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Posted on Mon, Dec 5, 2011 : 1:07 p.m.

Michigan football coach Brady Hoke among 5 finalists for national coach of the year award

By Kyle Meinke

Brady Hoke already was named the Big Ten's Coach of the Year.

Now, he is one of five finalists for the Eddie Robinson Award, which goes to the national coach of the year.


Michigan coach Brady Hoke on the sideline against Minnesota earlier this season. He is one of five finalists for the Eddie Robinson national coach of the year award.

Melanie Maxwell |

The Michigan football team went 10-2 during Hoke's first year as coach. He is the second coach in school history to win 10 games in his first season.

The Wolverines won six Big Ten games -- as many as they won in the three previous years combined -- and on Sunday night were rewarded with a BCS bid to the Sugar Bowl. They will play Virginia Tech (11-2) on Jan. 3 in New Orleans.

Michigan hasn't played in a BCS bowl since finishing the 2006 season in the Rose Bowl. Hoke will try to help the Wolverines win their first BCS bowl since edging Alabama in the 2000 Orange Bowl.

He was named the Big Ten's Coach of the Year last week, and now has been named a league coach of the year three times in four years. He has never won a national coach of the year award.

His response was to deflect the credit — which often is the case when he's asked about personal accomplishments.

“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 last week of being named Big Ten Coach of the Year.

"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."

The other finalists for the Eddie Robinson Award are Oklahoma State's Mike Gundy, LSU's Les Miles, Kansas State's Bill Snyder and Clemson's Dabo Swinney.

Swinney's Tigers handed Virginia Tech its only two losses this year, including a 38-10 defeat in last weekend's ACC championship game.

The winner will be announced Dec. 15.

Oregon's Chip Kelly captured the honor last year.

Kyle Meinke covers Michigan football for He can be reached at 734-623-2588, by email at and followed on Twitter @kmeinke.



Tue, Dec 6, 2011 : 1:32 a.m.

Amazing what Coach Hoke has accomplished in only one season at Michigan. He turned a program around that had been blown out regularly over the past three seasons, including 6 times last season, and transformed them into a ten game winner that was in every single game. The fact that he did it against a schedule that included only one losing team is incredible! The competition is stiff (especially Gundy and Snyder, imo), but Hoke is every bit as deserving as any of them. Hoke has brought back the pride to UM football!

Jim Burdelski

Mon, Dec 5, 2011 : 11:35 p.m.

Why didn't Michigan hire Brady 3 years ago? Could have saved millions. Michigan is lucky to have him?


Mon, Dec 5, 2011 : 11:21 p.m.

Congratulations Coach Hoke, You truly deserve this award for re-uniting an entire fanbase. Well done coach, well done.

... and Cousins wept.

Mon, Dec 5, 2011 : 10:13 p.m.

You see the difference when a coach understands that these hulks playing football are still kids that make mistakes. The way your players act on and off the field mirrors their work ethic and strength of play. Gone is the excuse-machine from Virginia... we'll leave the finger pointing to Sparty. Hoke was great in that after game Ohio State interview when he said "I'm not the story here... it's in that corner over there... it's about our players and ours seniors." I heard a sniffle from my left at that point... from my Michigan State grad of a wife... it even brought tears to a die-hard Spartan... but then again she's a class act.

Robert Granville

Mon, Dec 5, 2011 : 9:59 p.m.

Count Les Miles out for his habit of oversigning and screwing with the educations of recruits. Haven't you always wondered why those SEC schools are always so good? Hoke recruits the ethical way and for that, his #1 ranked recruiting class and the amazing performance on the field, he deserves this award.


Tue, Dec 6, 2011 : 1:21 a.m.

Quite cynical. By your standards, how do we know anything about anyone? I guess we don't...other than the FACT that Urban Meyer went 8-5 in his final season, is 0-1 against Michigan, and QUIT TWICE while at Florida due to 'stress' and family reasons (if he was telling the truth, which, who knows...he probably wasn't). The other things are FACTS about coach Meyer, though, and based on those FACTS, I don't think he will last long at OSU, especially after they win only 8 games next year and lose to Michigan at the Shoe. The pressure will only increase, will lead to an even worse season (and another loss to Michigan), and eventually get him run out of Columbus. That's my opinion based on the FACTS.


