Hoke named Big Ten Coach of the Year

ANN ARBOR — At every possible turn, Brady Hoke has avoided the personal spotlight.

He accepted the Michigan football coaching job in January without asking about the salary. He has no bonus clause in his contract for winning a coach-of-the-year award.

But he could have cashed in Wednesday, as Hoke was named the Big Ten’s Dave McClain coach of the year by the conference media and won the inaugural Hayes-Schembechler trophy from the coaches, after guiding U-M to a 10-2 record.

Michigan State’s Mark Dantonio was considered the other front-runner for the job.

He’s Michigan’s first winner of the award since Gary Moeller in 1991 and 1992. Unlike in those seasons, when Moeller was maintaining a powerhouse, Hoke brought U-M back to national prominence.

U-M’s leap from a 7-6 season in 2010 to this year’s 10-win season was the most tangible measure. The three-game improvement tied for the second-best for a first-year Michigan coach. He’s the sixth first-year Big Ten coach to win the McClain award since it began in 1972.

Hoke, a former U-M assistant who came back to Michigan from San Diego State, is only the second first-year coach to win 10 games at U-M, joining Fielding Yost in 1901.

On Monday, Hoke was asked about the possibility of winning the award.

“Any type of awards that are given, Heisman Trophy or best taper — if you’re taping ankles is — we have a great staff, and we’ve had a great group of kids, when you look at the seniors and what they’ve done,” Hoke said. “My point is that it’s never one person, one guy. It’s everybody involved in the program. (Equipment manager) Jon Falk and how he gets the guys ready from the equipment standpoint. (Athletic trainer) Paul Schmidt in the training room, and how the people take so much pride feeding those kids and all that stuff.

“I got the greatest job in the world. It’s fun. Fun being with those kids.”

Hoke was a Michigan assistant in 1995-2002 under former coach Lloyd Carr. Interestingly, another former Carr assistant, Eastern Michigan coach Ron English, was named the Mid-American Conference coach of the year.

Also winning Big Ten awards were Wisconsin running back Montee Ball (offensive player of the year), Penn State defensive tackle Devon Still (defensive player of the year) and Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller (freshman of the year).

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Posted by Tribune News Services

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