To the surprise of many in college football, Dan Enos left Central Michigan on Thursday to become the next offensive coordinator at Arkansas. He becomes just the second head coach in recent memory to walk away from a head coaching position for an assistant job elsewhere, but sources told FootballScoop Enos felt his tenure was unlikely to extend beyond the life of his current contract.
According to a source close to the Central Michigan coaching staff, Enos called his staff together at 10:15 a.m. Eastern time to inform them of his imminent departure. We understand his entire offensive coaching staff is on the road recruiting right now. After going 26-36 with two bowl appearances in five seasons, Enos felt athletics director Dave Heeke was supportive of extending him beyond the 2015 season, but Central Michigan president Dr. George E. Ross had rebuffed any talk of an extension. With two years left on his contract - he signed a four-year extension almost two years ago today - Enos felt he had to take an offer on the table from Arkansas, and told his staff he had to do what was best for his family. Enos earned $360,000 as Central Michigan's head coach last season, third-lowest in FBS among available contract figures according to USA Today's coaching salary database, while then-Arkansas offensive coordinator Jim Chaney made $550,000.
Enos held a meeting with his players at 10:30 Eastern time, and with that his five-year stretch in Mount Pleasant was effectively done. With less than two weeks until National Signing Day, Central Michigan's assistants are left to hold together the Chippewas' recruiting class while also wondering about their own job security.
While it is too early to know where Central Michigan will look for Enos' replacement, one local source we spoke with offered that Heeke has always been high on Tennessee wide receivers coach Zach Azzanni. A 1999 Central Michigan graduate, Azzanni coached Central Michigan's wide receivers from 2007-09, helping the Chippewas to a 27-13 record with two MAC championships as a member of Butch Jones' staff. It is worth noting that Western Michigan has followed a similar template to success, turning the energetic P.J. Fleck into the youngest head coach in FBS two seasons ago.
As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.