You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Tue, Mar 6, 2012 : 5:56 a.m.

Lessons in Michigan athletics: Hoke, Brandon and Beilein to offer seminar for business execs

By Kellie Woodhouse


Michigan head coach John Beilein claps on the sidelines during the Michigan-Ohio State game at Crisler Center.

Melanie Maxwell I

University of Michigan athletics has had a good year.

Brady Hoke assumed the reins of the football team, coaching the Wolverines to an 11-2 season and a Sugar Bowl victory after players spent three tumultuous years under Rich Rodriguez, who went 15-22 at Michigan.

The men's basketball team, under the guidance of John Beilein for the fifth year, is 23-8 this season, making this year U-M's winningest since 2003-04. The team has nabbed 13 Big Ten wins, the most since the 1993-1994 season.

In his second year as athletic director, former U-M backup quarterback and Domino's Pizza CEO David Brandon revamped the athletic department's marketing arm, hosted the school's first night game and locked the NHL's 2013 Winter Classic.


David Brandon and Brady Hoke

In June, business executives will have a chance to find out if the trio's strategies for winning on the field can pan out in the boardroom.

Hoke, Beilein and Brandon —along with U-M softball coach Carol Hutchins and a handful of business professors— will host a six-day executive education program intended to teach business leadership through lessons learned in U-M sports. Those lessons, according to a recent U-M announcement, include the trick to "transformations in times of crisis," as well as how to teach people "new ways of doing things" and how to "take on fierce competitors and produce winning results."

"We will share leadership concepts and team-building strategies that are used to prepare our teams for big-time college sports competition at the national level," Brandon said in a release.

The cost?

It's estimated at $14,900 — which isn't set in stone, according to Bernie DeGroat, media relations officer for the Ross School of Business. DeGroat said that alumni and donors would likely receive discounts.

The seminar—titled "Leaders and Best: Winning the Leadership Game"— is the first of its kind offered by the university, DeGroat said.

Melanie Barnett, head of executive education at the business school, and Kim Cameron, associate dean of Executive Education at the business school, were not available Monday for comment.

Those who attend the program can expect game-play enactments, team activities and wellness exercises held at —you guessed it— Michigan Stadium and the William Davidson Player Development Center, among other athletic facilities, according to the announcement.

Kellie Woodhouse covers higher education for Reach her at or 734-623-4602 and follow her on twitter.



Wed, Mar 7, 2012 : 6:01 a.m.

Long established fact: those who participated in high school and college sports form the largest group of executive talent. It's about team work and motivating others to work together toward a goal (one which brings rewards to the "team" and team members as well). Is that so difficult a concept to understand? No, but doing it right takes some additional learning. I do think that 15 grand is too high. There should be another series geared & priced for YOUNG executives who may still be working at small companies. In the past, the Institute of Social Research sent people to large organizations to teach them - organization. I happen to know: I was married to one of those people. The contract I remember best was with the United States Navy. Days were spent on air craft carriers on both coasts. Few now remember that once, there were riots on U.S. aircraft carriers. Apparently, the effort succeeded grandly - the carrier fleet is one of the best run divisions of the U.S. Navy today. So I imagine large fees were involved then too (1970s).

Kai Petainen

Wed, Mar 7, 2012 : 1:28 a.m.

wow. seriously cool stuff.


Wed, Mar 7, 2012 : 12:40 a.m.

Those who pay will be champions. (TM)

Terry Star21

Tue, Mar 6, 2012 : 8:19 p.m.

WELCOME Mike McCray, Trotwood, Ohio, 4* to your new home with the Michigan Football family.


Wed, Mar 7, 2012 : 4:16 p.m.

You better watch out. Don't want the website to be put on double secret probation.

Terry Star21

Tue, Mar 6, 2012 : 8:03 p.m.

