Michigan's Brady Hoke a favorite to be named Big Ten Coach of the Year today
Angela J. Cesere | AnnArbor.com
It beat rival Ohio State for the first time since 2003.
All in less than a year's work for coach Brady Hoke.
For that effort, senior center David Molk said Hoke deserves to be named Big Ten Coach of the Year, which will be announced by the league at 2 p.m. today.
"He deserves it," said Molk, who on Monday was named the Big Ten's Offensive Lineman of the Year. "I love him, he's a great coach, he's a great mentor, he's a great friend."He's every single thing you want a college coach to be, and he does it flawlessly."
Hoke was hired in January to replace the fired Rich Rodriguez, and has taken the program to heights it hadn't seen since the Lloyd Carr era.
The Wolverines' record is 10-2, their best since 2006. They had a winning Big Ten record for the first time since 2007. And, they've secured a top-five recruiting class for next year.
Hoke also lured defensive coordinator Greg Mattison from the Baltimore Ravens, and Mattison, who is Hoke's best friend, immediately turned the country's 107th scoring defense into a top-10 group.
All that comes on the heels of a miserable three-year run by Rodriguez, when he went 15-22 and won only six Big Ten games.
Hoke matched that total in his first year, going 6-2.
When asked whether he deserved to be named the league's coach of the year, though, Hoke only would praise the staff that helped make his success possible.
“Any type of awards that are given, whether it’s the Heisman Trophy or best taper -- if you’re taping ankles -- we have a great staff and we have a great group of kids," Hoke said.
"My point is, it’s never one person or one guy. It’s everybody involved in the program. Jon Falk and how he gets the guys ready from the equipment standpoint to Paul Schmidt in the training room, and the people who take pride in feeding those kids and all that stuff. I’ve got the greatest job in the world. It’s fun. It’s fun being with those kids.”
Dantonio also led the Spartans to a 28-14 win against Michigan on Oct. 15, their fourth consecutive victory against the Wolverines.
Also being announced today will be the Big Ten's offensive, defensive and freshman of the year. Quarterback Denard Robinson, looking to repeat as the league's offensive player of the year, likely is Michigan's only candidate for these awards.
Although he led the Big Ten in total offense, Robinson still is a long shot to beat out Wisconsin tailback Montee Ball, who has rushed for 29 touchdowns and has 34 overall, five off Barry Sanders' NCAA season record.
Voting for coach, offensive, defensive and freshman of the year was conducted Sunday and will be announced by the Big Ten this afternoon. There will not be an awards show on Big Ten Network.