Brandon's Blog: Coaching Search is Interesting, Intense, Time Consuming

Jan. 10, 2011

University of Michigan director of athletics Dave Brandon will regularly offer his view on different topics related to U-M and intercollegiate sports. All of his posts, along with links to related content, will be available on his page,, and he is also on Twitter at @DaveBrandonAD.

During the press conference on Wednesday (Jan. 5), I noted we would be conducting a national search for our next football coach. Some would suggest we should complete this national search in a matter of hours, but this is a critical decision for Michigan Athletics and it cannot and will not be made in haste.

Coaches are an interesting, intense group, and although this interviewing process is time-consuming and somewhat demanding, it is an honor to represent Michigan and discuss our football program's needs and opportunities with a variety of impressive candidates and/or people who can offer valuable advice and input. The process is proceeding with careful consideration as to the qualifications, commitment, effectiveness and passion that various candidates would bring to our program.

I am sure all of the news reports are interesting for our fans, but I am too busy to follow the majority of the news except to hear some pretty wild stories about "where I am and who I am talking to." The last week should be a reminder to everyone not to believe everything you read or hear. Some of the so-called "news reports" over the past week have been simply ridiculous.

As it relates to our fans, I have received the "advice and recommendations" to hire just about every football coach in America -- including some who have never coached or haven't coached in years! I am glad our fans are passionate, but we cannot hire your favorite high school coach (as one fan suggested) and we cannot hire several head coaches and have them take turns leading the team during the season (another unique approach that was suggested to me!).

Sometimes, fans who provide more level-headed suggestions do not realize that some of the people they mention are not viable candidates for Michigan for a variety of reasons. This is some of what we learn as we go through this process.

Our Michigan Athletic Department e-mail servers have been very busy! I am trying to answer/acknowledge all e-mails we have been receiving from sincere, thoughtful individuals. The department appreciates the messages from those who are simply trying to help. Those that are not trying to be helpful quickly end up in the delete/block sender file!

I would bet that in the majority of cases, fans have never met and interviewed any of the coaches they are either supporting or trashing, so they really don't have any idea what kind of people they really are! Thankfully, I am given this opportunity.

We are looking for a coach that matches our program's particular needs and objectives, on and off the field.

There will always be a certain number of people who enjoy criticizing others, and there is nothing any of us can do about them! However, for those of you who want to help bring Michigan football back to where we all want it to be, you can help by getting behind our new coach and ignoring those who enjoy creating controversy and resentment. Much of our past success was largely a result of our large number of passionate, united fans around the country supporting our coaches and players in every way. Uniting again behind one singular purpose -- to win Big Ten championships -- is what we need, and now is the time to get on board.

The most important thing everyone can do at this point to help Michigan football is to prepare to greet our new coach with all of the support, encouragement and positive energy that we can muster. Getting our football program turned around quickly is our goal, and having our fans and supporters "jump on board" early with our new coach will help him be successful -- which is what we all want!

It is time for me to get on to the next session. Go Blue!!

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