I'll buy what ever their selling, there could be no price for listening to see what the most successful coaches and AD in America is selling. The chance to hear how discipline, motivation, character and winning from the best, would be priceless ! I expect I'll see a lot of green and scarlet sports jackets there, maybe even a gray sweater vest. MgoBlueForTiM.....The very best, showing us how to be a winner.


Tue, Mar 6, 2012 : 8:03 p.m.

hey ralph. . . maybe how to recruit top talent to your program? MICHIGAN just got football recruit #14, LB MIKE McCRAY out of trotwood, ohio. WAY TO GO COACH HOKE!! GO BLUE!!!!!!


Tue, Mar 6, 2012 : 8:22 p.m.

terry star21 got this info from a webb site called hokes mad magicians

Terry Star21

Tue, Mar 6, 2012 : 8:11 p.m.

I'm impressed umgoblue47 - he wasn't expected to decide until Thursday....must have read this article. Poor urban is seething ! <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>


Tue, Mar 6, 2012 : 8:04 p.m.

he also is another 4* recruit!


Tue, Mar 6, 2012 : 7:30 p.m.

It's better to charge 15k now then after the Alabama Game.


Tue, Mar 6, 2012 : 5:44 p.m.

LOL! The smoke and mirrors of athletics. Three guys who work for a quasi governmental institution with basically an unlimited budget to cover their tracks. What could you learn from them?


Tue, Mar 6, 2012 : 5:22 p.m.

David Brandon is controversial. He was when he was at Domino's, he is as the AD. If he ever runs for governor, he will be then. He does things that I personally don't care for (like the alternate uniforms, continued weak scheduling overall and night games) but does other things that are great like the Big Chill, the Cowboy classic, and the NHL classic. He is a work in progress. I think hearing him would be fascinating because of his past, his connection to Michigan and my personal interest in Michigan sports. Obviously, having a chance to interact with coaches Hoke and Beilein would be great, but not for the amount of money that they want to extract from me. Maybe the course will backfire, but this is not a bad idea if they can find the participants.


Wed, Mar 7, 2012 : 4:27 a.m.

I agree with everything you said. But you know what that makes us, according to the &quot;young students of today&quot;? That makes us OLD (and traditional--or as my nephew says, a &quot;blue hair&quot;). Yikes.


Tue, Mar 6, 2012 : 10:01 p.m.

heartbreak, i agree completely. i was at the big chill, and i'd be lying if i said it wasn't one of the coolest things i've ever been to. although the nonstop marketing of arby's was extremely annoying. I was against the jersey's until i saw the under the lights ones. those were pretty sweet, way better than the bumblebee threads they put on for the msu football game (although, i would say that as bad as ours looked, msu's were beyond hideous). The point of all this being, that DB tends to ignore the real, intrinsic value of michigan in his marketing efforts. to me, he comes off as a bit gimmickie. it was the same thing with his job at domino's. add some oregano to your sauce, but leave everything else about your terrible pizza the same, and do a major marketing push to convince the public that your entire system is now different. it may have worked with pizza, but it doesn't work with a product like michigan athletics.


Tue, Mar 6, 2012 : 9:09 p.m.

Forever: I like the Bama game aspect of the Cowboys classic and the exposure we'll get (but not necessarily the beating we fear), but I don't like the branding. I also liked the UM-MSU hockey game outdoors, but not the Arby's branding. Being part of the biggest crowd ever is a thing that M hockey will always be associated with. The branding in general is a slippery slope and I'm glad that we haven't gotten ads in the football stadium yet. What I meant is that he is thinking outside the box to change the same-old-same-old experiences. I didn't like the alternate jerseys because to me, it was a clear money grab (but the players claim to love it). I do think the Sugar Bowl jerseys looked nice, but I don't like a different jersey for every game.


Tue, Mar 6, 2012 : 8:29 p.m.

funny, the things you listed that you hated, i liked (aside from weak competition), but the things you like, i hate: cowboy classic, big chill (the arby's branding mainly). to me, DB has been on a constant path to cheapen the michigan brand. his efforts to market it clearly show is lack of understanding about what Michigan really stands for.


