Energetic, intense, personable and successful.
Those are some of the key traits that characterize
Mike DeBord, CMU’s new head football coach.
DeBord was introduced as the Chippewas’ 23rd head coach
at a press conference on Dec. 3.
He was the offensive coordinator at the University
of Michigan for the past three years and a member of the Wolverine staff
for eight seasons as offensive tackles and tight ends coach.
DeBord has been an assistant coach for 18 seasons at
seven different schools.
“I am extremely excited that Mike DeBord will be our
new football coach,” Chippewa athletics director Herb Deromedi said at
the press conference following DeBord’s hiring.
“It is impressive that Central Michigan is able to
land a coordinator from a high-profile program that has consistently been
in the top 10 in the country.”
“Mike brings high energy, a reputation as an outstanding
teacher, coach and communicator,” Deromedi said.
“I was impressed with his organizational ability and
his commitment to the recruiting of Michigan high school athletes. His
Midwestern background plus numerous ties will enable him to recruit from
a broad base.”
DeBord, who continued to coach at Michigan through
the Orange Bowl, began his duties with Central Michigan immediately .
. . thus wearing two hats.
DeBord hit Mount Pleasant on a dead run and hasn’t
He put together a nine-man staff, met with the entire
returning members of the Chippewa football team and launched an all-out
recruiting campaign that resulted in one of CMU’s most talented classes
A humorous anecdote kind of sums up DeBord’s schedule
On the road recruiting for Michigan, DeBord was told
by CMU Athletics Director Herb Deromedi that he had the job.
“I started hollering in the airport in Iowa and people
starting looking at me like I was crazy,” DeBord remembered.
Not as crazy as the man he sat next to on a plane flying
to Cincinnati may have thought.
“So, you work for the University of Michigan,” asked
the man, pointing to his Michigan bag.
“No, I’m the new head football coach at CMU,” DeBord
“Oh, you’re going to Cincinnati to recruit for Central
Michigan,” the questioning continued.
“Nope, I’m recruiting for Michigan,” DeBord said.
DeBord was not confused, though, when it came to CMU.
“I wanted to be a head football coach for a long time,
but I was going to be very selective,” DeBord said.
“I was already at a great university with a great coach
“But, when this came about, it had everything I wanted.
CMU has great academics, tradition, facilities and an athletics director
who had walked the walk,” DeBord said.
“Other schools showed me plans for buildings they had
in mind. When I came to Central, I saw buildings . . . tremendous facilities.”
DeBord replaced Dick Flynn, CMU’s head coach for the
previous six seasons, who resigned on Tues., Nov. 9.
One of DeBord’s first duties was putting together a
DeBord kept four members of the former staff (Butch
Jones, Willie Martinez, Plas Presnell and Jim Schulte) and brought in
five new ones (Jason Carr, Harold Goodwin, Scot Loeffler, John Milligan
and George Ricumstrict).
All but Ricumstrict, a former Chippewa standout, had
University of Michigan ties.
“I wanted to have a staff with coaching experience
along with some young guys who were hungry and would add energy,” DeBord
“I wanted to put together a staff with great chemistry,
one that will fight together and win together.”
DeBord will also serve as the offensive coordinator.
“That’s my strength as a coach,” said DeBord.
“We want to control the football on offense with a
high percentage passing game and an attacking run game.”
A 1978 graduate of Manchester College, DeBord was appointed
to the Michigan staff in June of 1992 as the offensive tackles and tight
DeBord was elevated to assistant head coach for two
years (1995-96) before current Wolverine mentor Lloyd Carr promoted DeBord
to the position of offensive coordinator and tackles and ends coach in
February of 1997.
In his first campaign as offensive coordinator in 1997,
Michigan won the national championship.
The 1998 Wolverine squad turned in school-record performances
in passing yards (2,931), passing attempts (403) and completions (238).
Michigan also gained 4,951 yards (ninth best all-time)
and the 359 points were 10th best in school annals.
Michigan went to a bowl every year DeBord was there.
He wants to do the same at CMU.
“I want to build a championship program and we’re starting
today,” DeBord said.
“We will lay a foundation of great discipline, work
ethic, attitude and spirit.”
DeBord also has experience in the Mid-American Conference,
having coached the offensive line at Ball State in 1989, helping guide
the Cardinals to a MAC crown and a berth in the California Raisin Bowl.
A native of Gaston, Ind., DeBord won four letters playing
on the offensive line at Manchester.
The DeBord File
|1982-83||Offensive Line||Franklin College|
|1984||Offensive Line||Fort Hays|
|1985-86||Offensive Coordinator||Fort Hays|
|1987-88||Offensive Line||Eastern Illinois|
|1989||Offensive Line||Ball State|
|1990-91||Offensive Line||Colorado State|
|1995-96||Assistant Head Coach||Michigan|
COLLEGE BOWL EXPERIENCE
|1989||California Raisin Bowl||Ball State|
|1990||Freedom Bowl||Colorado State|
|1993||Hall of Fame Bowl||Michigan|