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 Mark Schlissel needs to be the next Jack Wagon to resign. 
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Martha Firestone Ford
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Post Mark Schlissel needs to be the next Jack Wagon to resign.
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Michigan Football: Would Greg Mattison Return if Hoke is Fired?
By Phil Callihan , Featured Columnist
Nov 14, 2014

Brady Hoke probably figured that a bye week preceded by two consecutive wins would give him a break from the constant speculation regarding his job status.

But a public spat with new university president Mark Schlissel has reignited speculation that Hoke’s tenure will be ending sooner rather than later. While various scenarios for the program moving forward are in play, the most interesting conjecture might involve the status of defensive coordinator Greg Mattison.

Mattison has consistently defended Hoke from outside criticism and credits their friendship as the reason he left the NFL to return to Michigan. But the season has taken its toll on both men. During the Utah game cameras captured the two snapping at each other. The team has struggled because of its misfiring offense while the defense has risen to become one of the top-ranked units in the NCAA.

Would Mattison have the option to remain at Michigan under a new coach?

While Rich Rodriguez was fired for his inability to field a competent defense, his offense had won many over. But Rodriguez took his offense with him into exile.

The current situation is different. The defense is getting the job done and is primarily associated with Mattison. It’s conceivable that a new coach could retain Mattison, who has no aspirations to lead the program.

If Hoke is dismissed, Mattison’s decision to stay with the program will depend on who takes over and the rationale used to determine Hoke’s fate.

The week was dominated by a blistering attack on the football program and clumsy apology by Schlissel, followed by Hoke’s measured response. The battle lines are clearly drawn between the two men.

The incident showed that Schlissel has a lot to learn about “sports stuff”—mainly that his every comment on the subject will be parsed and analyzed. It also shows that Hoke is in danger of becoming collateral damage in Schlissel’s campaign to scale back the importance of athletics at Michigan.

If Hoke is dismissed for his performance on the field, Mattison may consider staying with the team to continue working with the players he recruited. The option may even become more likely depending on who replaces Hoke.

He has ties to many of the coaches that are at the top of the wish list for many fans. Mattison’s vast experience at both the collegiate and pro levels makes him a strong candidate to be retained. His presence could help maintain some continuity and encourage players to stay.

But if Hoke is a casualty of the cultural war waged by Schlissel to pare the athletic department down to size, then Mattison is unlikely to stay no matter who takes over. A coaching lifer, he can understand being dismissed for performance, but this week’s incident shows that Schlissel may be working under a different agenda than just judging wins and losses.

His public comments are a puzzling misstep after drawing praise for his handling of David Brandon’s resignation. Schlissel's public admonishment of the football program for academic underachievement (that as Hoke pointed out is statistically unsupported) nonetheless casts a shadow over the search for a permanent athletic director.

Schlissel, who has acknowledged struggling with the scale of Michigan athletics, may have just earned himself 100,000 unhappy fans. The misstep is reminiscent of past president Lee Bollinger, who also struggled to navigate the complex relationship between the university as a whole and the athletic department.

The political intrigue continues to swirl around the Michigan football program as Hoke prepares for the final two games of the season. As the season moves towards a merciful conclusion, the drama off the field appears to be dialing up.


November 15th, 2014, 12:21 pm
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QB Coach - Brian Callahan

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Post Re: Mark Schlissel needs to be the next Jack Wagon to resign
Dude, what?

What is that article even trying to say?

Mattison probably isn't staying on. The characterization of it as an elite unit being held back by an inept offense is just deceitful. The defense isn't good.


November 17th, 2014, 1:36 am
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Martha Firestone Ford
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Post Re: Mark Schlissel needs to be the next Jack Wagon to resign
Yeah, I agree with you. The reason I posted the article is because it points out how Schlissle is trying to reduce the importance of the athletic department at Michigan. Michigan Football built that university. And Schlissle wants to sweep it under the rug. The dude is clueless.


November 17th, 2014, 9:47 am
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QB Coach - Brian Callahan

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Post Re: Mark Schlissel needs to be the next Jack Wagon to resign
He never really said that:

http://www.michigandaily.com//sports/ma ... nne-curzan

And if that was his plan, why not just stick with Brandon and Hoke?


November 17th, 2014, 11:44 am
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Post Re: Mark Schlissel needs to be the next Jack Wagon to resign
am i crazy or does Hoke returning look like a possibility now? everything i have heard and read is that Hackett is likely to remain on the AD job for a year rather than just a few weeks. as an interim guy why would he be allowed to hire a new coach? he hasnt even been involved in the college athletics scene recently. If they beat Maryland, i d say the odds go up to maybe even 50%. i just dont see how um is going to get an AD in place in time to conduct the necessary thorough and complete head coach search and hire process. its really feeling like brandon is being scapegoated and maybe hoke is getting sympathy for having to endure some of the meddling. of course gutting out a couple of close wins, though not impressive, is helping. to me, the whole thing is going to look like a fail unless UM lands a Harbaugh or Miles, not sure how an interim AD could make that happen as mostly its been tried and failed in the recent past. getting the wrong head coach in place hired by an AD who is not going to be there for the long term looks like a worse option than seeing what hoke will do in a 5th year. would rather wait then see this get bungled.


