ALL IS RIGHT WITH THE WORLD
Dave Brandon is an interesting guy. Four years ago, he was plucked from the upper crusts of the franchise pizza industry and thrown into big-time college athletics. In what would be the first test of his ability as Michigan's athletic director, Dave Brandon spear-headed the search that resulted with the hiring of San Diego State's Brady Hoke. Brandon attempted to cloak the search in a level of secrecy fit for a Papal vote. From MLive.com:
"During that process (media members) were tracking flights, finding tail numbers, checking hotel rooms ... You can't enter a face-to-face interview with a coach (without confidentiality). You don't want to let your current employer know you're interviewing (with a potential future employer). So I had (ensure interviewees) confidentiality. So that required sneaking in the back door of hotels, flying empty airplanes (to random destinations), just silly stuff."
Hoke, Brandon says, landed on the list of both people he wanted to speak with and people he wanted to meet face-to-face.
Smilovitz then asked Brandon where, exactly, Hoke was on that list -- if he had to rank his candidates -- but Michigan's athletic director wasn't biting.
"The people I wanted to meet with face-to-face on that list, the order they were in was based on the logistics of where they were around the country," he said.
How far was Brady Hoke down on the initial list? We may never know. Judging by this story, that's probably how Dave Brandon wants it.
Yet, it must be pointed out: Dave Brandon has no problem throwing out the cash when it comes to airplanes.