Today, those folks are hard to find.
|He's B1G Coach of the Year, fer God's sake!|
As pointed out here and so many other places, Hoke took over a team that had only won six B1G games the previous three seasons and matched that total in his first. He inherited a defense that was both a punching bag and a punchline. It was "ranked 110th in total defense in 2010, 16th this season. It was 108th in scoring defense in 2010, No. 9 this year." And contrary to some fears, the offense didn't suffer -- it was 25th in scoring last year, 23rd this year with a game to go.
In short, Hoke did a helluva job. Best of all, he did it with class and dignity.
And he's starting to run out of room in his trophy case as this is Hoke's third Coach of the Year honor in four seasons. Previously, Hoke won the MAC's Coach of the Year award while at Ball State, then he won the same honor for the Mountain West when he was the head man at SDSU.
Well done, Coach!
Coincidentally, on the same day Hoke was honored, former Michigan defensive coordinator Ron English was named Coach of the Year in the MAC for his work in turning around the Eastern Michigan
Gee, I guess Lloyd Carr's coaching tree isn't too shabby after all.
Finally, this feels like the perfect time to repost the MZone editorial below that first went up on January 13th of this year.
I've been disappointed by the harsh criticism of the Hoke hire in some Michigan quarters. Obviously one doesn't have to do cartwheels if they disagree - that's what being a sports fan is all about. But some of the shrill negativity from Day 1 is sad (and no, Rich Rod didn't face such a "the sky is falling!" response immediately following the announcement of his hiring and his first press conference. But more about that in a post next week).
Judging by some reactions, one would think Dave Brandon hired me (I got a call, but no face-to-face). Hell, Fox News wasn't this harsh on Obama until at least six days after his inauguration.
But history always has the last laugh.
When Gene Chizik was hired at Auburn in December 2008, the first video shows the "welcome" he got from one Tiger fan. This, uh...passionate fan...showed up at the airport to heckle AD Jay Jacobs as he arrived back upon the Plains with his new coach. The fan was less than thrilled by the selection of Chizik, a former Auburn assistant - an "Auburn Man" if you will - who just went 5-19 at Iowa State.
Actually, there's no need for me to point out Chizik's record as you'll soon understand why:
But, in the wake of Auburn's national title, the maker of the new video below theorizes that that airport "Greeter" might do things a little differently if he had a mulligan:
I hope those Michigan fans who are "shouting at the airport" today regarding Hoke's hire also wish they had a do-over in the near future.
(Video HT: EDSBS)
ED. NOTE: As Benny noted (yes, that Benny), did you hear what the guy in the top vid shouted out around the :58 second mark?