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- Brady Hoke spoke about the Frank Clark dismissal on 97.1 The Ticket on Nov. 20.
- He said he felt he let his players down.
- Clark was arrested on Nov. 17 after he was charged with domestic violence.
Michigan Wolverines head football coach Brady Hoke poured out his sentiments on the dismissal of senior defensive end Frank Clark, who was arrested on domestic violence charges on Monday, in an interview with 97.1 The Ticket.
Clark was dismissed on Nov. 17 after he was arrested on domestic violence charges. Hoke poured out his sentiments on the issue in an interview with Stoney, Bill and Sara of 97.1 The Ticket (via CBS Detroit’s Ashley Dunkak) on Thursday:
“For the Michigan Wolverines and head coach Brady Hoke, the 2014 season has presented one hurdle after another, some on the football field and more than usual outside the game. The latest incident was alleged domestic abuse by senior defensive end Frank Clark, who was quickly dismissed from the team.
“Hoke told Stoney, Bill and Sara of 97.1 The Ticket he felt disappointed in himself as well as in Clark.
“‘I got into coaching to help kids grow and mentor and teach them how to be young men,’ Hoke said. ‘It’s always been one of the things that can get you disqualified or dismissed is anything with a woman — domestic abuse, sexual abuse, that’s not going to be tolerated in this program…It breaks your heart a little bit, and you feel like you’ve failed in what you want to do as a coach. That’s what hurts you as much as anything.
“‘You feel like you’ve let them down,’ Hoke added. ‘That’s how I’m wired…A guy gets a bad grade in a class, you feel like you’ve let him down…what could you have done in your messaging or anything else to make sure that doesn’t arise?’
“The coach declined to discuss how Clark and his girlfriend are doing, calling their situation a private matter, but he said the program would support Frank the best it can because he has been a part of the team.
“As for the program as a whole, Michigan has only two games remaining — its final home game, against Maryland, and the season finale on the road against rival (the) Ohio State (Buckeyes). Hoke characterized the season as disappointing in terms of lack of execution early but said he has seen significant growth as well.
“‘The resiliency of this group of kids has really made it a year that you have a lot of respect for them,’ Hoke said. ‘This is truly one of the hardest-working teams I’ve ever been around.’
“The Wolverines started the season with a record of 2-4 but have now won three of their last four.”
“Brady Hoke’s best performance of the 2014 season to date didn’t come on a football field.
“Controversy and embarrassment have touched nearly every corner of the Michigan football program this fall. On Monday, Hoke finally gave Wolverine fans a reason to feel proud, albeit in the wake of the program’s ugliest incident of the year.
“Hoke dismissed senior Frank Clark from his team Monday, 24 hours after learning that the defensive star had been arrested for allegedly punching his girlfriend in the face in what the resulting police report painted as a brutal and ugly scene that played out in an Ohio hotel room during the team’s bye weekend. He ended Clark’s college career one week before the senior with a rough upbringing fulfilled a dream during his last game at Michigan Stadium, and Hoke did so without hesitation.
“‘The decision was just a matter of getting all the information that we could. After doing that, really, there was no decision to be made,’ Hoke said, and later added: ‘I did the right thing today.’
“There have been few times, if any, this year that Hoke has been able to claim that in front of a sea of heads nodding in approval.
“Michigan has stumbled on and off the field during 2014. From a 5-5 record brought on by a set of problems that the coaching staff has been unable to fix to a string of public relation disasters that have managed to touch just about all of sports‘ hot-button issues, this season has been a painful one in Ann Arbor. Hoke has played at least a supporting role in all of those shortcomings, and they could very well cost him his job in a few weeks. If so, he’s going down swinging.”
Hoke has amassed a 31-18 (.633) record with the Michigan Wolverines in four seasons at the helm through Nov. 20, per Sports-Reference.com.