Tag:Dave Brandon
Posted on: May 26, 2011 6:10 pm

Michigan AD: 120,000-seat stadium a possibility

Posted by Adam Jacobi

One would not normally look at Michigan Stadium, home of 109,901 Wolverine fans on fall Saturdays, and think "this needs to be considerably bigger." It's already the biggest stadium in North America, after all, and renovations were just completed there last year. Time to leave the Big House alone for a few decades, yes?

Well, maybe, but maybe not. Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon was on WTKA-AM in Ann Arbor this morning, and as the Detroit Free Press reports, he shared a vision that would accommodate perhaps 10,000 or more fans in the hallowed stadium:

"One of the things that I’ve said publicly I’d love to do at some point is close in at least one of the ends, and that’s all part of the master plan for growth. The south end of the stadium would be the place that we would start, and if we were to take the bleacher system up to the top of the scoreboards, which would be even with the elevation of the East and the West towers, create a concourse that would afford fans the ability to get from one side to the other, both indoors and outdoors, both in the concourse and additional bleacher capacity.

"It would take the total capacity up close to 119,000, maybe even 120,000. I would love to do that at some point under my watch."

 Now, this wouldn't be building for the sake of building; Brandon reiterated multiple times during the interview that the expansion would need to be precipitated by fan demand; the extra seats would have to be sold immediately in order to actually pay for any new construction, so they're not driving the heavy construction equipment to the Big House just yet. Still, Brandon specifically mentioned doing the expansion under his watch, and he's already almost 60 years old, so this probably isn't a 2050 project either.

Of course, it should also be mentioned that Michigan is coming off its worst three-year stretch in program history, and unless Brady Hoke turns the program around quickly, we may never see the extra demand for season tickets that the project requires. So there is that tiny little detail too. Nonetheless, should the Good Ship Wolverine be righted soon, we may soon see the Big House get even Bigger once again.

Posted on: May 11, 2011 11:45 am

Michigan AD Brandon won't 'poke' troubled OSU

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

There may be plenty of observers out there enjoying plenty of chuckles at Ohio State's expense during their ongoing NCAA troubles -- including some in the other athletic departments around the Big Ten, no doubt -- but after Michigan's recent run-in with the NCAA's enforcement arm, Wolverine athletic director Dave Brandon swears he isn't one of them:
"When you’re going through it, whether you’re a coach, or whether you’re an athletic director, or whether you’re a president, when you’re going through it, it’s painful, it’s difficult, it’s stressful," Brandon said. "And what you don’t need is anybody -- any more than is already the case -- you just don’t need anybody, particularly a colleague, poking anything at you."
From the sound of it, though, Brandon isn't talking about some hypothetical, non-specific, air-quote "colleague"; he's got someone in particular in mind:
"There were some people out there who did it, and I remember who they are, and I remember what they said," Brandon said. "We’ll leave it at that, other than I remember who they are and I remember what they said. Those people who took great glee in the fact that we got ourselves in that kind of situation. I’ll never do that.

"Let’s let the process take care of itself, the folks at Ohio State will deal with it as they will, and you’re not going to hear anything from me."
Come on, Dave: just name names, will you? This veneer of professionalism and common decorum doesn't do anything for those of us hoping for drama and headlines and bloodfeuds. You've got a lot to learn from Debbie Yow, we'd say.

But maybe it'll all come out in the wash anyway; if the television cameras catch Brandon dancing a jig in the fourth quarter of a Wolverine victory, we'll have some idea of who "those people who took great glee" in Michigan's misfortune really are.

Posted on: April 12, 2011 1:11 pm

Michigan looking to work on its tan

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Michigan has already scheduled a game against Alabama to be played at Cowboys Stadium in 2012, and now that they've got a date in Texas it seems that the Wolverines are looking to get another neutral site game in another high school football hotbed. According to the Naples News, Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon is in preliminary discussions with Miami Dolphins owner, and Michigan alum, Stephen Ross about playing a game at Sun Life Stadium in Miami.

“We’ve had some preliminary discussions with Stephen Ross about whether or not it would be possible to come down here and play a game,” Brandon told the paper. “We don’t have anything scheduled, but that’s something we’d consider because this is an important recruiting area for us as well.”

As Brandon said in the quote, there is no word on when Michigan would be playing this game, nor whom Michigan would be playing. All the Wolverines care about at the moment is getting a game in Miami to give the school a bigger presence in the fertile recruiting grounds of southern Florida.

Of course, it's not as though the Wolverines haven't already had success recruiting in Florida. Rich Rodriguez proved to be pretty good at plucking talent from the Sunshine State and bringing them up to Cloudy With A Chance Of Flurries State. You don't have to look past Michigan's starting quarterback, Denard Robinson of Deerfield Beach, to see the kind of talent Michigan has already been able to nab.

