First-year Head Coach Mike DeBord set to lead Chippewas
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 slowed down.
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 in memory.
A humorous anecdote kind of sums up DeBord's schedule last December:
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 answered.
"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 (Lloyd Carr)."
"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 staff.
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 said.
"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 ends coach.
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|
|1989||California Raisin Bowl||Ball State|
|1990||Freedom Bowl||Colorado State|
|1993||Hall of Fame Bowl||Michigan|