The Wolverine

May 2016 Issue

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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Page 173 of 177

"It's like you got to bake the cookies, but you don't get to eat them." W ho could forget those words from former Michi‑ gan head coach Rich Ro‑ driguez, now at Arizona, after Brady Hoke went 11‑2 in 2011 with a group of kids Rodriguez had recruited, led by a host of seniors who were — in their own words — sim‑ ply tired of los‑ ing? Many of those seniors were Lloyd Carr's guys, but the point was the same — Ro‑ driguez felt his team was on the cusp of turning the corner after three years in which he went 6‑18 in the Big Ten and 15‑22 overall, but Hoke was the one to benefit from his hard work. If he's going to take credit for that, though, then he also needs to be held partially responsible for what happened in Hoke's next three years. The Wolverines won eight games the following season, but 7‑6 and 5‑7 records in 2013 and 2014 were at least somewhat related to recruiting failures that happened be‑ fore Hoke's arrival. Take the 2010 class, in which only seven of the 27 that made up's No. 20 class nationally finished their careers at Michigan. Hoke inherited only eight scholar‑ ship offensive linemen when he arrived, and while he had enough to work with for a year or two, in‑ cluding book‑ end future NFL tackles in Taylor Lewan and Mi‑ chael Schofield, it would have taken a special coaching job to win big in years three and four. As it was with the na‑ tion's subprime mortgage bubble, anyone paying close atten‑ tion should have seen that Michigan football was headed for hard times. "I just think things happen that are out of your control, to some extent," Hoke said during an inter‑ view last year on WMGC FM‑105.1. "There were enough things that we could have done a better job … and we were paid for what we left. "[But] we were building the pro‑ gram the way it needed to be, from INSIDE MICHIGAN   CHRIS BALAS No Burning These Cookies The building blocks for the Wolverines' success last year — and beyond — were put in place by former head coach Brady Hoke. PHOTO BY LON HORWEDEL

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