Hoke, who started his career with a 11-2 record and Sugar Bowl win over Virginia Tech, struggled in his final two seasons in Ann Arbor, finishing his career with a 31-20 record during his four years at the university.
After Michigan’s 42-28 loss at Ohio State on Saturday, Hoke defended his status as Michigan’s coach.
“What I know is I am going to be the football coach at Michigan,” Hoke said, adding:“Yeah, well that’s what I know right now.”
It turns out he was wrong.
And a lot of had to do with his record during his last season and half. U-M has only won six of its last 19 games and lost to Notre Dame, Michigan State and Ohio State by a combined score of 108-39 in his final season. His final record against his three main rivals was 4-8, losing three straight to OSU.
And while wins and losses alone were certainly enough to get Hoke fired, his leadership of college football’s winningest program took a downward spiral with the continued bad offensive production, lack of development of his players and the most notably – the Shane Morris concussion scandal – where he unknowingly put the sophomore quarterback back in the game after taking an apparent hit to his head late in a home loss to Minnesota earlier this season, which was later ruled a mild concussion.
The scandal, along with gaffes by former athletic director Dave Brandon – who resigned in late October and who also hired Hoke -- led to student rallies calling for Hoke and Brandon’s resignation and boycott of attending Michigan football games.
The disappointment by the fan base was evident by their lack of support. U-M didn’t lead the country in average attendance for the first time since 1997. The Wolverines, in fact, finished No. 3 with 104,909 fans per game. That was good for a 6,863 fans per game drop of from last years 111,592 fans per game average.
The ending for Hoke was far different when he first arrived on campus, saying he would have walked from his former coaching stint at San Diego State to take the Michigan job. He would replace former U-M coach Rich Rodriguez, who was also run out of town after three years on the job.
Instead of resurrecting a once proud program, Hoke’s record declined every season he was at Michigan. And it ended with U-M not becoming bowl eligible for the third time since 1975.
Now the question remains who will become the next coach? Will it be Jim Harbaugh? Les Miles? Or someone under-the-radar like Hoke?
But one thing is clear, Hoke’s reign in Ann Arbor is over.
Stay tuned to Scout.com and GoBlueWolverine for more on this breaking news story in the hours to come.