The face-saving theory that Michigan never made a serious play for Les Miles has crumbled. According to LSU officials, Michigan offered the mad-hatter $4.25 million per year, a $500,000 raise. Miles declined. Michigan then came in with a higher offer, which Miles also declined. Adding to reports that the San Francisco 49ers did not outbid Michigan for Jim Harbaugh, the depressing reality of Michigan’s vague coaching search has become clearer.
Assembled media may be content with a feel good narrative about Michigan tradition. But, the reality is Dave Brandon spent a week flitting about the country in a private jet and throwing out flashing incredible amounts of money to find anyone not named Brady Hoke who would coach the Michigan Wolverines. He didn’t. He had trouble finding people who would even interview. Two Schembechler disciples took less money to coach somewhere else. That’s damning for Michigan and for the Big Ten.
Like Ohio State with Jim Tressel, Michigan’s fourth or fifth choice may prove the correct one, but when the Maize and Blue haze clears, Brady Hoke has much to prove.
Hoke inherits the toughest road any Michigan coach has had since Bo Schembechler took the job, with the team least suited to travel it. Winning a conference title may be Hoke’s EXPECTATION, but he has never been the head coach or even the coordinator for a team that won one.
[Photo via Getty]