Dave Brandon Recalls the Search that Landed Brady Hoke

By DJ Byrnes on January 22, 2014 at 11:06a
Dave Brandon - Brady Hoke

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.


Comments Show All Comments

Hovenaut's picture

They could've not been so awkward for that pic.....

+1 HS
Jdadams01's picture

He was number 3 at the highest.

Oyster's picture

Don't tell that to ttun fans.  When 2 other coaches tell you they "are not interested so don't bother asking", that means they were never offered and thus, hoke was the first person offered the job.

"Scrolling hurts my finger"

(and FitzBuck was clearly the winner)

GoBucksToledo's picture

Safe to say that Brady wasn't 1 or 1a.

rihmds80's picture

Wasn't Hoke at San Diego St before getting hired by TTUN?

Oyster's picture

Yes.  He left Ball St for San Diego.  He also had a career losing record when hired by ttun.

"Scrolling hurts my finger"

(and FitzBuck was clearly the winner)

DJ Byrnes's picture

Ah, I switched that up, smh. Fixed. Namaste.

Californian by birth, Marionaire by the Grace of President Warren G. Harding.

InvertMyVeer's picture

He got his start at the Slate Rock and Gravel Company

Football is complicated...

TMac's picture

Are the Browns consulting with Dave Brandon and is that why they won't interview Tressel?

ONE Not Done!

BoFuquel's picture

Talk about KARMA. GO BUCKS!

I wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then.

Chief B1G Dump's picture

Those werent empty planes for decoy...
Those planes were empty because Jim Harbaugh and Les Miles refused to board them. Nice try Brandon.

thunderhawks51's picture

"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.

Seeing that Hoke was all the way out in San Diego I would say that was a nice way of saying he was last on his list. 

Frankly Scarlet's picture

1) Harbaugh
2) Miles
3) Pleasegodiwanttogobacktodomino's
4) Brady Hoke

"Buclkle your chinstrap, we're gonna grind meat!" - Woody Hayes  

BuckeyeChief's picture

Alright, not in favor of the fat jokes, BUT if this story didn't involve Domino's I called shenanigans.

"2014 National Champions...deal with it!!!"

Hello_Heisman's picture

This may seem strange, but I legitimately hope that Hoke was not ranked first on Brandon's list at the time.  I get why he was hired, as it was very clear at the time that neither of the Harbaugh brothers or any other rock star candidates were likely to come to Michigan in early 2011.  Of the guys available/willing at that time, I still would argue that Hoke was probably the best fit.  But if Brandon at least made a real effort to land Jim Harbaugh and a couple other guys first before getting rejected, it would make me feel better long-term about his ability to assess coaching talent for a potential future hire. 

60% of the time it works.....every time