Chris Creighton has signed a contract extension at Eastern Michigan, the school announced Thursday.
Terms were not disclosed, but the new deal will keep the most successful Eagles coach in modern EMU history in Ypsilanti through 2025. Creighton earned $480,000 in 2020, according to USA Today, placing him above only Kent State's Sean Lewis in pre-pandemic pay in the MAC.
Creighton's three bowl trips represent 60 percent of the program's all-time bowl appearances, and his 2017 win at Rutgers was the program's first victory over a Big Ten foe. The Eagles then beat Purdue the following season and Illinois in 2019.
In fact, Eastern has a whole list of Creighton's accomplishments in his seven seasons in Ypsilanti:
– 1st Win over a "Power 5" Conference team (Rutgers)
–1st Win over a Big Ten Conference Team (Rutgers)
–1st Bowl Appearance in 29 years (1987 California Bowl to 2016 Bahamas Bowl)
–1st Bowl Played on US soil in 31 years (1987 California Bowl to 2018 Camellia Bowl)
–1st Winning season since 1995 (7-6 record in 2016)
–1st Non-conference road victory since the 1988 campaign (at Wyoming in 2015)
–1st Back-to-back season since 2008-09 that players were taken in the NFL Draft
–1st Three game road winning streak since 1967
–1st Win over Miami University since 1993
–1st Win over Ohio University in Athens, Ohio since 1994
–1st Win over Northern Illinois University since 2007
–1st Win over Toledo since 2006
–1st Win at Akron since 1995
–1st Three-game winning streak against Big Ten Conference opponents
–1st Three-game MAC winning streak since 1999
–1st Four-game MAC winning streak since 1995
–1st Five-game MAC winning streak since 1989
–1st winning Mid-American Conference campaign since 1995
–1st time EMU student-athletes have the opportunity to play in two bowl games in their careers
–1st time EMU student-athletes have the opportunity to play in three bowl games in their careers
–First EMU Head Coach to defeat all 11 other MAC members
–First time EMU has been bowl eligible in back-to-back seasons
–2nd Win over a "Power 5" Conference team (Purdue)
–2nd Win over a Big Ten Conference team (Purdue)
–3rd Win over a "Power 5" Conference team (Illinois)
–3rd Win over a Big Ten Conference team (Illinois)
–Most Improved Program in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) in 2016
–Largest single-season turnaround in school history (1-11 in 2015 to 7-6 in 2016)
–Largest deficit overcome in program history at 21-points (at Ball State in 2016)
–Largest MAC margin of victory in program history at 42-points (vs. Ball State in 2017)
Beyond all that, Eastern's 3.158 team GPA is the highest in the MAC, the 987 APR score is a program record, and three years in a row the Eagles have clocked a team GPA above 3.0.
"Coach Creighton has helped change the culture and the direction of our football program during his tenure at Eastern Michigan," said AD Scott Wetherbee. "We are excited about continuing to build upon a foundation that has seen our teams compete in three postseason bowl games, upset a trio of 'Power Five' opponents, and reach unprecedented new heights in the classroom. Winning a Mid-American Conference Championship and future bowl games continues to drive our football program and athletic department. We believe Coach Creighton is the best leader to accomplish those goals and continue to make our alumni, university, and community proud."
Creighton, 52, has been Eastern's head coach since 2014. His 30-51 places him fifth in EMU coaching history. As the head coach at Ottawa, Wabash and Drake prior to EMU, Creighton holds a lifetime record of 166-97. He has taken teams to the postseason and/or won conference championships in NAIA, Division III, FCS and FBS.