Tue, Mar 6, 2012 : 4:22 p.m.

Hoke was only a borderline winner until this past season and Beeline has been a loser @Uni M.So what do they know that someone like Bill Gates or the Google Guys don't know. The coaches whole game is Rah!,Rah!,Rah over the short run while business people have to be on top of it 24/7 365.


Tue, Mar 6, 2012 : 10:32 p.m.

&quot;and Beeline has been a loser @Uni M.&quot; If you consider a share of the Big 10 title &quot;loser.&quot; BTW, if U-M doesn't split the series with OSU, then MSU is on the outside looking in.


Tue, Mar 6, 2012 : 3:42 p.m.

To have a former CEO who successfully rebuilt and revamped a national company along with a few coaches, two of whom have rebuilt and revamped their teams in relatively short periods, the seminar sounds like an interesting prospect for companies needing an injection of enthusiasm. Too expensive? No one is forcing you to hire them. As for the negativity that Dave Brandon's detractors incessantly spew, I say to Dave Brandon, keep pushing it. Grow that Michigan brand. You've hired the right people, leaders capable of building elite, championship-contending teams. You've continued to renovate and improve Michigan's athletic facilities. You've also put Michigan back in the spotlight with high-profile games. The Notre Dame &quot;Under the Lights&quot; game was wildly popular, the 5th or 6th most watched game of all of last year, including the bowl games. I expect the game in Cowboy Stadium against the defending National Champions to have similar, if not find more, success. You've brought Michigan into the 21st century and maintained Michigan tradition in doing so. The players still run out from the tunnel to jump and touch that &quot;M Club Supports You&quot; banner at the home games. &quot;Varsity,&quot; &quot;The Yellow and Blue,&quot; and &quot;The Victors&quot; still play at every game. All of Michigan's games are on TV, an important aspect of being the most-televised college football team, a tradition I'd like to see maintained, and most importantly, as the winningest-team-of-all-time, Michigan football is winning again. So, Dave Brandon, keep pushing it. Make the curmudgeons whine and complain even louder about your every move. These people need to come out of that 1970s dream, where football coaches make as much as school teachers, before big-time television contracts and ADIDAS apparel contracts. College football is big business, and Michigan is and has been neck deep in it for a while now. Yet, Michigan still is Michigan, decrepit as it was when Bo


Tue, Mar 6, 2012 : 6:45 p.m.

Dcam, that's one part of Michigan football I was not aware of. Very interesting. I recommend people read the book Stagg's University: The Rise and Fall of Big-Time Football at Chicago, detailing, among other things, the University of Chicago's contested and controversial decision to end football. <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> It's the most academic football book I've ever read, but really changed my outlook on college football. The university ended the football program primarily to prevent academic decline and to prevent the seemingly inevitable lowering of academic standards for athletes (they pulled the trigger during Christmas Break, when the students were not around to protest). Chicago administration saw the conflict of between the financially-lucrative athletics versus academic integrity, and chose to go with the latter. I'm guessing Harvard, Yale and other formerly major programs, chose the same route. Michigan, as well as other schools, opted to maintain their big-time programs knowing very well of its potential consequences. I'm just saying, the choice to go &quot;Big-time football/Big-time money&quot; was made decades before Bo Schembechler arrived. Now, with modern television and other media, football's lucrativeness has only increased, I'm guessing exponentially. It's business. To have a CEO as an AD in this kind of world only makes sense. Accepting this truth about the sport I love, I've come to greatly admire the work of Dave Brandon. To have an AD with a business background is essential, but to have one that was a CEO of a national company, who practically saved it AND who was once a former Michigan football player? I couldn't be more comfortable with him as AD, even if he whiffs on a alternate uniform design or two. : ) His batting average, thus far, is still better than I ever expected. Go Blue!


Tue, Mar 6, 2012 : 5:28 p.m.

