San Diego — Former San Diego State head football coach Brady Hoke is expected to be announced as SDSU’s new defensive line coach, returning to the school he left eight years ago when he was hired as Michigan’s head coach.
Hoke was back on campus Monday, meeting with SDSU players and reacquainting himself with the program he guided during the 2009-10 seasons.
He replaces Ernie Lawson, who was not retained following three seasons as SDSU’s defensive line coach.
Since the hiring was not yet official, neither SDSU head coach Rocky Long nor any other school official could comment on Wednesday.
Hoke was not available for comment.
Long was SDSU’s defensive coordinator in 2011 when he was promoted to replace Hoke, who called Michigan his “dream job” when he departed. Hoke went 31-20 over four seasons, but his win total decreased each season, from 11-2 to 8-5 to 7-6 and finally 5-7, prompting his firing following the 2014 season. Hastening his departure was going 1-3 against both Ohio State and Michigan State.
Hoke, 60, returned to coaching after a year off when he was hired as Oregon’s defensive coordinator in 2016. A year later, he served as Tennessee assistant head coach/defensive line coach and was interim head coach for two games after head coach Butch Jones was fired. At both Oregon and Tennessee, Hoke found himself out of a job after head coaching changes.
He most recently served as defensive line coach for the Carolina Panthers before being fired in December during a coaching staff shakeup on the team.
SDSU’s resurgence a decade ago began under Hoke, who coached the Aztecs to a 4-8 record in 2009 and then 9-4 in 2010. It included a 35-14 Poinsettia Bowl victory over Navy, giving the Aztecs their first nine-win season in 33 years. It was SDSU’s first bowl appearance in 12 years.
The Aztecs have since appeared in a school-record nine straight bowl games, with eight of those appearances under Long.
Hoke’s hiring will give Long four former college head coaches on his staff, along with offensive coordinator/running backs coach Jeff Horton (Nevada, UNLV and Minnesota), defensive assistant Kevin McGarry (USD) and on-campus recruiting coordinator Ron Caragher (USD and San Jose State).