ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- As players trickled out of Schembechler Hall Tuesday afternoon, many were left in tears, quiet, and eager to get to their cars.
Brady Hoke has been fired after four seasons with the Wolverines, compiling a 31-20 record throughout that time, and all of them had just found out in a team meeting.
While players weren’t inclined to speak with awaiting media, some even sprinting away to avoid questions, Michigan running backs coach Fred Jackson, who has been with the program for 23 seasons, walked right into the firestorm.
“I just heard from the media,” Jackson said. “I had no idea. Nobody called me or told me or anything.”
“I had no idea,” added Jackson.
Jackson was actually out on the road recruiting yesterday and today, telling reporters he heard encouraging words from high school coaches and remained confident in his stable of tailbacks.
Still, Jackson was a little taken aback upon hearing the news of Hoke’s firing.
“I didn’t really expect it,” Jackson said. “I know we didn’t play as well as people would like to see us play.
“But I also understand it’s all about winning and losing and we didn’t win enough games.”
This isn’t exactly Jackson’s first rodeo as it pertains to a coaching change, surviving transitions from Gary Moeller to Lloyd Carr, Carr to Rich Rodriguez and of course most recently when Hoke took over for Rodriguez in 2010.
Uncertain what his future may hold at Michigan specifically, Jackson doesn’t plan on walking away from the game anytime soon.
“It’s always tough when you work to try to get good at some things that don’t happen,” Jackson said. “And all of the sudden you get your legs cut from under you and you say, 'Well where do I go from here?'
"I’ve been a college football coach for 30 years, I know I can coach football and I want to coach somewhere. I’m going to coach football somewhere. Maybe not here.”
Stay tuned to Scout.com and GoBlueWolverine for more on this breaking news story in the hours to come.