27. August 2011 · 9 comments · Categories: 2011

Here’s the only pic I could find with something on Brady Hoke’s head other than a headset, and I’m positive pretty sure it was Photoshopped:


Some guys don’t like to wear hats or visors, I get that.  My buddy Scotty Mudbowl has a small coconut and lids make him look like a little kid.  Some fellers with big heads (me) have trouble finding a hat that is comfortable (yes, even the adjustable ones).  Hoke clearly doesn’t have the pea head issue so I’m guessing it’s a comfort thing.

It may seem like a silly question but I’m guessing the topic has come up once or twice behind closed doors on State Street.  Adidas sells a lot of hats and as you recall, we all made a fuss over a couple special edition hats Rich Rod wore last season (in support of the troops and the fight against breast cancer) that I’m guessing sold big time.  Fans want to own the hat that the coach wears.

There’s also a historical element here, but it’s certainly far from a Michigan “tradition”.  Just about every Michigan coach wore a hat on the sidelines:

yost little wieman
Fielding Yost in 1905, George Little (from his Miami, OH days, but we’ll go with it), Tad Wieman

kipke fritz bennie
Kipke, Crisler, Oosterbaan

bo mo lo
Bo’s ordering a new Fridge from France (“..and this one better F-ing work!”)

As far as men without hats, I believe Lloyd was occasionally spotted lidless at the beginning of his coaching career.   The one coach not in the montage above is Bump Elliott, who definitely did not wear a lid during portions of his coaching tenure…(left, from 1960, right from 1959)  

bump bump2

..but he’s also one of the first coaches* to don the famous ‘M’ hat, here with my man and ‘64 captain Jim Conley:  bump with butch

I haven’t asked coach Hoke the hat question but I think he’ll be headset-only come kick-off next Saturday.   I asked Dave Ablauf of media relations at Media Day & he suggested we’d all find out on September 3rd.

P.S. For those looking for a vintage Bo-style hat, Moe’s has them.

* thanks for Dennis Dail for sending the shot of Oosterbaan wearing an ‘M’ hat.

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  1. I’ve been watching the coaches’ headwear in all of the Countdown to Kickoff videos and other various videos released so far this offseason. And I would not be surprised in the least if the coaches all came out in old-school, generic, no-flair M hats on the 3rd.

    There’s two schools of hats being worn by the coaches thus far. One is the Adidas, maize underbill, other frill models of various types. The other, which seems to have been sported the most by Borges and Mattison, is the traditional, no-frills, minimally-branded M lid.

    Now, I don’t ever remember Lloyd going hatless at a game, but I would be shocked if Hoke wasn’t giving in to tradition and sporting the classic Bo next weekend. He seems to be a visor guy, but… This is Michigan, right?

  2. I believe Lloyd went hatless in indoor venues, like the Metrodome.

  3. @Bando
    I don’t recall seeing Hoke in a visor. I’m sure the coaches will be wearing the same lid on Saturday except for Hoke – he’ll be hatless

  4. Hrm, I swear I’ve seen him in a visor, but google image search says otherwise. I still hold out hope he dons the lid for tradition’s sake.

    And, jmblue, you’re right. Lloyd usually/always went hatless indoors. Which is easy to forget, considering Michigan played indoors a grand total of about 7 or 8 times during his tenure. (Minnesota, what, 3 or 4 times, the Carrier Dome, two Alamo Bowls, I’m blanking on any others.)

  5. GO BLUE….Actually Bennie Oosterbaan was the first Michigan Football coach to wear the famous Block “M” hat in 1958, I located the pic in my M Photo collection….will email to Greg if he wishes to share. Also have a great 1958 pic of Bennie & Bump coaching in the rain, with Bennie in a dandy Rain Hat with an unlit ciggie hanging out of his mouth – with Bump on the phone to the press box…I have many more of M Coaches in some dandy hats. What a great article….

  6. The block M hat is simply the baseball hat, right?

  7. The Bennie hat is a baseball style hat with the block “M” on the front from 1958…..i emailed a pic to Greg, cannot attach it in these comments…GO BLUE

  8. That Bo-style hat at Moe’s looks good but, I don’t like the big new era logo on the side.

  9. There are at least two Bo style hats at the bottom of the Detroit River.

    That is actually the hat that I prefer.