaching this year:

1. Ron English, was Head Coach, Eastern Michigan
2. Doug Mallory, was DC, Indiana
3. Stan Parrish, was OC and Interim Head Coach, Eastern Michigan
4. Jerald Ingram, was RB Coach, New York Giants
5. Robert Thornbladh, was Linebackers Coach, Siena Heights University

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