San Diego State says coach Brady Hoke will retire at the end of a disappointing season

San Diego State head coach Brady Hoke reacts with his team before an NCAA college football game against Hawaii, Saturday, Oct. 14, 2023, in Honolulu. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)
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SAN DIEGO (AP) — San Diego State announced Monday that Brady Hoke will retire at the end of a disappointing season that has seen the Aztecs play before many empty seats in their new stadium and plummet to the bottom of the Mountain West standings just two years after a 12-win season.

The school said Hoke will retire after coaching the final two games, at San Jose State on Saturday and at home against Fresno State on Nov. 25. The Aztecs are 3-7 overall — missing bowl eligibility for the first time since 2009 — and tied for last in the Mountain West with New Mexico at 1-5.

Hoke, 65, is 39-31 (.557) in six seasons at San Diego State and in the fourth season of his second term as Aztecs head coach.

"I am proud of what we accomplished at San Diego State,” Hoke said in a statement released by the school. “I am grateful to all the great student-athletes I’ve had the chance to work with, molding them into men, husbands, fathers and pillars in the community. I will always cherish my time leading this program.”

Athletic director J.D. Wicker didn’t return a call and text seeking comment.

SDSU won a school-record 12 games in 2021, its second season playing its home games at an MLS stadium in suburban Los Angeles while 35,000-seat Snapdragon Stadium was being built at the former site of Qualcomm Stadium.

The Aztecs were unable to sustain that success as they opened Snapdragon Stadium. They went 7-6 last year and fans grumbled about high ticket prices. While they announced a sellout against Arizona in the first game at Snapdragon, it was 100 degrees at kickoff and most seats were empty as fans sought shade under the stands and in various clubs at the stadium. The stadium was built without shade structures above the upper decks.

Most of the biggest crowds at the stadium have been for professional soccer, including a friendly between Welsh side Wrexham and Manchester United that drew a stadium-record crowd of 34,248 in July.

The Aztecs struggled this year and the low point was a 6-0 home loss to Nevada, which came in with a 16-game losing streak. Fans complained on social media most of the season, both about uninspiring play and high ticket prices.

Hoke helped revive a long-struggling program when he was hired in 2009. He went 13-12 in two seasons and started a school-record run of 10 straight bowl appearances in 2010 before leaving for what he said was his dream job as Michigan's head coach. He went 31-20 in four years with the Wolverines and was fired after the 2014 season.

The defensive-minded Hoke, who failed to build potent offenses, returned to San Diego State first as an assistant in 2019 under Rocky Long, then was promoted to head coach again in 2020 after Long left.

Hoke also spent six seasons as head coach at Ball State, his alma mater, going 34-38 with a 12-win season in 2008.


AP College Football Writer Ralph D. Russo contributed.


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