University of Michigan
News for faculty, staff and retirees

August 18, 2019

Jim Hackett's opening remarks

December 2, 2014

Jim Hackett's opening remarks

Topic: Athletics

Today, I informed Brady Hoke that he will not be returning as our football coach next year.

I had mentioned to you two weeks ago that we would be evaluating his status at the end of the season and that's what today's announcement is about. My primary intent today is to do this with respect for Brady, his family, the coaches and all of those associated with our football program because of their contributions to the University of Michigan.

This was not an easy decision.

You see, I believe the longevity of our best football coaches are tied to the intersection of the performance or measure of wins and losses, with the test and expression of values that underscore their program.

Everywhere I go there is zero question about Brady's values. I mentioned this trait two weeks ago. Brady's peers, both active and retired coaches really respect him, and his players love playing for him. He has done a great job of molding these young men and focusing them on success in the classroom and in the community. Brady has earned the respect of all as being a value-centered coach.

We need more men like him in sport today.

So you might ask, how do you reconcile the tension between results and values?

One could also make the argument that we have a very young team and we're about to pivot next year into being an extraordinary team.

It has to do with making sure that Brady received adequate time to exhibit an arc of improvement that would come from his effort. And, I believe that Brady had enough time to produce results and they are not there today.

Therefore, I believe it's time to make this transition.

I do not plan on sharing more of Brady's performance review or assessment because I believe the dignity of this conversation is for him only.

My next focus is to make sure that this exit for Brady is handled in a first-class way with heightened consideration for not only Brady himself but his staff, and his family.

What's next? I plan on starting the search for his replacement immediately.

We want to build on what has been established by Brady. My message to the student-athletes is that we will work to put them in the best position to win and reinforce that their daily effort is contributing toward being champions.

The criteria for our future coach are defined in winning with the shared values of the University of Michigan.

I ask for your patience during this search process. It's not fair to comment on any potential candidates or the institutions or organizations they currently may be employed by. I can't compromise the integrity of our search process by commenting prematurely until we have our new coach in place.

I believe that the head coach of Michigan football is one of the finest jobs in America today and we will have great options.

The University of Michigan remains one of the top programs in the country. It is true that the pendulum has swung into a negative. However, one truth is that as a pendulum is in the negative state, it's always building energy for its eventual move back to a positive arc.

My objective is to find the right coach for the University of Michigan … an individual that will recruit the best student-athletes and put them in position to win in the classroom, on the field and in the community. That is what makes Michigan the world-class university that we all support with great enthusiasm.

In the interim, I have asked Mike DeBord to step in and oversee the day-to-day aspects of the football program as the sport administrator until a new head coach is hired.

Thank you. I would be happy to take a few questions.

Tags: football