Hoke’s new gig facing new challenge: coaching during Covid-19

When you’re on your second tour of duty with San Diego State, you can imagine the Aztec gear piling up around the house.

One thing Brady Hoke can’t find that would help in these trying times? An SDSU face covering.

“I don’t have that,” the San Diego State head coach said. “I think me having anything over this face is a good thing.”

Jokes aside, what Hoke is facing now is much more daunting than any visual impairments, or taking over a football team that’s gone to 10 straight bowl games – a streak he started in 2010 with the Poinsettia Bowl. Instead, he has to pilot the 2020 squad by Zoom meeting rather than the athletic center.

“You miss as much as anything the personal contact,” Hoke said. “It’s obviously different.”

There are layers to preparing after Covid-19 has robbed the program of so many resources. There’s the layer of planning and operating what you normally do. Then you add on the layer of when you can finally meet as one again. And at the top, when you can play – and if the conference is ready to go.

“State by state, it will be a little different when some are ready to play,” Hoke said. “A couple conferences are talking about not playing preseason games and picking it up in league. It’s hard to say right now…there’s a lot of unknowns. I hope we can play in August.”

San Diego State football is controlling what they can control. Weekly workouts are sent to players. Coaches still hold individual meetings through video conference. Players do the same when they meet with tutors. Distancing may be in, but it doesn’t mean hard work is out.

“For everyone, it’s been a change,” Hoke said. “We’ve all had to adjust, but have the same attitude.

In the meantime Hoke will keep up the plan, or in this case, plans. The team has five different scenarios based off of playing windows. And in between learning how to use his computer, he’ll keep cracking jokes.

“Our loved ones at some degree probably want us to go back to work,” he smirked.

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