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Brady Hoke Leaves Ball State For San Diego State;
Won't Coach Cardinals In GMAC Bowl

Courtesy San Diego State University
December 16, 2008

SAN DIEGO - Brady Hoke, who led Ball State to a 12-win campaign and a No. 12 national ranking this season, has been named the 17th head coach in San Diego State football history, Aztec athletic director Jeff Schemmel announced Tuesday.

One of 10 finalists for the Liberty Mutual National Coach of the Year award, Hoke, 50, signed a five-year contract with SDSU.

He will not coach Ball State in the GMAC Bowl.

In his sixth year as head coach of the Cardinals, Hoke has guided Ball State to its best season in program history, recording a school-record 12 wins and completing an undefeated Mid-American Conference (MAC) regular-season campaign with an 8-0 mark in 2008. Ball State made its' first-ever appearance in the national polls, ranking as high as 12th by the Associated Press and 13th in the USA Today Coaches poll. The team, which advanced to its first MAC championship contest, will face Toledo in the GMAC Bowl in Alabama in early January.

Ball State has won its 12 games by an average of 21 points and has scored a school-record 476 points, including a program-best 62 touchdowns. The Cardinals are 11th in the nation in total offense, averaging just over 450 yards per contest.  They are also fifth in sacks allowed (0.92), sixth in passing efficiency (164.4) and first in fewest penalties per game (2.77).

The Cardinals boast the nation's No. 4 rusher in MiQuale Lewis (130.9 ypg.) and No. 8 rated passer in Nate Davis (164.1 efficiency). Davis, who is also 15th in the nation in total offense (286.4 ypg.), was tabbed the MAC offensive player of the year, throwing for over 3,000 yards for the second straight campaign and ending up as a finalist for the Manning Award, presented to the nation's best quarterback. Davis was one of seven Ball State players named first-team all-MAC and finished eighth in the Heisman Trophy voting last Saturday.

For his efforts, Hoke has already garnered coach of the year honors by the Mid-American Conference and in the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Football Bowl Subdivision Region 3.

 Last season, Ball State made its first bowl game appearance in 11 years, earning a bid to the International Bowl in Toronto as MAC co-west division champions. The Cardinals finished with a 7-6 overall record, including a 5-2 mark in conference action, and had four players earn first-team all-league accolades.

A school record three Ball State players were selected in the 2005 NFL Draft in Justin Beriault (Cowboys), Reggie Hodges (Rams) and Dante Ridgeway (Rams). Ridgeway ended his career as the Cardinals' all-time leading receiver with 238 receptions for over 3,000 yards and 22 touchdowns in only three seasons from 2002-04.  He was a second-team All-American as well as a semifinalist for the Bilentnikoff Award his final campaign.

Hoke also helped tutor Ray Guy Award semifinalist punter Chris Miller, who was an AFCA first-team All-American in 2007, and a Sporting News second-team pick in 2006. Place-kicker Brain Johnson and tight end Darius Hill were both named semifinalists for the Lou Groza and John Mackey Awards, respectively.

Hoke's players have also excelled in the classroom, as Ball State posted a Academic Progress Report score of 945 out of 1,000, ranking second in the MAC. Offensive lineman Travis Barclay twice was named a first-team Academic All-American and received the program's first NCAA postgraduate scholarship in over a decade in 2003. Overall, 10 Ball State players have garnered league all-academic honors from 2003-07.

Hoke took over as Ball State's head coach in December 2002, following an eight-year stint as an assistant at Michigan, including a 1997 campaign that saw the Wolverines claim the national championship and earn a No. 1 ranking in total defense. Michigan advanced to eight-straight bowl games during his tenure, posted a 76-23 overall record, won at least 10 games on four occasions and placed first in the Big Ten in 1997, 1998 and 2000.

Under head coach Lloyd Carr, he served as defensive ends coach from 1995-96, defensive line coach from 1997-2002 and ended his stay in Ann Arbor as associate head coach in 2002. Hoke helped tutor three Wolverine All-Americans on the D-line, including defensive end Glen Steele and nose tackles William Carr and Rob Renes, all of whom were picked in the NFL draft.

After stops as an assistant at Grand Valley State (1983), Western Michigan (1984-86) and Toledo (1987-88), Hoke ventured out west for a six-year stay at Oregon State, where he coached the Beavers' defensive line (1989, 1991-94) and inside linebackers (1990), before taking the position at Michigan.

Hoke was a defensive standout for Ball State as a student athlete, lettering four times from 1977-80, and serving as team captain his senior season.  As a sophomore, he ranked third on the team in tackles and helped the Cardinals to the 1978 MAC championship with an 8-0 record, the only other time Ball State finished a league campaign undefeated prior to 2008.

His junior campaign Hoke posted 95 tackles and as a senior, he had a team-best 150 stops to rank sixth in the MAC and garner second-team all-league honors.

A 1977 graduate of Fairmont East High School in Kettering, Ohio, he earned his bachelor's degree in criminal justice from Ball State in 1982, and began his coaching career as an assistant at Yorktown High School (Ind.).

Hoke's brother, Jon, was an assistant coach at San Diego State from 1987-88 under Denny Stolz, and is currently the defensive backs coach with the Houston Texans.