Heeke: Dan Enos, program doing things 'the right way'
Dan Enos is the right kind of guy, CMU athletics Dave Heeke echoed Thursday following the announcement of the football coach's new four-year contract.
“(The contract) shows we’re going to have a staff that does things the right way; a staff that recruits the right kind of student-athletes, that provides leadership for those student-athletes the right way,” Heeke said.
Central Michigan University’s head football coach received a new 4–year contract Thursday – he had three years remaining on his previous deal – that will keep him through December 2016.
The deal includes a new base salary of $285,000 in addition to a list of potential bonuses that total $214,000.
“Dan has been under the same contract for three years without a base salary increase," Heeke said. "After observing what’s occurred over these years with the growth of the program and the success we had last year, we felt it was appropriate to reward him accordingly."
His previous deal, which was extended through 2015 in February, had a base salary of $250,000.
Enos will receive $350,000 if CMU terminates his contract and will have to pay CMU the same amount if he chooses to opt out of the contract early.
Some milestones worthy of additional compensation in his new contract include earning seven or more victories ($6,000-$36,000), winning the Mid-American Conference ($15,000), qualifying for a bowl game ($12,500) and winning a bowl game ($15,000).
Enos is also eligible for bonuses tied to attendance at home games, recruiting 60 percent of scholarship student-athletes from Michigan and having players maintain a 2.6 cumulative GPA.
“Every head coach in the country has incentives like these; it’s just another way to reward success,” Enos said. “I’m very happy and pleased that the efforts that our coaches and players have put forth have been rewarded and recognized.”
Enos and Heeke both acknowledged the extension’s benefits from a recruiting standpoint, providing comfort for incoming student athletes.
“I think it shows confidence and stability, and that’s big when you’re a young man looking at what school to go to,” Enos said. “When you’re recruited, you want to feel confident there’s a really good chance that staff will be there for many years.”
Heeke said the extension shows the program’s commitment to Enos and his recruiting, in a league where recruiting tactics are a concern.
“This is a highly competitive environment and, while we’ve been very successful in recruiting, unfortunately, there are those other programs that quite frankly have become frustrated with that and have resorted to tactics that are very disappointing,” Heeke said.
Enos is coming off a 7-6 finish to his third season as head coach at CMU after back-to-back 3-9 seasons.
Highlights from his third season include a 24-21 Little Caesars Pizza Bowl win against Western Kentucky on Dec. 26 and a 32-21 upset on the road against Iowa on Sept. 22.
CMU alums and football fans have publicly expressed their disappointment in the program in recent years, with little influence on the AD.
Heeke said loyal supporters understand the direction and challenges recently faced by the program following possibly the greatest five-year run in the history of the program.
“We lost some of the best players ever here, and they understand those things that, quite frankly, others who are not as connected to the program don’t truly understand,” he said. “My reception from our loyal supporters has been very positive with where we’re going.”