In only one season, Brady Hoke has turned a Michigan team that was 15-22 in the last three seasons under Rich Rodriguez, with one of the worst defenses in the nation, into an 11-2 Sugar Bowl Champion. Fans of the Maize and Blue haven't experienced this sort of success since 2006, when Michigan finished 11-2 as well, but even then the Wolverines failed to beat their arch rival Ohio State Buckeyes.
Every major college football fan has seen what Hoke has done in just one season at Michigan. He managed to turn a 7-6 team that didn't look like it even knew where to line up on defense, to an 11-2 team that finished ranked sixth nationally in scoring defense, only giving up 17.4 points per game.
In large part the success was due to Hoke's ability to assemble a great staff, notably including offensive coordinator Al Borges and defensive coordinator Greg Mattison.
Borges has coached at Oregon, UCLA, Cal, Indiana, Auburn (part of the 2004 team that finished 13-0), San Diego State and now Michigan. He essentially took Rodriguez's offense, added a few more packages and was very successful with it.
Mattison is in large part the reason for Michigan's overall success this past season, turning a defense that was yielding 35.2 points per game in 2010, to a defense that cut those points per game it was allowing to over half in 2011.
Mattison served as Michigan's defensive line coach from 1992-1994 and as defensive coordinator from 1995-1996. Mattison has also coached at notable schools such as Notre Dame and Florida, among many others. He served as the Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator last year, a year where the Ravens led the NFL in scoring defense.
I would have to say an even bigger story surrounding Hoke is his recruiting ability though. Hoke has landed numerous 4-star recruits, and according to some websites, 5-star recruits. In 2012, Michigan is going to have a likely top five recruiting class nationally, and one of the best classes it has seen in a long time.
Here are Michigan's top recruits that Hoke hopes make an immediate impact on the field in 2012 for the Maize and Blue...