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Posted on Fri, Sep 16, 2011 : 5:59 a.m.

Here comes Michigan football coach Brady Hoke's 100th game: A look at highlights from the first 99

By Nick Baumgardner

In life, first-year Michigan coach Brady Hoke is well-seasoned at 52 years of age. As a head football coach, though? Not as much.

It didn't take Hoke long to land his "dream job" — and for the record, he didn't actually walk to Ann Arbor — as this season is just his ninth overall as a head boss.

He's still relatively young as a coach, but Hoke can knock out a pair of career benchmarks with one stone Saturday when the Wolverines host Eastern Michigan (Noon, BTN).

The game will mark the 100th time Hoke has taken the sidelines as a head coach, and should the Wolverines win, he'll be an even 50-50 in those games — .500 for the first time since the second game of his career, a 35-7 loss to Missouri while at Ball State in 2003.


Brady Hoke, shown while at Ball State, picked up his first victory as a head coach in August 2003.

Does Hoke care even slightly about Saturday's milestone? Not surprisingly, he says he doesn't.

But for history's sake, let's take a look at how he got here.

First, though, some historical context.

When coach Bo Schembechler arrived at Michigan in 1969, he had just 60 games of head coaching experience under his belt — but boasted a 40-17-3 record. His 50th career win came one season later on the road at Washington, and by his 100th career game — a 42-0 homecoming win over Minnesota in 1972 — Schembechler's career mark sat at 75-22-3.

Lloyd Carr's collegiate head coaching career began with an interim tag at Michigan in 1995 — immediately following the five-year tenure of Gary Moeller. Carr's 50th career victory came during the 2000 season-opener against Bowling Green. Like Hoke, Carr's 100th career game came during his ninth season. His record, though, was much better at that time — as he hit the head coaching century mark at 77-23.

What the next 100 games has in store for Hoke is anyone's guess.

But the first 100? Let's take a look at how he got here:

First win
Indiana State at Ball State
Aug. 28, 2003
Cardinals 31, Sycamores 7
Ball State quarterback Andy Roesch throws for 204 yards and a pair of touchdowns in Hoke's head coaching debut at his alma mater.

Interestingly enough, the game marked the first time since 1967 that the Cardinals had played a home contest at night. (Sound familiar?) The crowd that day? A then-Scheumann Stadium record crowd of 23,549.

First 'what just happened' moment
Ball State at Western Michigan
Oct. 8, 2005
Cardinals 60, Broncos 57 (4 OT)
Long before last weekend's comeback win over Notre Dame, there was this barnburner in Kalamazoo.

Ball State's Brad Salyer caught a 2-yard touchdown pass with 1 second to play in the third quarter, and Brian Jackson's extra point tied the game at 37-37. No one scoreed in the fourth quarter as Western Michigan comes up empty on a drive that chewed up the final 5:06 of regulation.

Both squads exchanged touchdowns in the first three overtime periods, and Jackson's field goal in the fourth was the difference.

Future Green Bay Packer Greg Jennings hauled in 11 passes for 244 yards and four touchdowns for Western, and Hoke walked out of Waldo Stadium with arguably the wackiest win of his Ball State tenure.

First weather delay
Northern Illinois at Ball State
Sept. 30, 2006
Huskies 40, Cardinals 28
Hoke's career at Michigan began with a lightning-shortened win against Western Michigan this season, but it wasn't his first spat with poor weather.

Hoke touched on this loss following the Western win and here's how it went down.

Ball State built a 14-7 lead in the first half, but then the game was delayed for roughly 40 minutes due to rain.

Following the break, former NIU star Garrett Wolfe took center stage — running for 353 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Huskies. Hoke's bunch put up a fight, as quarterback Nate Davis finished with 298 passing yards and four touchdowns.

First bowl game
International Bowl
Ball State vs. Rutgers
Jan. 5, 2008
Scarlet Knights 52, Cardinals 30
In the capper to a season that saw Hoke's Ball State squad nearly knock off Nebraska and win a share of the Mid-American Conference West Division crown, Rutgers and coach Greg Schiano — who turned down the vacant Michigan coaching job a month earlier — were too much for the Cardinals.

Ray Rice rumbled for 280 yards on the ground, going over the 2,000-yard mark for his career.

