Two years after winning school-record 12 games, Brady Hoke out as Aztecs football coach

Brady Hoke is out as San Diego State’s football coach. SDSU released a statement Monday morning saying that Hoke is retiring, although sources have told the Union-Tribune that he was forced out. Hoke reportedly called his staff in Sunday evening to inform them that he had been fired.

Hoke’s buyout was still being worked out as of Sunday night, a source said. He had three years remaining on his contract, with a buyout of nearly $5 million. Hoke, 65, will finish out the 2023 season, coaching SDSU’s remaining two games — this week at San Jose State and at home next week against Fresno State.

San Diego State’s players learned of Hoke’s pending departure on Monday morning, when they arrived on campus for their usual weight-lifting session. The search for a new head coach will begin immediately, with an eye on making a hire in early December. Hiring a new head coach quickly is a priority because the NCAA’s early signing period, when the Aztecs typically have signed the majority of their 25-man recruiting class, is Dec.

20-22. San Diego State will honor the contracts of offensive coordinator Ryan Lindley and defensive coordinator Kurt Mattix, both of whom are in the first year of two-year deals. SDSU’s other coaches work year-to-year.

Hoke is expected to speak to the media following Monday’s practice. His regularly scheduled Tuesday news conference will go on as planned. “I am proud of what we accomplished at San Diego State,” Hoke said in a news release.

“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.

” San Diego State head coach Brady Hoke yells during the Aztecs' Nov. 4 loss to Utah State. San Diego State head coach Brady Hoke yells during the Aztecs’ Nov.

4 loss to Utah State. (Meg McLaughlin/The San Diego Union-Tribune) Said athletic director John David Wicker: “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. Brady set the standard in 2009 when he first arrived on The Mesa that we now hold ourselves too.

However, it’s more than wins and losses. Brady created a culture, led our program thru 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. ” The Aztecs lost 22-19 at Colorado State over the weekend, dropping their record to 3-7 on the season.

It marked the first time since 2009 that they are not bowl eligible. They also dropped to 1-5 in the Mountain West, tied for last place with New Mexico. Hoke guided SDSU to a school-record 12 wins in 2021, earning Mountain West Coach of the Year for the second time, but the Aztecs slipped to 7-6 last season and had lost seven of their past eight games this season when the decision was made to take the program in a different direction.

Hoke, who returned for a second stint as SDSU head coach when Rocky Long left in 2020, is 39-31 (. 557) across six seasons (2009-10, 2020-23) with the Aztecs. He is 104-89 in 16 seasons as a head coach, including stops at Ball State (2003-08), his alma mater, and Michigan (2011-14).

San Diego State Aztecs coach Brady Hoke points during SDSU's Oct. 21 loss to Nevada. San Diego State Aztecs coach Brady Hoke points during SDSU’s Oct.

21 loss to Nevada. (Meg McLaughlin/The San Diego Union-Tribune) In Monday’s appearance on 760-AM, SDSU’s flagship radio station, Hoke was reflective. He was serious, but also relaxed enough to joke with the hosts that they should come help him box up things in his office.

It’s “very emotional, in a lot of ways,” Hoke began, “because you think back to all of the teams that you’ve coached and the thousands of young men that you’ve been a part of their lives and, hopefully, helped them understand life and what the real world is. “We’re going to finish out the next two games. That what Aztecs do.

We’re preparing for San Jose and we’ll go out and practice and get ready to go. ” Hoke added: “There’s things that we’re really proud of. Obviously, 12 wins here two years ago, the most wins of any season, is kind of a neat thing.

” “There’s special things about every class. I’m getting texts from guys that I coached a long time ago (as an assistant coach) at Western Michigan and have been part of our lives and we’re really touched that they’ve been part of our lives. ” San Diego State coach Brady Hoke talks to a player before the Aztecs' Oct.

14 win over Hawaii. Asked if his retirement will include fishing, Hoke said, “If it is, it will be on Lake Erie, and do some walleye fishing. We’ve done a lot of that when I was going at Western and Toledo and Michigan.

Used to go at least four weekends in the summer and in the spring. “One thing, as a coach, you spend more time with other people’s children than your own. Our daughter Kelly, who means the world to us, we’re going to spend some time and really, really appreciate what we’ve had and what we’ve done.

” This story will be updated. .

BY KIRK KENNEY
·
Filed 11.14.2023

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