Esposito promoted to Western Michigan’s solo defensive coordinator; hires made

Lou Esposito has been promoted to be Western Michigan’s lone defensive coordinator after serving the co-DC with Tim Daoust, and working with the defensive line, for the last two seasons. Daous was fired after WMU’s home, overtime loss to Ball State in the second-to-last game of the regular season. Esposito was the interim DC against Northern Illinois the following week and against BYU in the Potato Bowl.

Along with the Esposito news, head coach Tim Lester hired James Adams to coach cornerbacks, Trevor Andrews for linebackers, Mike Bath for running backs and Keith Gaither for wide receivers.

Daoust was fired from last year’s staff, Nick Sanchez and Ashton Aikens were first-year cornerbacks and wide receivers coaches whose contracts weren’t renewed after the season, David Duggan was hired by UMass to be its defensive coordinator and linebackers coach, and Terry Malone was hired by Scot Loeffler to be Bowling Green’s new offensive coordinator and offensive line coach.

Lester still has one more coach to hire for his staff to be filled up. Dontae Wright was last year’s co-special teams coordinator and safeties coach, but his title hasn’t been bumped up to full-time STC, so that looks like the position Lester will be looking to fill for his 10th coach.

WMU coaching staff, last & this year

2018 2019
Tim Lester (HC) Tim Lester (HC)
Jake Moreland (OC/OL) Jake Moreland (OC/OL)
Tim Daoust (DC) Lou Esposito (DC/DL)
Lou Esposito (Co-DC/DL) Keith Gaither (WR)
Ashton Aikens (WR) Trevor Andrews (LB)
David Duggan (STC/LB) Eric Evans (Pass GC/QB)
Eric Evans (Pass GC/QB) Bill Kenney (TE)
Bill Kenney (TE) Mike Bath (RB)
Terry Malone (AHC/RB) James Adams (CB)
Nick Sanchez (CB) Dontae Wright (Co-STC/S)
Dontae Wright (Co-STC/S) -vacant-

The new guy I want to focus on the most is the running backs coach coming in from Laramie.

Bath might already be a familiar name, especially if you’re a Miami fan. Bath played quarterback for the RedHawks, helped win 23 games as a starter including a 13-10 upset over No. 12 North Carolina as a sophomore. Then beat Northwestern 28-3 as a junior. Then won 33-30 at Vanderbilt as a senior. I’m sure his players will know hear all about it when the Broncos head to Michigan State and Syracuse this September. After he graduated, he was a graduate assistant for the team, then he’d be a positions coach, then he left and came back to get Zac Dysert to set some school records.

What makes Bath a very likeable hire is that he’s coached up a lot of different positions and it’s easy to point to productive players across the board. As a runnings back coach at Wyoming, Brian Hill broke school records for his 2015 season and Shaun Wick, likewise, finished as top-10 rushers in Cowboy history. Dysert’s still Miami’s all-time leading offensive player and passer, and he’s gotten a few NFL paychecks. When Bath first became a positions coach at Miami, focusing on tight ends, he helped get Tom Crabtree and Jake O’Connell into the NFL.

The resume says Bath’s well-rounded and he knows his stuff on offense. He’s not bad at getting guys to the league, either.

Bath was a special teams coordinator at Wyoming, too. The Cowboys led the country in kickoff returns in 2017, had one of the top punt-returning units, too. Maybe he’s a candidate for the STC title?

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