BY CHRIS ZADOROZNY, Staff Writer
When Brady Hoke was hired back in January of 2011, one of his goals was to “Beat Ohio,” the slogan he used to describe Ohio State University.
One goal thaw was probably not a thought was the B1G Ten Coach of the Year Award which he won last week.
The media and coaches voted for Hoke putting him above Michigan State’s Mark Dantonio and Bret Bielema of Wisconsin. In the controversy that surrounded Penn State’s Joe Paterno and Ohio State’s Luke Fickell, the contest wasn’t that hard considering Hoke was in his first year.
The Wolverines won 10 games this year, the first ever time that they won that many with a first year coach since Fielding Yost in 1917.
Hoke’s first win as head coach came against Western Michigan, a 34-10 blowout over the Broncos, in the first game of the season. He earned his second win, dramatically in the first night game in Michigan Stadium history in a comeback 35-31 win. Then came a 31-3 rout over Eastern Michigan the following week. In the fourth week, he faced his former team, the San Diego State Aztecs, which he beat 28-7.
Minnesota was up next, which was no contest as the Wolverines shut them out 58-0. That was the first shutout for Hoke as coach of Michigan. That was his first B1G Ten win. The winning streak kept on coming as the Wolverines beat Northwestern 42-24 in the first away win for Hoke.
Then came Michigan State, his first loss as Michigan head coach. The Spartans were ranked at 23, the first game against a ranked team. The Wolverines took a 28-14 loss. They regrouped and took on the Purdue Boilermakers for Homecoming and took the game 36-14.
His second and last loss of the season came the following week against Iowa, on the road, 24-16.
The Wolverines would win out the final three games. They beat Illinois 31-14, Nebraska 45-17, and Ohio State 40-34.
Hoke will coach his first BCS Bowl Game as the Wolverines will take on Virginia Tech in the Sugar Bowl on January 3 in the Superdome at 8:30pm. Go Blue!