ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Monday came and went as Michigan coach Brady Hoke followed through on a promise.
Well, sort of.
Unwilling to entertain or elaborate on questions regarding the resignation of former athletic director Dave Brandon in the aftermath of Michigan’s win over Indiana Saturday night, Hoke instead told media his Monday press conference would serve as the proper setting to do just that.
“I think the one thing is I have a lot of respect for Dave,” Hoke said. “From a reaction standpoint, he did a lot of good things for the University and now I’m real excited to work with Jim (Hackett).”
Hackett is a familiar face at Michigan, a former student-athlete and the now interim athletic director as appointed by school president Mark Schlissel.
Hoke did say he met Hackett when he was an assistant coach for the Wolverines under Lloyd Carr between 1995 and 2002, but has not had the time to sit down in a lengthy fashion since news broke Friday.
“I saw him after the game, briefly,” Hoke said. “Just briefly.”
“(He was) just happy (for) a homecoming win,” he added.
According to Mark Schlissel, Hackett will have full authority over the athletic department in his interim role, including evaluating the football program under Hoke.
Will Hackett and Hoke have a more formal meeting in the near future?
“I’m sure we will,” Hoke said. “Sometime sooner than later.”
But Hoke isn’t allowing that evaluation or his job status as the head coach of the Michigan football program to become an issue for discussion inside Schembechler Hall.
The Wolverines, sitting 4-5 with three games left in the 2014 season, aren’t having the year fans were hoping for.
“I’ve never been concerned about a job, ever,” Hoke said. “And I never will be because if I get concerned about a job then you get distracted from it.
“I threw brake drums in the assembly line for Dayton Walther during the summer and I was never concerned because I knew I was going to outwork everybody and for this, if I get distracted, then I’m not being fair to those kids who haven’t been distracted. I’ve never, ever, worried about employment.”
With so many outside distractions and rumors surrounding the program right now, Hoke doesn’t believe news of Brandon’s departure late last week served as a weight lifted off his team’s shoulders heading into the Indiana game.
“This team has been close all year,” he said. “They’ve stayed together all year, they’ve unified, united. They’ve worked their tails off together; I don’t think so.”