Big Ten Notebook: Hoke out as Michigan coach


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The state of the Michigan football program looked bright after Brady Hoke’s first season as the head coach. He was hired as the school’s 19th head coach on Jan. 11, 2011, and the Wolverines went 11-2, 6-2 in Big Ten the next season, ultimately beating Frank Beamer’s Virginia Tech Hokies, 23-20, to win the 2012 Allstate Sugar Bowl.

As each year passed, though, Hoke was never able to replicate that kind of success in a single season. In 2012, Michigan went 8-5 (6-2), then went 7-6 last year before going 5-7 in 2014, failing to reach bowl eligibility.

In response, interim Athletics Director Jim Hackett said Tuesday that Hoke will not return as Michigan’s football coach next season.

“This was not an easy decision given the level of respect that I have for Brady,” Hackett said in a release. “He has done a great job of molding these young men, making them accountable to their teammates, focusing them on success in the classroom and in the community.

“I wanted to make sure that Brady received adequate time to exhibit the results that would come from his effort, and I believe that Brady and our coaching staff had enough time to produce those results, and unfortunately they are not there. In the end, I feel that moving in a different direction is the right decision. I wish Brady and his family all the best in the future.”

The announcement came just two days after Bo Pelini was fired after seven seasons as the head coach at Nebraska.

Hoke said he was fortunate to have had the opportunity to coach at Michigan and that he will leave Ann Arbor with fond memories.

“I will always support the university and this football program,” Hoke said. “This is a special place and one that Laura, Kelly and I have enjoyed representing during our time in Ann Arbor. I want to thank all of the sons who played for our teams and appreciate the commitment that our coaches and support staff made to the program every day.”

Conference awards announced

The Big Ten announced the five remaining postseason individual award winners on Tuesday.

Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon was named the Graham-George Offensive Player of the Year. He is the fifth Badger running back to be named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year, joining Montee Ball (2011), John Clay (2009), Heisman Trophy winner Ron Dayne (1999), and Brent Moss (1993).

Ohio State defensive end Joey Bosa and quarterback J.T. Barrett were awarded the Nagurski-Woodson Defensive Player and Thompson-Randle El Freshman of the Year, respectively.

Bosa is the ninth Buckeye to receive the conference’s top defensive award and the second in the past three seasons (John Simon claimed the honor in 2012). Barrett is the eighth Buckeye to be named Freshman of the Year and the first since fellow signal caller Braxton Miller claimed the award in 2011.

Minnesota’s Jerry Kill was named the Hayes-Schembechler Coach of the Year by his peers and Dave McClain Coach of the Year by the media. Kill guided Minnesota to back-to-back seasons of eight or more wins for the first time since 2002 and 2003.

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