Apr 7, 2017; Gainesville, FL, USA; Florida Gators head coach Jim McElwain looks on from the field during the orange and blue debut at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Logan Bowles-USA TODAY Sports

Former Florida Head Coach Jim McElwain Hired to Lead Central Michigan

Central Michigan University named Jim McElwain their head coach on Sunday.

He replaces John Bonamego, who Central Michigan fired Nov. 23 after finishing 1-11 in the 2018 season, the worst season in team history.

The Resume

McElwain bounced around a few teams as an assistant coach during the 2000’s. He coached at Louisville, Michigan State, Oakland Raiders and Fresno State before becoming the offensive coordinator at Alabama in 2008. His offense helped the Crimson Tide achieve back-to-back 12-0 regular seasons and an SEC Championship in 2009.

In 2012, Colorado State gave the longtime assistant coach his first head coaching job. He would coach the Rams to a 22-16 record over his three years at the helm, including a 10-3 season in 2014 and a Las Vegas Bowl appearance. McElwain, that offseason, accepted the head coaching job at the University of Florida.

McElwain’s first two seasons with Florida looked promising. The Gators combined for a 19-8 record and two SEC Championship appearances. In 2017, however, the team dramatically regressed. A couple surprise losses and a big 42-7 loss to rival Georgia resulted in his firing later in the week.

After he spent a year with Jim Harbaugh at Michigan University as the wide receivers coach during the 2018 season, it was announced that McElwain would become the 29th head football coach of the Central Michigan Chippewas.

The Expectations

McElwain will enter Mount Pleasant, Michigan, with a solid track record and a lot of support. CMU athletic director, Michael Alford, called him a “proven winner.” He stated that the confidence for a turnaround to the program is higher than it has been in a long time.

The 56-year-old coach will look to do what he did in his last two head coaching tenures: turn the offense around.

In 2018, the Chippewas were No. 128th in total offense and the No. 122 passing offense in the league. McElwain is certainly looking to turn the offense into a high-flying weapon.

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