Oct 15, 2016; DeKalb, IL, USA; A detailed view of a Central Michigan Chippewas helmet before the game against the Northern Illinois Huskies at Huskie Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

Jim McElwain was named the new head coach at Central Michigan back in early December. Sources tell FootballScoop that he has now filled his staff.

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.

Some of these hires we’ve covered on The Scoop over the past several weeks, but here’s how the rest of McElwain’s staff has rounded out in Mount Pleasant, per source.

Robb Akey Defensive Coordinator Florida (2017) – Interim DL
Charlie Frye Offensive Coordinator / QBs Ashland (D-II – OH) – WRs
Kevin Barbay Assistant HC / WRs Stephen F. Austin (FCS – TX) – QBs
Ryan Beard Special Teams Coordinator / Safeties Louisville – Safeties
Mike Cummings Offensive Line VMI (FCS) – OL
Mark Debastiani Linebackers Alabama A&M (FCS) – DC
Cory Hall Defensive Backs Central Michigan – DBs
Justin Hinds Defensive Line Samford (FCS – AL) – DL
Cornell Jackson Running Backs UTEP – RBs
Tavita Thompson Tight Ends / Tackles Central Michigan – TEs / RC
Albert Karschnia Director of Player Personnel Central Michigan – Director of Player Personnel
Ben Presnell Director of Football Operations Central Michigan – Director of Football Operations


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.

Stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest coaching changes, and keep track of all the new FBS staffs via the #StaffTracker.