&quot;College football is big business&quot; And few colleges know that better than UM. In fact, they played many of their early football games against professional teams, making them sort of big business from the start.


Tue, Mar 6, 2012 : 3:52 p.m.

coached, and as marketed and well-cared-for as it is today. It is and will always be Michigan.


Tue, Mar 6, 2012 : 3:29 p.m.

First lesson of this seminar: Push out the little guy. Only the rich and powerful matter.


Tue, Mar 6, 2012 : 3:17 p.m.

As a lifelong Michigan fan that isnt a millionaire things like this make me sick. Sometimes the business segment of college atletics spoils the entire thing.


Tue, Mar 6, 2012 : 2:53 p.m.

This sounds like a great idea. Sometimes people who might tend to be resistant to adopting new approaches can become more open to change when the new viewpoint is presented by someone they admire. And as an alum, I have to be happy about anything that looks like a revenue winner for the business school.

Ed daggett

Tue, Mar 6, 2012 : 2:31 p.m.

Brandon is a poor man's Jerry Jones. All this self promotion is turning me off. And to use the success of two high profile sports coaches for his own ego. Perhaps, Brandon &amp; LC can attempt the 'ethics' portion of this seminar. At a cost of nearly $15K per they should get to hear the real truth about the undermining a couple guys at M did to the former coach


Tue, Mar 6, 2012 : 5:17 p.m.

@Ed: The former coach's performance on and off the field was his own undoing. Yes, he had a lot of people in and out of the department who didn't make it easy for him, but nobody lost that Gator Bowl by giving up 52 points; nobody but him lost to every rival in the B10 for all 3 years--in fact the only wins he had of meaning were the 2 ND last minute exciting victories. You have repeatedly posted about this conspiracy against former coach, but really, I don't understand it at this point. If you don't see why Hoke is such a better coach for Michigan in all areas, then I can't explain it to convince you.


Tue, Mar 6, 2012 : 2:05 p.m.

Amazing. An innovation (?) in fund raising: you want to sell to those who can afford $15,000 the privilege to rub shoulders with the high &amp; mighty of Michigan sports? Fine. But don't insult us by dressing it up as a &quot;Business workshop.&quot;


Tue, Mar 6, 2012 : 5:31 p.m.

Who's being insulted? You, the person who's not going to be paying and attending?


Tue, Mar 6, 2012 : 1:27 p.m.

Goober...George Lindsay was wayyy smarter :-) One question though - why isn't Coach Hutchins in the headline with the guys since she is part of the project?


Wed, Mar 7, 2012 : 2:02 a.m.

Not only that she is the winningest coach at Michigan EVER!!!!! Go Hutch!


Tue, Mar 6, 2012 : 12:22 p.m.

As a business executive for more than 25 years, I guess I can learn a lot from a bunch of coaches who yell at kids on camera for the whole world to see. Publically tearing someone down for a human mistake, is a value that is on top of my list to learn. Michigan arrogance at its finest.


Tue, Mar 6, 2012 : 1:10 p.m.

I too, have season tickets to Michigan Basketball, John Beilein is positive with his players. He has rebuilt the team with integrity and hard work.


Tue, Mar 6, 2012 : 12:59 p.m.

That's a shallow, inaccurate stereotype you just threw out there. Do you even watch these specific coaches? I am a basketball season ticket holder and sit near to Beilein every home game. Some coaches may berate players during games for mistakes, but Coach Beilein does not. He pushes them to focus, work hard, and work together... some people may see value in these things outside sports.


Tue, Mar 6, 2012 : 12:28 p.m.

: , ( &quot;Me upset cuz Michigan good again. Me find fault in ALL the things.&quot;

Now Hear This

Tue, Mar 6, 2012 : 12:16 p.m.

Who can talk to them about running a contest so that a local small business owner gets the chance to attend?

Kai Petainen

Wed, Mar 7, 2012 : 1:30 a.m.

that's a cool idea.