Michigan football coach Brady Hoke has been fired after four seasons, Michigan interim athletic director Jim Hackett announced at a news conference Tuesday.
The move was expected after Hoke finished his fourth season with a 5-7 record. He was 31-20 overall but with a descending arc. He went 11-2 his first year, capped by a Sugar Bowl win, followed by seasons of 8-5, 7-6 and 5-7.
"I feel very fortunate to have been an assistant and head coach at the University of Michigan,” Hoke said in a statement. “I will always support the university and this football program. ... I will miss the relationships that I’ve been fortunate enough to make within this university and community. I additionally appreciate all of the support our fans, alumni, students, administration and former players have provided our program. I leave with fond memories of my experience at Michigan."
Hoke, a former Ball State linebacker who led turnarounds at Ball State and San Diego State, was hired in 2011 to replace Rich Rodriguez.
Rodriguez, considered a failure after just three years, was fired after going 7-6 in 2010.
Rodriguez resurfaced at Arizona where, in an interesting twist of timing, was named Pac-12 coach of the year about an hour before news of Hoke's firing broke.
“I wanted to make sure that Brady received adequate time to exhibit the results that would come from his effort and I believe that Brady and our coaching staff had enough time to produce those results and unfortunately they are not there,” said Hackett, who took over as AD last month. “In the end, I feel that moving in a different direction is the right decision.”
Michigan is the third major program, joining Nebraska and Florida, to unload its coach in recent weeks. Michigan is the all-time major college leader in football victories with 915. The three schools combined have 2,479 wins.
Where Michigan turns next is anyone's guess. The most intriguing candidate is San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh, who played quarterback for Bo Schembechler at Michigan.
If not Jim, his brother John Harbaugh, the coach of the NFL's Baltimore Ravens.
Michigan, in 2007, made a hard push for LSU Coach Les Miles, a former Michigan player and assistant coach.
When the play for Miles disastrously fell through as Miles was leading his team into the SEC title game, Michigan ended up luring Rodriguez away from West Virginia.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.