This will be Brady Hoke’s final year at San Diego State.
The school announced Monday morning that Hoke intends to retire as head coach at the conclusion of the season. Hoke is in his second stint leading the Aztecs. He had a two-year run as head coach in 2009 and 2010 before landing the head-coaching job at Michigan.
Hoke’s time in Ann Arbor flamed out after four seasons and he had multiple assistant coaching gigs before returning to San Diego State in 2019. First he was the defensive line coach under Rocky Long but became the head coach for a second time after Long stepped down.
Things went well early on. After a 4-4 record during the COVID season, the Aztecs went 12-2 in 2021 and won the Mountain West’s West division before falling in the conference title game. But the program’s on-field performance has been on a downslide since. SDSU went 7-6 last season and is currently 3-7 heading into the final two weeks of the regular season.
“I am proud of what we accomplished at San Diego State,” Hoke said. “I am grateful to all the great student-athletes I’ve had the chance to work with, molding them into men, husbands, fathers and pillars in the community. I will always cherish my time leading this program. I’d also like to thank the wonderful staff I’ve worked with and wish them the best in the future.”
SDSU was a perennial Mountain West title contender, starting with Hoke’s 2010 season and moving into Long’s nine seasons on the job. The Aztecs played in 10 consecutive bowl games and won three Mountain West titles from 2010 to 2019. Prior to Hoke’s arrival, SDSU hadn’t had a winning season or made a bowl game since 1998.
But following a 22-19 loss to Colorado State over the weekend, SDSU is guaranteed its first losing season since 2009. The Aztecs have lost seven of their last eight games and are 1-5 in Mountain West play. Dating back to the end of the 2022 season, SDSU has lost nine of its last 12 games.
The Aztecs will close out their season at San Jose State and then with a home game vs. Fresno State on Nov. 25. After that, Hoke intends to retire.
“I am very appreciative for the work Brady Hoke has done with our football program at San Diego State both on and off the field,” SDSU athletic director John David Wicker said. “Brady set the standard in 2009 when he first arrived on The Mesa that we now hold ourselves to. However, it’s more than wins and losses. Brady created a culture, led our program through COVID, played two entire seasons in Carson, including a 12-win campaign, and takes seriously the development of young men off the field as well as on. I wish Kelly, Laura and Brady a happy retirement.”
Brady Hoke most known for 4 years as Michigan head coach
Hoke started his college coaching career in the early ’80s as a defensive assistant and had stops at Western Michigan, Toledo and Oregon State before landing at Michigan in 1995. He spent eight seasons as an assistant with the Wolverines before landing the head-coaching job at Ball State, his alma mater, in 2003.
Hoke inherited a rebuild at Ball State, but got the program to its first bowl game since 1996 in 2007 and then led the Cardinals to a 12-0 regular season in 2008. Ball State lost in the MAC title game and then Hoke left to take the SDSU job. He went 4-8 in his first year at SDSU and then got the team to 9-4 in his second year before he got the big job at Michigan, where he succeeded Rich Rodriguez.
The Wolverines went 11-2 and won the Sugar Bowl in his first season, earning Hoke Big Ten Coach of the Year honors. He could not replicate that success moving forward, however. Michigan went 8-5 in 2012, 7-6 in 2013 and then Hoke was fired after going 5-7 in 2014. Overall, he had a 31-20 record at Michigan with an 18-14 mark in Big Ten play.
For his career, Hoke is 104-90 as an FBS head coach with two more games to go.