Beilein Speaks Out For Hoke and Brandon

John Beilein made it a point to give his full support to Brady Hoke and Dave Brandon Thursday.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- With basketball around the corner, Michigan coach John Beilein addressed the media Thursday for the first time this school year.

But before he started talking hoops he took time out to publicly offer his full support to embattled U-M football coach Brady Hoke.

Hoke has been in the national news since he unknowingly put quarterback Shane Morris back in last Saturday’s game after suffering a head injury that was later diagnosed as a mild concussion on Sunday.

"If my sons were high school football players right now, I would love for them to play for Brady Hoke and this staff,” Beilein said. “I have watched them and I am certain that every day they have the best intentions and care deeply for their players, both on and off the field.”

Beilein also offered his full support to athletic director Dave Brandon. Michigan's department head has been under fire since releasing a statement early Tuesday morning that said Morris was diagnosed with a concussion on Sunday, only hours after Hoke’s said he had no knowledge of Morris sustaining a concussion during his Monday press conference.

“I know I am speaking for all the head coaches -- and I am certain of their agreement with me on this -- when I say Dave Brandon has had an incredibly positive impact on this athletic department,” Beilein said. “He has been a great leader and mentor to so many of us in his transition here. What I think is best about what Dave has done is how he has championed the student-athlete, their experience and their welfare.”

And even with Michigan students protesting, advocating for Brandon to lose his job, if Beilein had it his way, Brandon would stay in Ann Arbor for the foreseeable future.

“When Dave steps down one day, and I hope it is later rather than sooner, that is going to be a tremendous loss for this university and athletic program,” Beilien said. “I feel strongly about that.”

While the news surrounding Hoke, Brandon and the athletic department represents a low point in the program history, Beilein explained how the outrage shows how much the fan base cares about what is going on with the U-M athletic department.

"Believe it or not, it makes me value where I'm coaching so much, because the passion for Michigan Athletics is incredible, and people care so deeply about it,” Beilen said. “You can see that, and that's where I want to be. You have to take the good with the bad, but at the same time this doesn't happen at a lot of places. They don't have the passion for how the two fit together and how they must fit together in the right ways."

Beilein, who has had his own struggles throughout his 37 years as a college head coach, says he communicates weekly with Hoke to give support.

“I text him a couple of times a week, at least, and we've been very supportive of each other,” Beilein said. “I can go back 40 years (with memories) of times like this and how persistence will pay off. Just to keep your head up and stay positive is the general message."

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