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Wednesday, November 27, 2013
AD: Brady Hoke not on hot seat

By Adam Rittenberg
ESPN.com

Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon has placed his strong support behind coach Brady Hoke, writing in a blog post that Hoke will lead the program "well into the future" despite a disappointing 7-4 season.

Brandon used his blog to quash rumors about Hoke's job status. His comments come a day after Jabrill Peppers, Michigan's top recruit in the 2014 class, said he plans to take official visits elsewhere because of "the rumors about Coach Hoke possibly not being there," Peppers told ESPN.com's Tom VanHaaren.

"Brady Hoke is our coach and will be leading our football program well into the future," Brandon wrote. "There is no question about it. Brady has done a great job rebuilding the program and reshaping the culture to the level it was under coaches Bo Schembechler, Gary Moeller and Lloyd Carr. 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 acknowledged that Michigan hasn't met expectations this season and won't make excuses for falling short. Hoke guided Michigan to an 11-2 record and a Sugar Bowl win in his first year, but the team has gone just 15-9 since as its Big Ten title drought has reached nine seasons.

The Wolverines rose to No. 11 in the Associated Press poll after a Week 2 win against Notre Dame but then began struggling, nearly falling to Akron and Connecticut. They've lost three of their past four Big Ten games.

Brandon urged patience in his blog post, noting that former Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh didn't enjoy great success in his third season. Brandon fired Rich Rodriguez in January 2011 after three seasons and brought in Hoke, a former Michigan assistant under Carr.

"The depth that this program needs to be a consistent winner is coming, but it doesn't happen overnight or in one or two recruiting classes," Brandon wrote. "It takes time and probably a little more time than we all anticipated. However, the only threat to our continued success in recruiting is the same old, tired tactic being used by some who wish to see us fail -- to try and scare young recruits into believing that our coach 'is on the hot seat' -- which simply isn't true."

Hoke has three years remaining on a six-year contract he signed in 2011. Michigan finishes the regular season Saturday at Michigan Stadium against Ohio State, currently No. 3 in the BCS standings.

"I know that Brady Hoke will finish his career at Michigan as one of the most successful coaches in our program's storied history," Brandon wrote.