Hoke Wins Comparison to Past Michigan Football Head Coaches

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Following the Outback Bowl, a number of fans seemed to think that Brady Hoke was not the man for the Michigan football coaching job. There have always been knee-jerk reactionary fans, and there will always be some fans upset with Coach X, regardless of what Coach X has done; however, the sheer number of those disappointed in Hoke after the South Carolina loss was simply baffling.

As a result, Fergodsakes set out to evaluate Hoke’s performance through the on field criteria of:

  • Total Wins at this point in coaching career as Head Coach at Michigan
  • Wins against OSU as Head Coach at Michigan
  • Bowl Wins as Head Coach at Michigan

The data presented here was obtained in large part from the Bentley Library and its online information.

This is Part 1 of a 2 part series. Part 2 will be published tomorrow.

The First 26

26 games

Brady Hoke has now coached 26 games for Michigan, with a record of 19-7. 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 26 games for the maize and blue.

Fielding H. Yost did indeed go a perfect 26-0 in his first 26 games as Michigan’s Head Coach.

To relate Hoke’s 19 wins to the bigger picture, Kipke won 19 games in his first 26 (along with 3 ties!) and won two National Titles. Oosterbaan won 19 of 26 (with 2 ties) and won a National Title. Carr won 18 of 26 and won a National Title. Only Crisler and Yost won more than 19 of the first 26 and went on to win at least one National Championship, with Crisler having won 21 of his first 26 (one National Title); and Yost with 26 of 26 (six National Titles).

Michigan Head Coaches who coached at least 26 games won an average 19.3 of those first 26 games. The median is 19, and the mode is 19.

Against the Buckeyes

Hoke is of course 1-1 against the Buckeyes. How have Michigan’s Head Coaches done in their first two games against the team from Columbus?

OSU Games

Among those who have coached at least two games against Ohio State, Carr, Crisler, Moeller, and Yost all went 2-0, while only Rodriguez was winless.

Looking ahead to The Game in 2013, of the nine men who have been Head Coach for Michigan in at least 3 games against the Buckeyes, six won 2 of their first 3 games against Ohio State. Hoke will look to join that group come November. Only Rodriguez, Elliott, and Kipke won once or not at all after 3 games against the Buckeyes. Kipke did go on to win two National Championships as Michigan Head Coach.

Michigan Head Coaches who coached at least two games against OSU won an average 1.3 of those first 2 games. The median is 1, and the mode is 1.

Bowl Games

No Michigan Head Coach has ever gone 2-0 in his first two bowl games.

2 Bowl Games

Due to the bowl game structure over time, and Big Ten rules that limited only its champion going to a bowl game until the mid-1970’s (a rule Schembechler was instrumental in overturning), only four Michigan Head Coaches have ever coached in at least two bowl games. Schembechler’s teams of course struggled for years in bowls, with Bo finally getting his first bowl victory in his eighth attempt. Moeller and Hoke each split their first two bowl games, and Carr dropped his first two before winning his third, a certain New Year’s Day Rose Bowl in 1998.

Hoke’s bowl record through two games at Michigan puts him at the top of the class with Gary Moeller when looking at all Michigan Head Coaches who have coached at least two bowl games.

Michigan Head Coaches who coached at least two bowl games won an average 0.5 of those first 2 games.


Wins in first 26 games: 19. Michigan Head Coach average is 19.3; Median is 19; Mode is 19.
Wins in first two games against OSU: 1. Michigan Head Coach average is 1.3; Median is 1; Mode is 1.
Wins in first two bowl games: 1. Tied for most in Michigan history. Average is 0.5

These charts and data will be updated throughout the season in 2013 and beyond on Fergodsakes.com.

Part 2 will be published tomorrow.

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