Oregon names ex-Michigan coach Brady Hoke defensive coordinator

ByKevin Gemmell ESPN logo
Sunday, January 17, 2016

Former Michigan coach Brady Hoke has been namedOregon's defensive coordinator, the school announced Saturday.

"We are extremely excited to welcome coach Hoke to the Oregon family," Ducks coach Mark Helfrich said in a statement. "He's passionate, knowledgeable and tough and has an outstanding track record of success from a defensive standpoint."

Hoke's task is to repair a unit that finished last in the Pac-12 in scoring defense, yielding an average of 37.5 points per game. Those defensive woes were on full display earlier this month in the Valero Alamo Bowl, when the Ducks held a 31-0 halftime lead over TCU, only to lose 47-41 in triple overtime. After the loss, defensive coordinator Don Pellum was demoted to linebackers coach.

Regarding the decision to demote Pellum, Helfrich said at Saturday's news conference: "We're kind of in a get-better business, and we felt as a program -- I felt as the leader of that program -- that that was the direction we needed to go, as a different voice, a different command over that unit. Brady was a guy who I think -- this is me talking, not his words directly -- I think being out of it for a year, his passion and desire, I think he wants to get back to not being a head coach, and solely focusing on his expertise [defense].

"We needed a different direction, and that will be schematic as well. Brady will be a walkaround coordinator in the spring, for two reasons: to make sure the scheme is installed exactly as he wants it and as we want it, and secondly, to evaluate and get to know the talent."

During his four years at Michigan, Hoke compiled a 31-20 record. His most successful season was his first, in 2011, when the Wolverines went 11-2, including a victory over Virginia Tech in the Allstate Sugar Bowl. He was named the Maxwell Football Club national coach of the year.

But the wins declined each year, and he was fired after a tumultuous 2014 season and eventually replaced by Jim Harbaugh, who led Michigan to a 10-3 mark in 2015.

Under Hoke, Michigan's defense went from 110th in the nation to ranking within the top 17 in three of his four seasons. For his final season, the Wolverines were ranked seventh nationally, allowing 311.3 yards a game.

Before Michigan, Hoke was the head coach at San Diego State from 2009 to '10 and at Ball State from 2003 to '08.

This will be Hoke's first coordinator job, having jumped from position coach at Michigan, where he was an assistant from 1995 to 2002, to head coach at Ball State in 2003. This is Hoke's second stint in the Pac-12; he served as an assistant at Oregon State from 1989 to '94.

Information from ESPN.com's Chantel Jennings and The Associated Press was used in this report.