Say what you want about former Michigan standout and current Big Ten Network analyst Marcus Ray, but you certainly can’t say he’s shy or bashful when it comes to expressing his opinions. That includes when his opinions are popular. Despite the strong calls from the fan base for a change in coaching staff, Ray remains strident in his support beleaguered headman Brady Hoke and believes an opportunity for one more year at the helm should be given
Said Ray, “what has to happen for Brady Hoke to keep his job? “The right athletic director has to be hired and whoever these coaches (are), this pool of coaches that everybody is dreaming about, like they always do whenever Michigan changes coaches… whoever these people are dreaming about, if they don’t want the job right now then Brady will stay. It depends on whoever they hire as athletic director. It is not about who the athletic director wants, it’s about who wants Michigan and right now Brady Hoke does.”
There are a couple of things working in his favor. He has a young team, 78 sophomores and freshmen. They’re going to be better next year regardless of who the coach is, and I think if they give Brady a chance to reevaluate his staff one more time to make some changes… he only made one change last year as far as his lineup. They played musical chairs on defense, but they didn’t make any changes other than Al Borges. In this world we live, in college coaching there are no guarantees. There are no guarantees that he’s going to be gone. There’s no guarantee that he is going to be there. What I like to do is look at stuff from a realistic perspective from both sides. I’ll make a case for both sides. I’m not the locker room lawyer for Michigan. I’m just a guy that’s watching this saying, ‘okay, if Brady is going to keep his job that means they are going to bring in an AD and he’s not going to have nobody to hire, or he’s going to sit down and give Brady a chance and say, ‘you’ve got one more year.’ All the fans want to push a button and get him out. ‘Why one more year of this?’ If you don’t even transition Brady out, you’re going to lose the team. Guys are going to transfer, things are going to fall apart. Why do you think Mario Manningham left, Adrian Arrington, Ryan Mallett? Why do you think all those guys left? They were going to come back in 2008 and play again, regardless of what anybody thinks… I was there. When change happens and you’ve got some players on that team that will go other places. Now you’ve got to rebuild it again and then you’ve got to shovel the driveway while it’s still snowing outside. I’m not going to kill a man sitting his chair right now that I go see every week. Once a week I look Brady Hoke in the face. You think I’m going to smile at his face and then stab him in the back and go tell the world, ‘Oh he’s out of here’, or say on national TV, ‘yeah I don’t think he’s good enough.’ I do think he’s good enough. I think he needs to make some changes though. I think he needs to make some changes on his assistant coaching staff and really see without Dave Brandon hovering over his head… give him one more year and see what he can do under a different administration and if he wins, then he wins and if he doesn’t, he has had all the chances that he needs.”
Stay tuned for part three in which Ray discusses the very real possibility that change will come and discusses other candidates and whether it’s necessary for the to be “Michigan Men.” In the meantime to hear Ray’s breakdown of Hoke in its entirety press play below.