It didn’t take long for word to spread across campus yesterday that Brady Hoke would be the new head coach of the Michigan football team.
And while many are hoping for a new era to be ushered in for Michigan football with the new coach, students interviewed after the announcement had mixed feelings about the decision.
Second-year Law School student Raj Vashi said he wasn’t impressed with Hoke’s record, and didn’t think Hoke would have been considered had he not previously been an assistant coach at the University. Hoke was an assistant coach for the Michigan football team from 1995-2002.
However, Vashi added that Hoke made it clear he truly wants to be here.
“I think that there’s a lot of criticisms and a lot of negativity that will certainly arise from certain factions of the campus because he doesn’t have the pedigree, and he doesn’t have the resumé that some of the other candidates have,” Vashi said. “But I think that one good thing is he really wanted to come here, unlike some other people who might’ve just been careerists.”
LSA junior Connor Roncaioli said he was in the Union when the news hit and the reaction he observed was largely negative.
“I was at the ballroom at Winterfest, and some guy stood up and announced it,” he said. “There was more booing than cheering.”
LSA freshman Nate Snyder expressed a similar amount of negativity regarding the University’s new hire.
“There’s a new dance called the Hokey Pokey where you stab your eyes out,” Snyder said.
Less vocal but equally bleak, LSA junior Bryan Fraley said he simply didn’t want to talk about it.
But some students like Engineering freshman Adam Zander said he was optimistic about the change.
“It’s nice to get hyped about a new coach,” he said.
LSA junior Katy Tylus said Hoke is a good fit, especially “after the whole Rich Rod thing.”
Two field managers for the Michigan football team, who asked to remain anonymous, said they both supported Rodriguez and were unhappy with the original decision to fire him.
“I feel like most people inside knew how hard everyone was working, and that they were going in the right direction,” one of the field managers said. “It’s just there was so much pressure from the outside that the athletic director couldn’t really afford to keep him around.”
The other field manager said that while he’s willing to accept the decision, he doesn’t know enough about Hoke to say whether he was a good choice.
“I know that he was coach of Ball State and San Diego State, but as far as the specifics, like, I don’t really know what his philosophy is and stuff,” he said.
The field manager added that a lot will depend on the staff Hoke brings with him.
“We don’t know yet who he’s bringing along with him. That’s a very underrated part,” he said. “The head coach gets all the glory and blame, but the assistant coaches actually are a very important part of it.”
University alumni said it is crucial for Michigan’s fan base to be supportive of the Wolverine’s new coach.
University alum Ira Jaffe, who graduated from the Law School in 1963, said he’s fully endorses Hoke and hopes the University gives him plenty of time to develop a strong program.
“I’m happy that we have somebody in place and can concentrate on recruiting and the positive things rather than the turmoil,” Jaffe said. “I think it’s the job of alumni to get behind the new coach and be patient so we’re supportive rather than destructive.”
University alum Joshua Futerman, who graduated last month, also stressed the need for unity.
“Now is the time that Michigan faithful need to rally behind Brady Hoke — whether they like him or not,” Futerman said. “And he’s a Michigan Man, which people talk about a lot. I’m going to rally behind him.”
-Daily News Editor Joseph Lichterman and Daily News Reporter Jenna Simard contributed to this report