Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Hoke Confirms What Everyone Knew

Normally, coaches are fairly mum on the circumstances which necessitate their removal as an institution's football leader. Sometimes it is by the University's choice, and others, like in the case of Brady Hoke, it is the choice of the coach himself. Nearly a month after that choice was made, and Hoke has began the task of compiling a staff at San Diego State, he spoke with Doug Zaleski of the MSP last week. You can read the full article here.

What is surprising in this particular interview is that Hoke basically confirms that the assistants and their pay rate was the sticking point for his contract negotiations that eventually led to his resignation. Hoke said, "Taking care of guys who are doggone good people and work hard and do a great job of teaching life lessons to kids, that was a little bit of a sticking point. If I had an (issue), that would have been it."

Hoke seems like a genuine guy, so I'll take him at his word. However, I don't think it's a long stretch to think regardless of the offer made by BSU Hoke would have been tempted to leave. Though SDSU is a shitheap, the Mountain West Conference is markedly better on a national stage than the the MidAmerican Conference, and he would be recruiting in state that is rich beyond belief in prep talent.

Hoke did a good job at Ball State, and I'm sorry to see him leave. But he had a couple of decent years and one really good year. Let's remember that he has a career sub-.500 record and zero conference titles. Not to mention that it's easy to look smart when you have talent. We call that the Spurrier Effect around these parts.

One thing I do want to point out is Hoke's closing comment in the article. Hoke said, "I can promise you I'll always be looking on Sunday mornings or whenever so see how Ball State did. I'm proud to be a graduate of that school, proud to have been the head coach there, and I look forward to the guys there doing a tremendous job."

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