CMU Introduces Jim McElwain as Head Coach

MT. PLEASANT – Central Michigan introduced Jim McElwain as its head football coach during an introductory press conference at the John G. Kulhavi Events Center on Monday.

McElwain, who is the 29th head coach in CMU history, comes to Mt. Pleasant after serving as a wide receivers coach at the University of Michigan. Prior to joining Michigan’s staff in February, McElwain spent three seasons as head coach at Florida. McElwain went 22-12 at Florida before parting ways with the school midway through the 2017 season.

“When we looked into this, it was the one thing we were looking for was a family, a place that had passion, a place that had tradition,” said.

McElwain began his head coaching career at Colorado State in 2012 and led the Rams to a 22-16 record and a pair of bowl game appearances. He was also the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Alabama from 2008-11, where he coached 2009 Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram and won two national championships.

“When we were at Alabama I’d sit in offensive meetings and watch him draw up plays and just sit there and talk about it,” CMU Associate Vice President/Director of Athletics Michael Alford said. “Having the community balance yet the football knowledge and winning tradition, he’s a proven winner that played a big part.”

McElwain replaces John Bonamego who was fired on Nov. 23 after posting a 1-11 record this year, the worst season in program history. Bonamego 22-29 in four seasons at CMU.

“From what I see right now you’ve got to get disciplined,” McElwain said. “You know, we’ve got to understand we’ve got to do things that don’t hurt themselves and that’s the first thing about being successful on the football field is to understand it’s a team game. And we’ve really got to remedy that and remedy that in a hurry.

“When I look at some of the skill that’s here and some of the guys that have been sitting out. I think there’s another opportunity there to put some pieces on the field.”