Head coach Dan Enos and Miami of (Ohio) head coach Don Treadwell have more in common than a desperate desire for a win.
The two coaches worked together at Michigan State on the offensive side of the ball. Treadwell was the offensive coordinator, while Enos was the running backs coach.
It was in East Lansing where they developed a friendship that extends to their families.
“He is a great friend,” Enos said. “Worked with him for five years. His wife and my wife are very good friends. I learned a lot from working with him, not only professionally, but personally. He is a great person and has his priorities in order. He is an outstanding man.”
Treadwell returned the compliments.
“I’m familiar with their head coach,” Treadwell said. “Coach Dan Enos is just an excellent individual; I think he is an outstanding football coach. They aren’t going to beat themselves. They are going to perform well.”
Working together at Michigan State, Enos grew close to Treadwell and picked up a few things from the Miami (Ohio) coach that he uses today.
“He is very bright,” Enos said. “I learned a lot of football things with him. The thing I learned the most was his day-to-day operations and how professional he is. The character that he shows, his work ethic, his ability to maintain and sustain everyday were his characteristics that I was impressed with when I came to work with him every day.”
Treadwell and Enos have only met once on the field head-to-head. That was last year, when CMU hosted Miami and the Chippewas won 30-14.
Enos believes beating a friend is always fun, but it’s also tough.
“Playing against friends is tough. We’ve had to do it a few times the last couple of years,” Enos said. “That’s part of the deal. I’m sure they are going to try to kick our butt and we are going to try to get after them, but at the end of the day, he is a great person.”
When the ball is kicked off on Saturday, both Enos and Treadwell know they will be enemies for 60 minutes of football, but that won’t change their opinion of one another off the field.
“When you spend time with someone behind enemy lines that’s a positive,” Treadwell said. “You develop tremendous friendship in those times. Dan was a tremendous player at Michigan State. There is no question about his talent level as a coach. We have to put the gloves on when they blow the whistle, but nothing can take away from the friendship and respect that you have.”