Posted on: March 30, 2011 1:21 pm

Brady Hoke gets a nice raise at Michigan

Posted by Tom Fornelli

It doesn't exactly take a genius to realize that after making the move from San Diego State to Michigan, Brady Hoke's checking account is getting a bit bigger. The only question was how much bigger would it be getting, and on Wednesday we found out. After making about $700,000 a year as head coach at SDSU, Hoke will be making around $2 million in his first year coaching the Wolverines.

According to a story in the Detroit News, Hoke has finally signed his contract, and it's a six-year deal that is worth $18 million. That $18 million does not include bonuses for postseason appearances or deferred payments. During the first year of his deal, Hoke will receive $300,000 in base salary and an additional $1.7 million for things like television and radio appearances, as well as working the rubber chicken circuit. Both numbers will increase by $100,000 in each year of the six-year contract.

This is where I'd like to let Michigan know that I'll talk about the Wolverines on television and the radio for half that $1.7 million. I'm not demanding it, I'm just asking Dave Brandon to consider it.

Speaking of Brandon, he's been very happy with the process, and feels that Hoke deserves every penny of it.

"It's really been a very positive, pleasant process from the perspective both parties were anxious to enter the agreement," Brandon told the paper. "We worked through it at a natural pace.

"If you're going to be the Michigan coach, you should be paid in the top third of the conference," Brandon said. "Brady has a big job, and Brady feels like he's being well compensated for the big job he's now responsible for. I have a happy employee, and my employee has a happy employer.

"This contract takes us well into the future, so neither of us has to worry about it. It's a nice thing to have completed. Onward and upward."
Posted on: February 10, 2011 12:19 pm

Tate Forcier never wanted to leave Michigan

Posted by Tom Fornelli

It was announced on Wednesday that Tate Forcier had decided to transfer to Miami after leaving Michigan. He had been planning on visiting up to five schools during his re-recruitment, but I guess the visit to Coral Gables was all Forcier needed to come to a decision. Though when asked about it afterward, Forcier implied it was a decision he never wanted to have to make.

In an interview with the Detroit Free Press, Forcier says that he never wanted to leave Michigan, but that Michigan AD Dave Brandon didn't seem all that interested in keeping him around.

“I felt like things could have been handled better," Forcier told the paper. "Dave Brandon made his mind up. We tried hard (to stay). I took care of my incompletes. I needed a certain amount of credits. The incompletes, I took care of those. Dave Brandon still wouldn’t let me stay. He refused to even meet with us. That’s his decision; we really didn’t want to fight it. That was his decision, that’s the head guy. I didn’t want to challenge him. I’m not going to win something like that with somebody as high up as he was. When he did that, it was time to turn a new chapter.

"The crazy thing is I never wanted to leave. I love everything about Michigan, I always will. I hope they do well, I wish the best for those guys, a lot of them are still friends. I hope (new coach Brady) Hoke can change the program around. I’ve been a Michigan fan since I was a little kid. I wish them the best of luck. I wish I could be there, helping them out and moving forward.”

Although that's not the story Dave Brandon is telling. Brandon told the Free Press that the Forcier's wanted to meet with him when he wasn't available for a meeting -- perhaps he was searching for a new coach at the time -- but he made it clear to the family that he'd like to reschedule. Assistant AD Brian Townsend even met with the Forcier's to relay the message as well, but the Forciers never rescheduled, Tate decided to transfer, and now he's a Miami Hurricane.
Posted on: January 17, 2011 12:02 pm

VIDEO: Denard Robinson renews commitment to UM

Posted by Chip Patterson

With new head coach Brady Hoke's arrival in Ann Arbor, Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson saw the end of the scheme that helped him become on of college football's most dangerous offensive threats.  But just because Rich Rodriguez (who recruited Robinson to the Wolverines) has been replaced does not mean that Robinson will be seeking other playing opportunities.

Robinson recently reaffirmed his commitment to the program publicly, speaking to a local television station about his decision to stay in Ann Arbor and play for Brady Hoke.  He specifically mentioned his teammates, and advice from family and friends to welcome the new challenge.  If Robinson is able to come close to replicating his success with Hoke, he will quickly become one of the most sought after talents at the next level.  The ability to adjust and thrive in multiple systems will begin to erase Robinson's stigma as a poor dropback passer. 

Of course, limiting the interceptions will help erase that stigma as well, but you have to start somewhere.  The Michigan offense was built for the Robinson-led spread attack, so the adjustments could be a little rough for the Wolverines at first.  Hoke has shown his ability to create quick turnarounds at Ball State and San Diego State, but the bar is much higher with Michigan fans.  Losing a talent like Robinson would be a huge blow, regardless of what system is in place.  Now the new staff can begin working with their best offensive threat, developing the look for Michigan in 2011.

