Heather Lyke

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Eastern Michigan hires Drake's Creighton as head coach

Eastern Michigan has hired Drake’s Chris Creighton as its new head coach.

Drake's Chris Creighton has been named head coach at Eastern Michigan. (Photo: Drake Athletics)Creighton has been the head coach at FCS Drake for the past six years. The Bulldogs were 47-19 during that time including a 6-5 finish in 2013.

Creighton shared the news himself Wednesday night during a radio broadcast of an Eastern Michigan women’s basketball game. A formal announcement is planned for 3 p.m. Thursday.

“I want to sincerely thank (Eastern Michigan athletic director) Heather Lyke, President Martin and the Board of Regents for entrusting me with the leadership of the Eastern Michigan University football program,” Creighton said in a press release. “It is both a huge opportunity and responsibility and I am fired up about it.

“My vision is to make playing football at Eastern Michigan one of the most incredible experiences of our players lives. I cannot wait to meet the team and start a new journey with them.”

Creighton has 17 years of head coaching experience. He coached at Division III Wabash College from 2001-07 compiling a record of 63-15 and was 32-9 from 1997-2000 while head coach at NAIA Ottawa (Kan.) University.

Photo: Drake Athletics

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Former Michigan players among the names to watch for EMU head coach opening

Eastern Michigan coach Ron English was fired last week after audio of an expletive-filled locker room tirade went public, and AD Heather Lyke has said she would like to have a replacement for English in place by Christmas.

Detroit Cass Tech coach Thomas Wilcher (Photo: Kirthmon F. Dozier, Detroit Free Press)

Detroit Cass Tech coach Thomas Wilcher (Photo: Kirthmon F. Dozier, Detroit Free Press)

Whoever gets the job will have their work cut out for them. English went 11-46 in his five seasons at EMU, and the Eagles haven’t won a MAC championship since 1987.

One name to keep an eye on is current Detroit Cass Tech High head coach Thomas Wilcher.

Wilcher played running back at Michigan under Bo Schembechler from 1983-86, and has been the the head coach at Cass Tech for 16 seasons. His teams have won two straight state titles and will be going for a third this month.

Despite the program’s struggles, Wilcher says the EMU job looks appealing.

“You can win at Eastern Michigan,” he told the Detroit News. “Sure, you’re behind the eight ball since you’ve lost so many years, but you just have to have a change in attitude.”

Wilcher, a former Michigan running back, has developed tremendous talent at Cass Tech, including one of the premier players in the nation this year in defensive back Damon Webb, who has committed to Ohio State, and linebacker Deon Drake, a Michigan State commitment. Quarterback Jayru Campbell, a junior, has also committed to Michigan State.

The timing could be right for Wilcher to make a move out of the high school ranks.

“I have thought about it. Yes, I would be interested in coaching college,” he said. “I’ve been head coach here at Cass Tech for 16 years and love what I do, but there are times where I think I need a different challenge.

“I wouldn’t have to be a head coach either. I’d just want to be in a coaching job where I could help the program win.”

Another pair of former Michigan players are among those likely to receive consideration.

Former Wolverines running back Tyrone Wheatley, currently the running backs coach for the Buffalo Bills, and ex-Michigan quarterback Scot Loeffler, now offensive coordinator at Virginia Tech, are also thought to be potential candidates.

Wheatley has stated on numerous occasions that his goal was to come home and be a Division 1 head coach. He was asked by the Detroit News on Saturday if he was interested in the EMU opening, and his response was emphatic.

“Like I told you back in January, I would love to come home and be a head coach of a Division 1 college football program,” he said

Loeffler, who played quarterback at Michigan from 1993-96, started his career as a GA on Lloyd Carr’s 1997 national championship team.

Following brief stints at Central Michigan, with the Detroit Lions and at Florida, Loeffler was hired as offensive coordinator at Temple in 2011. He joined Gene Chizik’s staff at Auburn in 2012 before being fired with the rest of the staff at the end of the season.

Other names mentioned as possibilities for EMU include Wayne State head coach Paul Winters, Notre Dame offensive coordinator Chuck Martin, Northern Iowa head coach Mark Farley, former Miami (Ohio) head coach Mike Haywood, and former Western Michigan coach and current Illinois offensive coordinator Bill Cubit.

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Audio: The expletive-filled rant that got Ron English fired

Eastern Michigan athletic director Heather Lyke abruptly fired coach Ron English on Friday.

A day later, the school acknowledged a recording of an expletive-filled tirade played a role in the decision to let English go.

Listen to a copy of the recording courtesy of the Detroit News below.

Here’s a transcript of the audio via SB Nation:

It’s always you, it’s never anybody else! It’s you, it’s you, it’s you, and it’s who you are. Just saying, it’s you, you’re never gonna improve, ever! You’ll always be f***** up! And as soon as you get one and everybody else, you’re gonna…(inaudible)

You’re right I’m pissed.


All comes down to having pride, period.


So shower folks.


That’s what all I was pissed off about. How did so many kids go bad? I haven’t been around players where so many go bad, so s***bird. I mean this is s***bird football! It’s bad. As bad as I’ve ever been around, Jesus. Bad as I’ve ever been around. Just s***bird football. I’ve never been around players where you’ve coached the same s*** for months. I’ve never been in a place like that. Gotta coach the same s*** over and over. Gotta coach practice, gotta coach (inaudible), are you kidding me? (inaudible) Just once, and I gotta coach the same s***.

There’s a lack of focus now. There’s a lack of pride, is what that is. But more importantly, self-respect. That’s what it really is; you have no respect for yourselves. Why should anybody else, if you’ve never looked at yourself and said, you know what, I’m not falling into that trap, I’m not (unintelligible).

That’s why I have no respect for the players that went here, I have no f****** respect for you b****. I have no respect for you little quittin’-ass b****. That’s why you got your ass kicked, quitter. That’s what I call y’all, all little f***ers. Mother******, I don’t need to respect you, I don’t give a f*** about you, b****. There, it’s true. I don’t f***** care about complainers, cause you mother****** are quitters. Gotta get out mother*******. I don’t give a f*** about you, b****.

Could care less. I respect football players, but I respect football players, mother******. But you ain’t no football player, you little b****. You’re a little f****** b****, that everybody laughs at over and over, because they know you’re a f***** quitter. They know from the third quarter and halftime that you quit. If you wanna call it what it is. Do you know why it happens? Because you allow it to happen out here. You just come out here on Thursdays and f*** around, come out on Wednesdays and f*** around…

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Eastern Michigan fires Ron English

Eastern Michigan has fired head coach Ron English.

Eastern Michigan coach Ron English was fired on Friday, Nov. 8, 2013. (Photo: AP)English, who replaced Jeff Genyk prior to the 2009 season, was 11-46 record in 57 career games as the Eagles coach.

EMU was 1-8 this season and 0-5 in the MAC. The Eagles, who lost 55-16 to Toledo last week, rank 111th nationally in scoring offense (19.3 points per game) and 122nd in scoring defense (45.6 points per game).

“At this time, I have decided that a change in the leadership of our football team is necessary,” EMU athletic director Heather Lyke said in a release.

“Eastern Michigan University’s commitment to our student-athletes remains of the utmost importance as we move forward with the rest of this season and in selecting the new leader of our program.”

Offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Stan Parrish will serve as interim head coach. Parrish has a 63-60-3 record in 13 seasons as a head coach, including stints at Wabash (1978-82), Marshall (1984-85), Kansas State (1986-88) and Ball State (2008-10).

Lyke said that a “national search” for English’s replacement will begin immediately.

Photo: AP file

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