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Posted on Thu, Feb 17, 2011 : 10:52 a.m.

Michigan football coach Brady Hoke maintains busy schedule before spring drills begin

By Jeff Arnold


Michigan football coach Brady Hoke is still working to play catch up as he settles into his new job. He is staying plenty busy between recruiting and getting to know his players before spring drills begin next month.

Lon Horwedel |

Michigan football coach Brady Hoke has been on the job 38 days and hasn’t slowed down.

He’s getting settled into his new surroundings, working on shaping next year's recruiting class and becoming acquainted with his new team.

The Wolverines begin spring drills next month, which will conclude with their annual scrimmage on April 16 at Michigan Stadium.

"We're not ready yet," Hoke said Wednesday night before serving as a judge in the 12th annual Mock Rock competition at Hill Auditorium. "We've got to get through some of the weight lifting and conditioning and some of the competition stuff and the physical stuff that we do like to do this time of the year.

"But before we teach the system, we have to teach the mind and how we play the game. It's about a mindset, it's about the accountability in the classroom and on the field and in everything we try and do. It's all about making the right decisions and doing the right thing."

The transition is nothing new for Hoke, who was hired Jan. 11 to replace Rich Rodriguez, who was fired after three seasons and a 15-22 record. Michigan is Hoke's third head coaching stop. The former Michigan assistant turned around programs at Ball State and San Diego State before returning to Ann Arbor.

So far, getting familiar with his new players has come mainly through early-morning conditioning runs and weight room sessions. His staff then spends half the day working on installing a new offense and defense and the other half trying to catch up on junior recruiting. Squeezed into that schedule is making time for players who want one-on-one time.

Hoke scrambled to assemble his first Michigan recruiting class before signing day earlier this month. The 20-member class was ranked 21st in the country by

"We've got a lot of work to do, and so it's full bore," Hoke said. "Our guys have done a good job so far, but we've got a long way to go."

Hoke said players have been working hard in off-season workouts, training with new strength and conditioning coach Aaron Wellman. Hoke said weight room sessions are about teamwork and about being selfless.

Former players, including linebacker Dhani Jones, have been impressed with Hoke's work so far. Jones, who emceed the Mock Rock event, played for the Wolverines when Hoke worked as Michigan's defensive line coach.

Hoke had Jones speak with his team on Tuesday before the two spent an hour together on Wednesday. As tough as the last three years have been for former players like Jones, he said Wednesday he senses a change in the program.

"He brings passion and energy - he's a fun, passionate, lovable guy," Jones said. "But he cares about his players, and I think that's the most important thing."

Hoke said Wednesday night he enjoyed getting the chance to see his players involved in activities outside of football. His players finished second in Wednesday's Mock Rock competition. Many of them Tweeted about the event on their personal accounts - something Hoke said he doesn't plan to do any time soon.

"I'm not a big fan (of Twitter) at all," he said.

Asked if he would join other "cool" coaches who maintain Twitter accounts to keep fans abreast of what's happening in their program, Hoke said he won't join in.

"I'm not cool," he said. "I've never tried to be cool."

Jeff Arnold covers Michigan sports for and can be reached at (734) 623-2554 or by e-mail at Follow him on Twitter @jeffreyparnold.



Sat, Feb 19, 2011 : 1:10 a.m.

RE: "Go Hoke! Go Blue! Beat the team from ohio." Lets remember, there are now two teams from Ohio which Michigan must beat: the one in Columbus ... and the one in Toledo. ;-) Hoke's Band Wagon: I'm on it. At least until we have seen what the 2011 Wolverines have done. (And hopefully: much longer than that.)


Fri, Feb 18, 2011 : 8:52 p.m.

I fully realize that it is extremely early to make a decision on Hoke. I was not all that enthused with his college record, but reading what he has said and the way he approaches his job, he has made a believer of me. I don't know how well the team will do this season, but it appears Hoke is going in the right direction. I'm not ready to start waving the pom poms just yet, but I'm already excited for the season to begin. Go Blue.


Fri, Feb 18, 2011 : 7:06 p.m.

Don't work them too hard, Brady. Or you might find yourself involved in an NCAA violation investigation. Take it easy let the players go home early, and above all don't let them over exert themselves.


Fri, Feb 18, 2011 : 6:12 p.m.

"I've never tried to be cool" - I think that's VERY cool. It may not appeal to some kids, but those to whom it does, will be winners.


Fri, Feb 18, 2011 : 3:22 a.m.

Hail to the new King! In 2012 he'll be 12 - 0..Oh sorry I morphed into a Starr for a minute.A lot of things done in a month.I think this coach makes it his business to know thingse.Like maybe notice if his kids are practicing to long. Or what his defensive and special teams coaches are doing.His coaches and players will know what is expected of them.What a change of pace.In a year there will be big progress


Fri, Feb 18, 2011 : 2:38 a.m.