(HT: MGoBlog) 

Posted on: January 11, 2011 5:42 pm

Les Miles focused on LSU, talked with Michigan

Posted by Bryan Fischer

DALLAS, Tex. - Les Miles joked about the hubbub involving Michigan’s open head coaching position while speaking at the American Football Coaches Association Conference. His cell phone even accidently dialed Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon’s phone.

At the end of the day though, he wasn’t a Michigan man but an LSU one.

“The need to stand by my commitment to the team that I coach and the school that I represent really overshadowed any other consideration,” Miles said. “I had a very nice talk with the Michigan A.D. He obviously is going to provide leadership for them. His concerns and his direction are straightforward. He represented Michigan as I would have as an alumnus and ex-Michigan player. I couldn’t be happier with the way things turned out and I root very strongly for my alma mater.”

Miles declined to discuss whether he was ever offered the job but did acknowledge that he met with athletic director Dave Brandon to discuss the position.

“I’m not really going to get into the specifics of that in deference to (Michigan),” he said. “We took a good portion of the evening.”

Miles was an offensive lineman at Michigan in the mid-seventies and considered taking the head coaching position in 2007 after Lloyd Carr stepped down. Miles did admit he has imagined himself as the head coach in Ann Arbor in the past but is at peace with his decision to remain at LSU.

“Absolutely,” Miles said. “The want to have our school, as an alumnus, to be successful is my greatest concern. I can’t imagine that it won’t be addressed and done right.”

Michigan announced the hiring of San Diego State head coach Brady Hoke while Miles was delivering a speech but he was later informed that Hoke had been hired.

“I know his background is as a Michigan assistant and I tried to hire him at Oklahoma State,” Miles said. “He’ll be a great representative of the University of Michigan. I don’t (know him) very, very well but I was at Oklahoma State and interviewed him for an opportunity there and think very highly of him.”

LSU announced Miles would return for his seventh season at the school on Tuesday morning.

Posted on: January 11, 2011 4:47 pm
Edited on: January 11, 2011 7:38 pm

Michigan must give Hoke a chance to succeed

Posted by Tom Fornelli

He's not the man Michigan may have wanted with its first choice, but as things stand, Brady Hoke is the new head coach in Ann Arbor.  He's the 19th coach in the school's history, and though some members of the Michigan fan base may respond with "Who?" upon hearing his name, he's not simply an afterthought.

Of course Les Miles or Jim Harbaugh would be Dave Brandon's first choice.  They are the quintessential "Michigan Men" that seems to be so important in Ann Arbor.  They've played at the school. Miles coached at the school, and he even has a national championship under his belt. Jim Harbaugh hasn't done either, but he was the coach du jour this winter.  And one with Michigan roots at that. Hoke isn't the definition of a "Michigan Man," as he played his college ball at Ball State, but he did spend eight seasons coaching Michigan's defensive line.  Including the 1997 season, the last time Michigan won a national championship. So he knows what it takes to win in Ann Arbor, as he's done it before. 

There's another difference between Les Miles, Jim Harbaugh and Brady Hoke other than their "Michigan Man" credentials, and it is probably something that is a lot more important than where either played college football.

Brady Hoke wants to be at Michigan.  It's clear that after two failed attempts to land him that Les Miles doesn't.  He may say he does, as he doesn't want to denigrate where he came from, but Miles is happy at LSU. He knows he can win there, and he's not sure that he can do the same at Michigan.  Harbaugh always had his sight set on the NFL, and now he's got his dream job.

Michigan is Brady Hoke's dream job.

Brady Hoke seems to believe he can win in Ann Arbor, and what reason do we really have to doubt him?  He took over his alma mater in 2003 and turned the program around in six seasons, leading the team to a 12-1 campaign in 2008.  Hoke then left for San Diego State, and Ball State hasn't won 12 games since.  Hell, they haven't won seven games since.

Hoke then took over a San Diego State program that had been dormant since Marshall Faulk was tearing apart defenses, and in two seasons turned the program around and led the Aztecs to a 9-4 mark in 2010.  Including a win over Navy in the Poinsettia Bowl.

Do you notice a trend here?  Hoke has gone to programs that were trending downward and built them back up.  Sure, there's a difference between the Big Ten and the MAC and Mountain West.  There's no denying this, but there's also a difference in building a program up when there's that block "M" on your hat and not the Ball State or San Diego State logo.

As long as Michigan gives Hoke some time, and I know it will be tough considering the down times of the Rich Rodriguez era, he will get this program on the right track.  Will he lead them to a national championship?  Only time will tell, but here's something else that Michigan fans should remember before dumping all over the Hoke hire.

Jim Tressel wasn't Ohio State's first choice after it fired John Cooper. He was just some coach from tiny Youngstown State. How's that worked out for them?
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