Oct 7, 2017; Gainesville, FL, USA; Florida Gators head coach Jim McElwain looks on against the LSU Tigers during the first half at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Former Gators Head Coach Jim McElwain Joins SportScene

Jim McElwain is heading into his eleventh season as a head coach. He previously head coached at Florida and is now entering his fourth season as head coach of the Central Michigan Chippewas. McElwain joined Steve Russell on SportScene to discuss how hard he is working to make Central Michigan a force in the Mid-American Conference. 

The Lows and The Highs

As the head coach of the Chippewas, McElwain turned Central Michigan into a program to watch. He led the Maroon & Gold to an 8-6 record in his first year in 2019. Despite some hardship due to Covid-19, McElwain came back to make a statement in the 2021 season with 9-4 overall record and a Central Michigan Sun Bowl victory.Everything seemed to be going in the right direction until a disappointing 2022 season, where they finished with a 4-8 overall record.

McElwain commented on what caused such an upsetting season saying, “…details all start…right here at my desk…and I did let too many details go.”

While he admits that he may have dropped the ball, he is excited for the return of what he calls his “Young Boss Team.” 

Health Issues for McElwain

While McElwain was fighting to make a statement in the Mid-American Conference, he was also fighting some health issues. On July 25, 2022, he announced via Twitter that he has unfortunately suffered a seizure. The seizure led to him being hospitalized and having to turn over some of his duties to his fellow coaching staff. He did not go into detail about what may have been the cause but he revealed that all tests surrounding the incident came back good. This health scare coupled with his 61-year-old age causes some worries amongst fans of McElwain and the Central Michigan Football Team.

Some Things Never Change

The world of college sports is going through big and inevitable changes everyday. One of the most highly discussed being players’ name, image and likeness. McElwain believes that despite whatever changes are occurring, the most important thing to do is adapt and continue to focus on your players. In relation to NIL, he believes that the ability for players to make some money is great.

Regardless of changes, he says, “”The core part of why you get into head coaching is you want to help kids be successful and give them a shot in life.”

Therefore, his caring and player dedicated coaching style will never change.

The Chippewas have a stacked schedule going into the 2023 season but McElwain could not be more excited to showcase his team which he feels is doubted by the world. 

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