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Brady Hoke Says Devin Gardner Will Return, Anticipates No Changes to Staff

USA Today
Randy ChambersAnalyst IDecember 2, 2013

Michigan expected to be playing for a Big Ten title this season. Instead, the team limped to a 7-5 record and lost four of its last five games.

With no prestigious bowl game in sight and back-to-back five-loss seasons under head coach Brady Hoke, changes within the coaching staff were likely to take place.

Or so we thought.

But Hoke says that he expects the staff to remain intact heading into the offseason, per Nick Baumgardner of MLive.com. 

"I anticipate (this) staff (to be back)," he said after attending a UAW/Ford Child Identity Program event at Ford Field.

When asked again if he did not anticipate any staff changes for the 2014 season, Hoke responded with "Correct," per the report. 

This probably comes as shocking news to Michigan fans. But what may be even more surprising is the lack of change at quarterback. Michigan will likely have Devin Gardner under center for another season. The fourth-year junior is eligible for a fifth year, and while Hoke admits he hasn't spoken to him yet, he expects him to come back, per the report.

"He'll be back," Hoke said. 

Gardner had high hopes entering the 2013 season, but he's been sacked 34 times and had serious issues with turnovers. He played well against Ohio State, though, and nearly led the Wolverines to an upset victory. It looks like freshman Shane Morris will have to wait another season before suiting up. 

As for the coaching decision, Michigan fans knew Hoke was going to come back and that they were likely still going to see defensive coordinator Greg Mattison roaming the sidelines. If there were going to be any change, it probably would be at offensive coordinator.

Despite having incredible talent on the offensive side of the ball, Michigan ranks ninth in the Big Ten in total offense. The offense struggled mightily to move the football during its losing streak and would often become too predictable. 

Offensive coordinator Al Borges has been with the team since 2011, and while he's widely considered one of the best at the college level at what he does, the results speak for themselves. Usually, when a coach can't figure it out at a top-tier program, the marriage ends quickly. Just ask Florida offensive coordinator Brent Pease, who was fired Sunday after consistently lousy offensive performances. 

But who knows, maybe this season was just one of those years where little goes your way. 

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