- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 11, 2011

ANN ARBOR, Mich. | Brady Hoke has a few things in common with the late Bo Schembechler.

He is from Ohio, he didn’t attend Michigan, he’s climbing the coaching ladder — and he’s about to take over the football program that Schembechler built into a national power.

Michigan hired Hoke away from San Diego State, with athletic director Dave Brandon announcing the move Tuesday at a previously scheduled team meeting not long after LSU said Les Miles was staying in the Bayou instead of going to coach at the Big House.

“We thought it was going to be a meeting about classes and the weight room,” tight end Kevin Koger said. “Mr. Brandon came in and dropped the news on us.”

Brandon insisted Hoke was always Plan A. What about Miles or Jim Harbaugh, who left Stanford for the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers?

“The job was never offered to them,” Brandon said in an interview with The Associated Press. “We did have different discussions with them that were helpful and positive.”

College football’s winningest team got a Michigan man, just not the one most of their fans were clamoring for after Brandon fired Rich Rodriguez a week ago.

Harbaugh was the popular pick when Brandon bought out the last three seasons of Rodriguez’s three-year contract. When he dropped out of the picture, Miles appeared to be a logical choice to return Michigan to the glory days of its past.

Instead, it will be Hoke. And he knows his way around Ann Arbor, too.

After coaching Michigan’s defensive line during the 1997 national championship season, he went on to turn around Ball State as a head coach from 2003-08 and pulled off another feat the past two seasons at San Diego State.

Brady Hoke understands Michigan and he wanted this job because it has been dream job,” Brandon told The AP. “We won’t have to teach him the words to “The Victors” and I believe our players will respond to him because I got 100 percent positive feedback from anybody who played for him here or since he left Michigan.”

Green Bay Packers cornerback Charles Woodson is one of the many former Wolverines, including New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, who rave about Hoke.

“I’m excited for Brady Hoke and even for Michigan,” Woodson, who won the Heisman Trophy and 1997 national championship at Michigan, wrote in a text message. “I’m glad this process is over and we can begin to restore the tradition and respect that was once Michigan.”

Hoke replaces Rodriguez, who was fired after going 15-22 in three disappointing seasons with the Wolverines. That includes an 0-6 mark against the Buckeyes and Spartans and a 38-point drubbing two weeks ago by Mississippi State in Michigan’s worst-ever bowl defeat.

Michigan’s players were told to show up for a team meeting at Schembechler Hall and were surprised to find out the school had hired a new coach.

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