In a move that was wildly expected for some time, Michigan football has officially pulled the plug on the Brady Hoke era, firing the former San Diego State coach after four seasons. The news was first reported by Scout's Sam Webb.
After meeting with interim athletic director Jim Hackett this afternoon, Hoke's future with Michigan was no longer in question. Hoke was 32-20 over his tenure, including a 5-7 campaign this season that included losses to Utah, Minnesota, Rutgers, and of course, Ohio State, to end with a losing record. This season was only Michigan's third since 1974 to finish without a bowl game.
After taking the Wolverines to a Sugar Bowl win and a No. 12 finish in the AP Poll to finish the season, Michigan had gotten worse every season under Brady Hoke, despite the school recruiting well, and spending significant resources on assistant coaches. The decline of the program's success on the field, coupled with an embarrassing incident involving Shane Morris being put back on the field after suffering an apparent concussion, gave Hoke little chance of keeping his job.
Former Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon 'resigned' mid-season following the Morris uproar and other problems with fans; Hoke, however, remained a sideline fixture, and was essentially the football programs scapegoat for the remaining games of the 2014 season.
While other programs see commits leaving after the firing of a head coach, Hoke's dismissal may actually boost recruiting efforts for next season. As the Wolverines season got worse, and showed no signs of improving, 2015 commits started announcing they were re-opening their collegiate options. From an almost full class to only seven future players, the next head coach will certainly need a recruiting edge.