November 20th, 2014, 11:51 pm
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QB Coach - Brian Callahan

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Post Re: Mark Schlissel needs to be the next Jack Wagon to resign
You thought the backlash against Brandon was bad? Would look like nothing if Hoke was retained.

Brandon wasn't the problem -- not directly. The problem is Hoke. The problem with Brandon was that he hired Hoke when he never should've been hired.


November 21st, 2014, 9:09 am
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Post Re: Mark Schlissel needs to be the next Jack Wagon to resign
well, whoever was/is the problem hoke is definitely done now. fully expect them to fire him after the Ohio St game.


November 22nd, 2014, 9:38 pm
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QB Coach - Brian Callahan

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Post Re: Mark Schlissel needs to be the next Jack Wagon to resign
Hoke's fate was sealed a long time ago. The 50-7 pounding next week will just cap off one of the lowest points in Michigan football history.


November 23rd, 2014, 2:33 am
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Martha Firestone Ford
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Post Re: Mark Schlissel needs to be the next Jack Wagon to resign
Am I alone in hoping that dude from Northwestern don't get the AD job? I mean what the hell could a schmuck from doormat Northwestern know about building a football program?


November 23rd, 2014, 8:04 am
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Post Re: Mark Schlissel needs to be the next Jack Wagon to resign
BillySims wrote:
Am I alone in hoping that dude from Northwestern don't get the AD job? I mean what the hell could a schmuck from doormat Northwestern know about building a football program?


well it looks like the interim AD will have that task.


November 23rd, 2014, 10:11 am
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Post Re: Mark Schlissel needs to be the next Jack Wagon to resign
Blueskies wrote:
Hoke's fate was sealed a long time ago. The 50-7 pounding next week will just cap off one of the lowest points in Michigan football history.


Im really not so sure, I think the administration was considering giving him another year so that they could get a long term AD solution in first. But losing to Rutgers and now Maryland both in disturbing fashion in games where better coaching results in wins is the nail in the coffin in my eyes. At this point, even a miracle win vs Ohio St would be no more than a departing consolation prize for Hoke. The Maryland game was everything anybody needed to know about whether or not he could be the head man at a big time program.

I think now, we can truly focus in on who s next?

Top candidate is Miles, it may be feasible this time around with LSU having somewhat of a down year for them but does UM have what it takes to get it done? After that I would say both Harbaughs are unlikely. John would be my choice, he s done a nice job despite adversity in Baltimore and if there s fall out in the front office I think whoever takes over would realize his value and keep him or he d immediately be a top candidate for another NFL job. Jim has burned a lot of bridges so I could see him forced out of San Francisco after two years of rumblings. He s a classless act on the sideline who cant keep his emotions in check and seems unlikely to be able to bear the political game necessary at UM. I dont think too highly of him overall bc the personality and maturity is crucial when thinking long term but his schemes and ability to coach up players is excellent and needed. After that I would say they are down to a bunch of candidates that seem no more worthy than Hoke was a few years ago - Stoops son, Kirby Smart, the Col St head coach, etc.

It may be wishful thinking but I foresee Hackett going full bore and landing Miles by as soon as early next week as Miles team finishes up on Thanksgiving. Dont even want to think about what might happen if they cant land Miles and neither Harbaugh becomes available...


November 23rd, 2014, 10:30 am
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QB Coach - Brian Callahan

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Post Re: Mark Schlissel needs to be the next Jack Wagon to resign
How long does it take to search for a new AD? If they were at all competent, they would've been looking for the last month.

Fire Hoke day after OSU. Announce new AD in early December. Hire new coach in late January.


November 23rd, 2014, 3:17 pm
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Post Re: Mark Schlissel needs to be the next Jack Wagon to resign
Blueskies wrote:
How long does it take to search for a new AD? If they were at all competent, they would've been looking for the last month.

Fire Hoke day after OSU. Announce new AD in early December. Hire new coach in late January.


if they dont have les miles locked in less than a week after LSUs last game (11/27/14) then I will have lost all hope and they might as well just draw straws for a coach. They cant wait til late January like they did before with Rich Rod. Need the new coach in place to secure whats left of the recruiting season.


November 23rd, 2014, 5:28 pm
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QB Coach - Brian Callahan

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Post Re: Mark Schlissel needs to be the next Jack Wagon to resign
They announced the Rich Rod hire in December. It was Hoke they waited for.


November 23rd, 2014, 8:45 pm
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Post Re: Mark Schlissel needs to be the next Jack Wagon to resign
Blueskies wrote:
They announced the Rich Rod hire in December. It was Hoke they waited for.


sorry, what i meant was dragging out deciding whether or not they were keeping rich rod...


November 23rd, 2014, 9:30 pm
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