Answering questions about Brady Hoke below.
1. 2017 will be Hoke’s 36th season as a coach of one sort or another.
With some of the positional hires, Butch Jones seems to be leaning on what candidate has the most experience out of those available. Hoke would qualify pretty well here. He holds 18 years of experience as a defensive line coach, including 8 spent at Michigan. While his other coaching work is in question, he’s well-respected for his defensive line work nationally. Did you like Michigan’s defensive line this year? Hoke recruited most of the players on that line. That’s a positive, no?
2. Brady Hoke has never coached further southeast than Muncie, Indiana.
I’ve seen a lot of very smart people talk up Hoke’s recruiting abilities. They were very good at Michigan; he’s probably on par with Jones himself in terms of selling a program. However, Hoke has never had to recruit in SEC territory. He won’t have the deep connections he has in the Midwest and California. This is worrisome, because recruiting the South for an outsider can be very tough at first. It’s not like Hoke’s head coach has a lot of time left to fix things, either.
3. Hoke’s 2016 season with Oregon as the defensive coordinator was…not good.
Mark Helfrich brought in Hoke (remember him?) to shore up Oregon’s defense. He drove the Ducks straight off of a cliff. They went from 98th in per-play defense to 115th. For all his lauded work as a DL coach, Oregon’s DL was embarrassingly bad in nearly every game. They finished 106th in tackles for loss. It’s also worth remembering that Hoke was never very good against great competition with Michigan. In games against Top 25 competition, Michigan allowed at least 1.5 yards more per play from 2012 on than they did against unranked competition.
4. Six of Hoke’s defensive linemen have been NFL Draft picks, all from Michigan.
Five of these picks are from Hoke’s first run-around at Michigan (1995-2002). I look forward to seeing Jones use this as a major talking point in the offseason.
5. No, Butch Jones and Brady Hoke have not coached together.
This is just up top, before the inevitable question is asked. I’m pretty sure they’re friends, though. Both were in the state of Michigan from 1998 to 2002. I’m sure they met during that time. At any rate, coaching is all about connections, and both were likely trying to develop some at that point in time. However, only they know the answer to that question.