Thursday, January 13, 2011

Hokeless in San Diego

When Brady Hoke arrived in San Diego just two years ago, he stated that Michigan was his dream job.  As soon as Rich Rodriguez was fired, Hoke got his opportunity.

Hoke was announced as the Head Coach at Michigan today, after successful runs at Ball State, and San Diego State.  Hoke won 12 games at Ball State, which is impressive, considering it is located in Muncie, Indiana.  San Diego State doubled his salary, and he came out west.  San Diego just completed their most successful seasons in recent memory, including their first bowl win since 1969.  Yet, the signs of Hoke's possible departure were quite obvious.

Jim Sterk, the AD at SDSU, concocted a contract extension, which would give Hoke a substantial raise, yet he never signed it.  He was well aware of the situation at Michigan, and knew that if Harbaugh fell through, his name would be in the mix for the job at the big house.  Making a high six figure salary, while living in one of the most beautiful cities in the US is great, but pursuing the job you have dreamed of your whole life just can't compete.

As a fan of SDSU, I have mixed feelings about Hoke's departure.  It is hard to be mad at someone who is taking a better job, but the way he went out was a little classless.  He left SDSU without a face-to-face meeting with players or coaches; he sent out text messages.  He slipped out the backdoor, never to be heard from again.

On the flipside, he finally made SDSU football relevant in this town.  People were actually talking about the squad, without cracking jokes.  The team barely lost at Missouri, and nearly pulled out a win at TCU.  Ronnie Hillman, the fantastic running back broke Marshall Faulk's freshmen running back record.  It was truly an amazing season.

Rocky Long will take over, and hopefully he can continue to build up this program.  If squads like Boise State, TCU, and Utah can make BCS games, there is no reason why SDSU can't.  This team should be a contender in the new-looked Mountain West next season.

I can be bitter, but I don't blame Hoke for leaving.  I'd rather give him credit for a special season.  Good luck, Brady.

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