CMU finally rounds out its coaching staff

It seems like it took forever, but that’s only because it did (58 days, but who’s counting?). Still, Jim McElwain and Central Michigan, per FootballScoop’s report, finally has the coaching staff all figured out.

With the report’s list of new names, here’s what the CMU coaching staff looks like this year with a side-by-side of what the roster looked like last year:

2018 2019
John Bonamego (HC) Jim McElwain (HC)
Chris Ostrowsky (OC/QB) Charlie Frye (OC/QB)
Jayden Everett (RB) Cornell Jackson (RB)
Marcus Knight (WR) Kevin Barbay (AHC/WR)
Tavita Thompson (TE) Tavita Thompson (TE/Off. RC)
Derek Frazier (Run GC/OL) Mike Cummings (OL)
Greg Colby (DC) Robb Akey (DC)
George Ricumstrict (DL) Justin Hinds (DL)
Mike Dietzel (LB) Mark Debastiani (LB)
Cory Hall (Def PG/DB) Cory Hall (DB/Def. RC)
Tony Coaxum (STC) Ryan Beard (STC/S)

There have been a few holdovers from the John Bonamego era, including one on each side of the ball in Cory Hall (DBs) and Tavita Thompson (OTs / TEs), and two off the field positions in Albert Karschnia (director of player personnel) and Ben Presnell (director of football operations). Offensive line coach / run game coordinator Derek Frazier had been on board up until recently, when he landed a position in the NFL with the New York Jets, per source. …

A few of McElwain’s hires have previous head coaching experience – Akey at Idaho from 2007-12, and Hall as the interim head coach at Oregon State in 2017. The rest of the guys will bring some unique experiences at other schools, and their ties to other areas regionally should go a long way to help the Chippewas in recruiting to compete in the MAC. (FootballScoop)

Charlie Frye

Frye, an Ohio native, is the only quarterback in Akron’s football history to be selected in the NFL Draft —  a third-round pick in 2005. His NFL career ended in 2009 due to injuries, so he ended up coaching high school ball in Florida, was tabbed the Director of Player Development and Mental Conditioning at Florida (where he met McElwain) and was a wide receivers coach as a volunteer at Ashland this past season under Lee Owens, his former Akron coach.

Owens, associate head coach/offensive line coach/run game coordinator Doug Geiser and quarterbacks coach/passing game coordinator/junior varsity coach Tom Stacy all were with the Zips when Frye was setting program records for career pass completions (913), passing yards (11,049), touchdown passes (64) and completion percentage (63.6). …

“A lot of times, the quarterbacks and receivers meet together. They have to be on the same page,” said Owens. “I’m sure Charlie was coaching his receivers at Akron. I’m sure he was coaching his receivers in the NFL. He knows what he wants them to do.” (Mansfield News Journal)

This is Frye’s first FBS coaching job, 10 years after his playing days ended. While the coaching resume doesn’t really stand out, Frye’s background of being one of the best quarterbacks in the MAC may bode well with the guy’s he’ll have to mentor at CMU who are trying to be the next Charlie Frye or Dan LeFevour.

Robb Akey

Akey, like Frye, started working with McElwain at Florida as a defensive analyst and interim defensive line coach. Unlike Frye, Akey has FBS coordinating experience as he spent the 2003-2006 seasons as Washington State’s defensive coordinator, and was the head coach of Idaho from 2007 through 2012.

Akey has been coaching since 1988 when he was the defensive line coach for Weber State, his alma mater, and is from Colorado. In fact, this is the first time he’s worked as a college coach in the midwest. His only other stop in the region was in 2014 when he was working with the Minnesota Vikings.

CMU has yet to announce the full slate of hirings; this post will be updated.

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