The loss didn't set the Cardinals' program back for long, though, as Ball State would win the first 12 games of the 2008 season — Hoke's final year with the Cardinals.

First bowl win
Poinsettia Bowl
San Diego State vs. Navy
Dec. 23, 2010
Aztecs 35, Midshipmen 14
SDSU freshman running back Ronnie Hillman rushed for 228 yards at a rain-soaked Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego. The win was San Diego State's first bowl victory since 1969, and the first bowl win of Hoke's career.

Nineteen days later, Hoke was in Ann Arbor, officially hired as Michigan's head coach.

Nick Baumgardner covers Michigan basketball for He can be reached at 734-623-2514, by email at and followed on Twitter @nickbaumgardner.



Sat, Sep 17, 2011 : 11:42 a.m.

Hoke will get to 100 wins before he gets to 65 losses while at Michigan.

Simon Feuz

Fri, Sep 16, 2011 : 7:47 p.m.

Why all the love for Brady Hoke......he's just a coach.... he has a long way to go. He certainly didn't do much at Sandy Eggo State. SDSU has been a terrible team now for years. Not as bad last year, but still a very medicore to terrible program. During these first 2 games...the results would probably be the same with Rich Rod still at the helm. Time only, will tell. The annointing of Hoke this early is ludricous. Temper the hype. Let it play out.


Sat, Sep 17, 2011 : 3:07 p.m.'re right that SDSU was and has been terrible for years. In fact, last season was their first winning season in a long time and their first bowl win EVER. Guess who the coach was? Hoke. So, in only two seasons on the job he took that program to it's greatest heights ever. As to his anointing here in A2, I don't think that's the case. I do feel that fans, alumni, and players buy into his philosophy, however, and believe that he will build Michigan back into the type of program we are accustomed to at Michigan and will do it with the character and integrity we are accustomed to as well.


Sat, Sep 17, 2011 : 3:39 a.m.

"Let it play out" -- yes, agree with that. "Annointing of Hoke" -- nobody is saying he's won the BCS already. What they are saying is he exhibits all the traits of a coach with priorities properly placed and a focus on the right things. "Results the same with Rich Rod at the helm" -- maybe ... probably. The difference is the way Hoke and staff have decided to dig to the bottom of the foundation and start to rework it all. RRod's teams showed they were good against average team, not so good against good teams. And there was *nothing* to suggest he understood that issue. For example -- against Notre Dame the Michigan defense actually exhibited the ability to hold a *good* offense to 3rd down and out. That was utterly missing last year. Totally missing. So there's an example of a fundamental shift. Complete? Hardly. But underway. Michigan's problem right now is there's no running game other than Denard. Given some credible running threat Michigan wouldn't need to rely on DRob so much. So while I agree that Hoke has not yet conquered the mountain top, he exhibits all the signs to be able to do that moreso than the previous coach.


Fri, Sep 16, 2011 : 3:03 p.m.

Good article Nick, but I think it would have been even better with some history about how Coach Hoke turned around poor programs at Ball State and SDSU... ie, some info. about the poor records at Ball State and SDSU before Hoke arrived. There is a reason that his record is 49-50, and he is a much better coach than his record shows.


Sat, Sep 17, 2011 : 3 p.m.

Anthony is a 12-1 Ball St team a "slightly less bad team?" 12-1 is not bad at all, in fact it's outstanding. 12-1 is what Hoke turned an awful Ball St. program into in his final season there. How is turning a 1-11 team at SDSU (which again was awful) into a 9-4 bowl winning team in only two seasons only a "slight" improvement? That is far more than a "slight" improvement, it's a complete turnaround. They went from garbage to good in only two seasons. So, to say he turned programs into "slightly less bad" is inaccurate. He turned those programs into excellent (Ball St.) and very good (SDSU) in a very short amount of time.


Sat, Sep 17, 2011 : 3:33 a.m.

I believe in Hoke ... gotta really good sense about the man. I'm 100% behind him.


Fri, Sep 16, 2011 : 8:36 p.m.

"Uhhh, he didn't really turn those programs around. He took bad teams and made them into slightly less bad teams." AC, ask TCU if SDSU was a "slightly less bad team" last year ... the # 2 team in the country barely beat Hoke's team 40-35 at home. That's the same TCU team that beat Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl ... the Wisconsin team that ripped us apart last year. I would say that "slightly less bad team" is not close to accurate.


