LIVONIA, Mich. -- The 2014 Michigan football team made the trek to Laurel Manor Monday evening to take part in the Wolverines annual football bust put on by the University of Michigan Club of Greater Detroit.
Despite being fired by interim athletic director Jim Hackett less than a week ago, former Michigan coach Brady Hoke and his entire coaching staff were in attendance, with a handful of them, including Hoke, speaking in front of the team, former players, alums and family.
Hoke received a pair of standing ovations from the room as he introduced Michigan’s 12 man senior class, each offering a speech after dinner concluded.
“Tonight is to honor our seniors and your seniors are special because they’ve been through the trials and tribulation,” Hoke said. “They’ve been through coaching staffs, they’ve been through all the distractions that may be out there, and this group of 12 guys did a great job.”
Hoke went 31-20 over his four seasons as the head coach at Michigan before being officially relieved of his duties last Tuesday afternoon.
“Number one, first and foremost, I want to thank the 115 players and their families and let you know what a great privilege it was for all of us to coach and mentor your sons,” Hoke said. “For those parents that are here, I want you to know it was truly a real privilege.”
“I also want to thank the coaches and their families and their wives for their dedication for these players. I think that showed time and time again by how our guys went to work everyday.”
Despite making the decision to let Hoke go and immediately begin a new search for he next coach in Ann Arbor, Hackett was in attendance Monday, along with school president Mark Schlissel.
Schlissel also chose to offer a few words of encouragement to the current members of Michigan team, as well as support for Hoke.
“He worked and nurtured our student-athletes as players, students and as men and was committed to their success at all levels,” Schlissel said. “He also reached out to me with friendship and warmth during challenging times this semester. Thank you, coach.”
Some of those challenging moments included mounting losses, attendance issues, criticism of players and coaches, the resignation of athletic director Dave Brandon, and the Shane Morris concussion situation, to name a few.
Either way -- and despite an underwhelming 5-7 finish -- Hoke remains happy with how his Michigan football team hung together.
“This football team showed great resiliency throughout a season that saw many external distractions but were united together and as a team they played every Saturday,” Hoke said. “I’m very proud of that for them and very proud of what this coaching staff did.”
Full awards list
Michigan also handed out their annual awards for the 2014 season, the full list below:
Bo Schembechler MVP: Jake Ryan
Dr. Arthur D. Robinson Scholarship Award (leading senior scholar): Joey Burzynski
Hugh R. Rader Memorial Award (top offensive lineman): Jack Miller
Roger Zatkoff Award (top linebacker): Jake Ryan
Robert P. Ufer Bequest (most enthusiasm): Brennen Beyer
Richard Katcher Award (top defensive lineman): Brennen Beyer
Captains Award: Devin Gardner and Jake Ryan