We are not ready? "We've got to get through some of the weight lifting and conditioning and some of the competition stuff and the physical stuff that we do like to do this time of the year. Sounds like we are getting BIGGER...GO BLUE


Fri, Feb 18, 2011 : 2:30 a.m.

Good Job Hoke! This is not a popularity contest. No Razzle Dazzle on the NET. We Bash and Dash on the Field. GO BLUE!

1st Down

Fri, Feb 18, 2011 : 12:31 a.m.

Hoke: 'we have to teach the mind and how we play the game. It's about a mindset,' -- That is a very very wise approach... rather than try to cram a new system down these players throats by forcing them in to "high energy, fast paced practices" filled with loud music and pseudo-tough-guy chest bumps....Hoke & Staff are going to use the tried and true coaching method of teaching and coaching the that these players can visualize exactly what is expected from them...from the assignments on the field to the responsibilities off. The human mind is a goal-target-seeking, servo-mechanism...which once programmed will guide itself towards success.... it all starts with the mind and conditioning it to the new plan and scheme... Hoke & Co. got the approach down right. Hoke is it. This is Michigan.


Fri, Feb 18, 2011 : 4:51 p.m.

"The human mind is a goal-target-seeking, servo-mechanism..." Nice !


Fri, Feb 18, 2011 : 12:24 a.m.

Hoke is working VERY hard so far, that's obvious. He has to since he was hired at the time he was. I'm glad to see he's taking an aggressive stance in recruiting by putting out lots of offers to talented players. Sort of a "cast a wide net" approach. I won't be surprised at all to see him and his assistants bag a top ten recruiting class in 2012.


Thu, Feb 17, 2011 : 11:09 p.m.

"We've got a lot of work to do, and so it's full bore," Hoke said. "Our guys have done a good job so far, but we've got a long way to go." Translation: Man, things sure were messed up here in just 3 years ! But not to worry ... we're on it.


Thu, Feb 17, 2011 : 10:18 p.m.

I like it. Hoke is saying all of the "right things" to take advantage of the MSM outside of Ann Arbor's newfound "appreciation" of all things maize and blue. Maybe the school can give away hardhats painted like Michigan football helmets and maize and blue lunch boxes in the press box at the spring game. If it helps the team, I'm all for it.


Fri, Feb 18, 2011 : 2:25 p.m.

Like your idea, but not sure if lunch boxes in a city of quiche and espresso will make it. needs to replace the file photo of Coach Hoke in a business suit with a "Bo" style photo - warm up jacket, with or without baseball cap.


Thu, Feb 17, 2011 : 10 p.m.

No Theo, we have not forgotten the "King of Losing". How could we, we had to live through it for 3 long painful years.


Thu, Feb 17, 2011 : 8 p.m.

Hoke may end up being the best coach we've had since the Reign of Our King. Have you all forgotten The King?!?!

1st Down

Fri, Feb 18, 2011 : 12:32 a.m.

i think I remembered him on the toilet this morning...


Thu, Feb 17, 2011 : 11:45 p.m.



Thu, Feb 17, 2011 : 6:30 p.m.

@BLU, that's funny. Maybe it should have said: "No kool aid crowd people were hurt in the making of this comment". I just love the way Hoke goes about his business, man if I had a 4 or 5 star kid considering colleges to play for, Hoke is the kinda guy I would want coaching my son. Really, that is the best compliment you can give someone, when you're comfortable handing the keys over to someone in charge of your sons future.

Blu n Tpa

Thu, Feb 17, 2011 : 7:12 p.m.

"I'm Blu n Tpa and I approve this message". Coach Hoke's attitude does several things right out of the gate. Be responsible and do it right and he's got your back. If you're a 5 star prima-don who wants a shortcut up the depth chart, apply elsewhere. Don't worry, there are plenty of 4-5 star players who want that type of direction, that type of responsibility, the level of COACHING. I always tell the team, " you do your best, and you'll never have to hang your head. You can be disappointed with the results, never be upset about your effort." TiM Go Blue! (No animals were injured in making this message. SPCA approved)

Blu n Tpa

Thu, Feb 17, 2011 : 5:04 p.m.

This guy is a FOOTBALL COACH. Not a media darling or a "me" mentalist. There's no distractions or deviation from the goal of preparing his team, OUR team, for the upcoming season. TiM Go Blue. (Hopefully no one had their feelings hurt in the transmission of this message.)


Thu, Feb 17, 2011 : 4:27 p.m.

I like what this guy has to say. Maybe if Forcier wasn't texting and tweeting from the bench he'd have been more successful here. I'd like to see Hoke stop the players from using cell phones during the games. Go Hoke! Go Blue! Beat the team from ohio!