Fri, Sep 16, 2011 : 8:28 p.m.

2008: 3-9 2009: 5-7 2010: 7-6 (also, 108th/110th ranked defense, depending on which stats are more important to you) No brainer ... our program definitely was in need of turning around after 2008-2010

David Vande Bunte

Fri, Sep 16, 2011 : 4:44 p.m.

2008: 3-9 2009: 5-7 2010: 7-6 (also, 108th/110th ranked defense, depending on which stats are more important to you) So, I leave whether or not I was implying Michigan's program was in need of "turning around" to the beholder. It is only blasphemy to the ridiculous MCC'ers who still think RichRod was the best thing to ever happen to the maize and blue. In their eyes, as long as you score points, who cares if you can't hit field goals, who cares if you completely trash the defense, you are fun to watch! Some of us were deeply embarrassed by what the previous coach did to the program.

Anthony Clark

Fri, Sep 16, 2011 : 4:40 p.m.

Uhhh, he didn't really turn those programs around. He took bad teams and made them into slightly less bad teams.


Fri, Sep 16, 2011 : 4:27 p.m.

Be careful with what you say David VB. Are you implying Michigan's program was in need of "turning around"? Isn't that blasphemy in Ann Arbor?

David Vande Bunte

Fri, Sep 16, 2011 : 3:50 p.m.

Agreed completely. The important part is not his overall record, its what happened while he was at each school. He has a clear record of turning bad programs around, which is exactly what Michigan was looking for.


Fri, Sep 16, 2011 : 1:53 p.m.

Good article. Brady has a way to go.


Fri, Sep 16, 2011 : 12:32 p.m.

Good coach ... we got the right coach, he put in place the right staff ... we'll be fine. Watched the LSU vs. Mississippi State game last night ... was shocked -- SHOCKED!! -- to see LSU line up under center with their offensive line near shoulder-to-shoulder and (gasp!) a fullback and tight end! This is the SEC, the land of spread and tiny little scat-backs all over the place. Funny, those LSU players didn't look so small. LSU looks great ... particularly on (wait for it) ... DEFENSE.


Sat, Sep 17, 2011 : 3:31 a.m.

@Chad Williams -- "Florida and arkansas are those spread teams." Wait a minute. Florida in the past, but not this year. Florida under Charlie Weis is definitely pro set with Brantley back under center where he's comfortable. And last year Arkansas was really more of a pocket passer in Mallett. Don't know about them this year. Point being that the SEC is nothing close to the small, skittery "spread" stuff prior coaches were going for. But I'll agree ... the SEC plays some great, great football. 'Bama v. LSU is must see ... maybe *the* game for the SEC this fall. SEC west is strong; SEC east not so much so. Can't wait to see OU v. FSU ... that'll be interesting. Plus WVU v. Maryland. Re: Michigan v. SEC ... nowhere close. SEC dominates this discussion. They have the talent and the talent stays home for the most part. Best Big 10 can do is play up to a level to stay in the discussion for now. I love college football. I'm spending *hours* per weekend watching. LSU looks GREAT on D ... offense "good enough" given that defense.

Chad Williams

Fri, Sep 16, 2011 : 5:59 p.m.

I understand michigan is trying to be physical on defense but 300 pounds doesn't mean wat it did 20 years ago. Those sec linemen can really move and that is the only thing that separates the big ten from the sec. Our qb play kills the sec year in and year out. A strong line on both sides makes a gameplan for a coach simple. All the qb has to do is manage the game.

Chad Williams

Fri, Sep 16, 2011 : 5:42 p.m.

Florida and arkansas are those spread teams. Watch a lsu vs auburn game. Low scoring defensive game. take the time this year to watch a 330 sec game on cbs if there isnt a good big ten game on. Bama vs lsu is a must see if you are fan of physical defensive game. The sec plays the same way as the big ten just a little faster


Fri, Sep 16, 2011 : 1:16 p.m.

Don: I was watching the OL and it looked like the line got good burst on runs, more than UM has been able to get. Also, the running back was breaking tackles and kept on his feet. I do think that is lacking in at least Shaw and Hopkins so far. So to me, it is not just that the OL is not doing great, but the RB that have played so far have not developed "escapability" and balance. They have to pick it up. But that LSu defense is tough tough tough.