Courtesy: Ball State Athletics
Brady Hoke, a four-year football letterman at Ball State University from 1977-80, and a team captain for the Cardinals as a senior, was named the school’s head football coach Dec. 18, 2002.
"This is my school, and I am very excited to be the head football coach at Ball State University," Hoke says. "I take a great amount of pride in being a Ball State Cardinal and I have a responsibility to my school to field a top-notch football program. We have made great progress in my five years. With a trip to a bowl game last season, it shows the work is starting to pay off. The student-athletes understand what the coaching staff expects of them on the field and in the classroom, and they also take great pride in being a Ball State Cardinal."
Hoke, who was one of only 18 NCAA Division IA head coaches in the country who coached at their alma maters in 2007, has made steady progress in Ball State’s rise in the Mid-American Conference.
The 2007 season was the most successful to date with a 7-6 overall record, a 5-2 MAC mark and the Cardinals first bowl appearance since the 1996 season. The seven wins were also the most for Ball State since the 1996 team managed an 8-4 record and played in the Las Vegas Bowl. Ball State’s 4-1 divisional record tied for the best divisional record among the 13 MAC teams, and its non-conference schedule was highlighted by a 34-31 overtime win over Navy.
In 2006, Ball State’s football program achieved a number of milestones, and built momentum for the 2007 campaign. Ball State posted five MAC wins in a season for the first time since the 1996 campaign and ended the season with two straight victories. Among the Cardinals victories were a win at Toledo in front of an ESPN2 national television audience. The win at UT was the first since 1991 for a Ball State porgram. Ball State posted a 3-1 record in MAC road games and posted a winning record in the MAC for the first time since 2001.
In 2005, Ball State tallied a 4-4 record in MAC play after starting the campaign with one of the most difficult non-conference schedules in school history -- at Iowa, at Auburn and at Boston College. Ball State won three of its last four conference games, suffering an overtime loss in the season finale. The Cardinals lay claim to being the only team to defeat both MAC Division Champions in 2005 -- a 31-17 win at West Champion Northern Illinois and a 23-17 win at home vs. East Champion Akron. Ball State also posted a 60-57 victory at Western Michigan in the longest game in school history, a five overtime thriller.
The 2008 season will include four nationally televised games, including a Friday night ESPN game at Scheumann Stadium and a nationally televised home contest vs. Northern Illinois, which will be on ESPN2 or ESPNU. In addition, the Ball State games at Miami University and at Central Michigan will be televised on ESPN2.
"We are excited about the chance to showcase Scheumann Stadium on national television again this year," Hoke says. "The exposure is a great thing for our university and our football program."
In his initial season at Ball State in 2003, Hoke played the 26th most difficult schedule in the country, played in front of what was then the largest crowd to ever witness a football game at Scheumann Stadium and guided an offense that was the most prolific in school history. Ball State’s offense threw for a school record 2,730 yards, which passed the previous school standard of 2,490 set in 1983. In addition, the Cardinals set a new school record with 22 touchdown passes, breaking the previous mark of 20 set in 2002.
Hoke helped tutor wide receiver Dante Ridgeway, who was a Biletnikoff finalist, an Associated Press All-America Second-Team selection and a Walter Camp Football Foundation All-America Second-Team choice, on the way to setting nearly ever single-game, single-season and career receiving record in Ball State annals. Ridgeway, who left Ball State after the 2004 season, joins former BSU players Brad Maynard, Justin Beriault and Reggie Hodges in the National Football League.
Ball State continues its outstanding academic reputation among all student-athletes, including the Cardinals’ football program under the guidance of Hoke. In the most recent Academic Progress Report, Ball State’s football team posted a 945 score out of 1,000, and ranked first among Division IA public institutions in the state of Indiana and second among the MAC schools.
Prior to being named Ball State’s head coach, Hoke spent the previous eight seasons on the staff at Michigan under the guidance of Wolverine’s head coach Lloyd Carr. Hoke spent the 2002 season as the associate head coach and defensive line coach. He helped the Wolverines to a 9-3 overall record in 2002 and a win over Florida in the Jan. 1, Outback Bowl. Michigan was ranked ninth in the final 2002 ESPN/USA Today and Associated Press polls.
Hoke began his coaching career at Yorktown High School, located just outside of Muncie, where he was defensive coordinator and offensive line coach in 1982.
As a student-athlete at Ball State, Hoke helped the Cardinals to the 1978 MAC Championship. He ranked third on the team in tackles as a sophomore with 99 and was second on the squad with 95 tackles as a junior. As one of four captains of the 1980 team, Hoke led the Cardinals and ranked sixth in the MAC with 150 tackles. He managed seven tackles for loss, including two sacks, en route to earning All-MAC Second-Team honors as a senior.
High School: Fairmont East (Class of ‘77) in Kettering, Ohio
College: Ball State (Class of ‘82)
Helped Ball State to the 1978 Mid-American Conference Championship
Family: Married to the former Laura Homberger (Ball State ‘80) . . . the couple has one daughter, Kelly, a 2007 graduate of Ball State University.Coaching Experience
Year Position School
1983 Defensive Line Grand Valley State
1984-86 DL, Special Teams Western Michigan
1987-88 Outside Linebackers Toledo
1989 Defensive Line Oregon State
1990 Inside Linebackers Oregon State
1991-94 Defensive Line Oregon State
1995-96 Defensive Ends Michigan
1997-2001 Defensive Line Michigan
2002 Associate Head Coach/Defensive Line Michigan
2003-Present Head Coach Ball State
2003 - Overall Record 4-8; MAC 3-5
2004 - Overall Record 2-9; MAC 2-6
2005 - Overall Record 4-7; MAC 4-4
2006 - Overall Record 5-7; MAC 5-3 Bowl Game Experience
Year Bowl Game School