“It’s good to be back on the field…”
So began coach Brady Hoke’s first spring press conference following last year’s disappointing season when Michigan entered the backstretch of Big Ten schedule with hopes of playing in the conference championship game until a 1-4 finish dropped the team out of contention. The late-season slide fueled rumors that Hoke was on the hot seat until athletic director David Brandon released a statement on mgoblue.com voicing his support and taking aim at critics.
“Anyone making efforts to stir up a coaching controversy at Michigan is ill-informed and is likely promoting a personal agenda that is not in the best interest of Michigan football.”
Brandon made it clear that Hoke was safe and continued to support him despite a final-minute 42-41 loss to Ohio State and an embarrassing 31-14 bowl loss to Kansas State. But the same didn’t hold true for offensive coordinator Al Borges, who was dismissed.
As Michigan begins spring practice, the heat is on Hoke as he enters his fourth season. Michigan needs to drastically improve last season’s record, or fan frustration may boil over.
Phil Callihan is a featured writer for Bleacher Report. Unless otherwise, noted, all quotations in this article were obtained via Press Conferences or in person.