Central Michigan will hire John Bonamego as head coach, a report from Hondo Carpenter of Spartan Nation in Michigan said Friday. The hire completes a tumultuous two-week period following Dan Enos' sudden departure for the Arkansas offensive coordinator job on Jan. 22.
Bonamego, 51, is a career special teams assistant that spent the last two years with the Detroit Lions. He previously worked for the Jaguars, Packers, Saints, and Dolphins, all in special teams roles.
Bonamego last coached in college as an assistant at Army in 1998.
The hiring of Bonamego breaks from the mold of successful MAC hires of young, energetic head coaches with college backgrounds. Think Matt Campbell at Toledo, Rod Carey at Northern Illinois and P.J. Fleck at Western Michigan. It's also a departure previous successful hires at Central Michigan like then-Grand Valley State head coach Brian Kelly and then-West Virginia wide receivers coach Butch Jones. Those hires led to eventual MAC championships in 2006, 2007 and 2009.
A Central Michigan alum, Bonamego inherits a program that sits in the dead center of the MAC. After back-to-back 3-9 seasons in 2010-11, Enos led the Chippewas to 20-18 mark (14-10 MAC) and two bowl appearances in the past three seasons. Despite being the first FBS program in recent memory to go through National Signing Day without a head coach, the Chips announced 18 signings on Wednesday.
Bonamego is the 15th and final hire of the 2014-15 FBS head coaching cycle.
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