Courtesy: Ball State Athletics
Left Ball State after the 2008 MAC Championship Game to become the head coach at San Diego State.....
Inducted into the Ball State Athletics Hall of Fame in 2013-14.....
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.
The 2008 Mid-American Conference Coach of the Year, Hoke was one of only 18 NCAA Division IA head coaches in the country who coached their alma mater in 2008. The 2008 season was Hoke’s sixth at the school and provided a record-setting campaign with a number of firsts in Ball State history:
• Ball State completed the regular season with a 12-0 record, marking only the third undefeated regular season in the school’s 84 campaigns.
• Ball State was one of only four of the 119 Football Bowl Subdivision teams in the nation to complete the regular season undefeated.
• The 12 victories set a Ball State single-season school record.
• Ball State’s 12 straight victories in 2008 was the third longest winning streak in school history.
• Ball State’s MAC West Division Championship was the Cardinals first-ever outright division title since the league went to divisions in 1997.
• Ball State’s football program has had two 10 plus win seasons in 84 campaigns, and Hoke has been a part of both. He was a player on the 1978 team which posted a 10-1 overall record.
• The 8-0 MAC season marked the second undefeated league campaign in Ball State history.
• The Cardinals 10 straight MAC wins -- last two in 2007 and all eight in 2008 -- marked the second best streak in BSU annals.
• Ball State’s national rankings were the first in school history. The Cardinals were ranked as high as 12th in the Bowl Championship Series Standings (11/30), 12th in the Associated Press (11/30) and 13th in the USA Today Poll (11/30). Ball State has been ranked in all three polls for nine straight weeks.
• Ball State’s eight straight home victories tied the fifth best mark in school history, and the six straight road victories ties for the second best in Ball State annals.
• Ball State appeared on national television a school record seven times in 2008 and appeared on TV 10 times in 2008.
• The Cardinals made back-to-back bowl appearances for the first time in the 84-year history of Ball State football with its GMAC Bowl appearance.
All of the 2008 accomplishments came after a 2007 season which 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 among the Cardinals victories was a win at Toledo in front of an ESPN2 national television audience.
In his six seasons at the Ball State helm, Hoke made steady progress in returning his alma mater to the top of the MAC, while increasing the team’s total victories from two in 2004 to the record setting 12 in 2008.
The 2007 season finished 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.
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 continued 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.