Mon, Dec 5, 2011 : 10:22 p.m.

How do you know he recruits ethically? Maybe he just hasn't been caught. It's not like he will tell you. I have not seen anybody rank UM's class #1.


Mon, Dec 5, 2011 : 9:29 p.m.

This is a tough choice, because all of these coaches have done a good job this year. Personally I would love to see Coach Hoke get the award, because he has done something amazing and special in the last 11 months. He took a program in disarray and completely turned it around, and oh by the way, also came up with a top recruiting class for 2012. Plus he assembled the team of excellent coaches that helped turn around the program. We went from 7-6, with 3 blowout losses in a row at the end of last year, to 10-2. Only Bill Snyder's K State team saw this type of improvement over 2010. They too were 7-6 last year and 10-2 this year, losing only to Oklahoma and Ok. State. One could make a good case for Coach Snyder. Coach Gundy's Ok. State team had a great year at 11-1, and he could win it also. Last year's team was 10-2 plus a bowl win, so it couldn't have done much to improve on that. Les Miles' team obviously has had a special season so far, but for some reason I do not think he will win it. He is a worthy candidate though, and you could make a good case for him also. I do not think Coach Swinney will win it, because Clemson lost 3 of their last 5 games this year. When they were 8-0 he was probably one of the front runners, because they were 6-7 in 2010 and greatly improved this year.


Mon, Dec 5, 2011 : 9:24 p.m.

National Coach of the Year: Bill Snyder Kansas State Came out of retirement. Lead K-state to 10-2 record, #8 in the AP. That trumps Hoke and is soft schedule.


Mon, Dec 5, 2011 : 11:38 p.m.

What? Urban Meyer doesn't deserve it? He was able to get through his press conference by reading his cheat sheet verbatim. That's gotta be enough for any tohio slappy to think he earned it.

1st Down

Mon, Dec 5, 2011 : 8:03 p.m.

That will be a tough on for Coach Hoke to take home...good group of accomplished coaches that he is going up against on that list and any one of them would be deserving of the award. This is Michigan.


Mon, Dec 5, 2011 : 7:59 p.m.

This is a two man race...The Increidable Hoke and Mike Gundy, though The Hoke has the edge. The man assemeble a coaching staff, and took 'someone elses' players to a 10-2 recored. Blowing that whole theor,y it takes at least 3 years to recurit your own players. He knows what is important....he knows this isn't about him....this is about every player.... I admire coach Hoke. He respects those Michigan a military recurit.. they go in as boys then come out as men. Hoke is taking someones boys and molding them into men... Good luck coach....


Mon, Dec 5, 2011 : 7:53 p.m.

I don't know--they all seem like fine candidates. Congrats to all of them. I'm sure that Dantonio has a press release complaining about how he got overlooked despite beating Hoke.


Tue, Dec 6, 2011 : 5:39 a.m.

"That reply shows you are a true Michigan man. A confident fan base doesn't need to worry about everybody else. UM's fan base is far from it." True Michigan men stoop to the level of taking unnecessary swipes at rival coaches? Uh, no, I don't think so. That reply shows you should be rooting for Dantonio rather than criticizing him.


Mon, Dec 5, 2011 : 9:51 p.m.

so why are you replying rightmind250 ? I guess you aren't confident at all, because you certainly are worrying about us alot.


Mon, Dec 5, 2011 : 9:27 p.m.

That reply shows you are a true Michigan man. A confident fan base doesn't need to worry about everybody else. UM's fan base is far from it.


Mon, Dec 5, 2011 : 8:11 p.m.

I was thinking the same thing!! HAHA


Mon, Dec 5, 2011 : 7:31 p.m.

As much as I admire Hoke's accomplishments this year, I have to say there's a better case to be made for Les Miles ... he's got a boatload of talent but also had a boatload of other problems and issues. And he played tough competition and never flinched. If the criteria is "doing the most with the least" then Kansas State's Bill Snyder might get the nod.

Robert Granville

Mon, Dec 5, 2011 : 9:56 p.m.

Ever heard of oversigning? Les Miles doesn't deserve anything. Just ask those kids who thought they had football scholarships...


Mon, Dec 5, 2011 : 6:48 p.m.

Keep the awards coming!! MEEEEEEEEEANchigan football has returned to the glory! Brady Hoke for heisman- now that would be a story!!!