Year in review: 2017 Chippewa sports
A graduate transfer quarterback captivated Central Michigan football fans, the men's basketball team featured the nation's leading scorer, and the University hired a new athletic director in 2017.
Here is a look at some of the biggest stories of the year for Central Michigan Chippewa sports teams.
Jan. 21 — University of Michigan graduate transfer quarterback Shane Morris announced via Twitter his intention to transfer to CMU for his final year of eligibility. He finished the 2017 regular season with 2,908 passing yards and 26 touchdowns.
The same afternoon, after head coach Keno Davis was ejected, junior guard Marcus Keene dropped 26 straight points against Ball State. Keene finished with a career-high of 50 points and hit a program-record of ten 3-pointers in CMU's second Mid-American Conference win.
Feb. 10 — CMU baseball opened its new Performance Development Center on the northeast side of Theunissen Stadium. The facility was funded entirely through donations.
Feb. 12 — Senior wrestlers Corey Keener and Austin Severn were honored before the dual meet against Kent State. Both captains won their final matches in McGuirk Arena in CMU's 40-3 rout over KSU.
Feb. 25 — Former Athletic Director Dave Heeke announced he was taking the same position at the University of Arizona. Heeke spent 11 years as the athletic director at CMU.
March 8 — CMU women's basketball was upset in the first round of the MAC tournament against rival Western Michigan. The Chippewas were the No. 1 seed in the tournament and won the MAC West Division regular season championship.
March 16 — CMU wrestling sent nine wrestlers to the 2017 NCAA Championships. This was the second-highest amount in program history.
April 18 — CMU baseball fell 8-3 to Notre Dame in the annual Clash at Comerica in Detroit. Sophomore right-handed pitcher Michael Brettell started the game for the Chippewas.
May 9 — CMU softball pitcher Rachael Knapp was named MAC Pitcher of the Year. Also, head coach Margo Jonker was named MAC Coach of the Year. The Chippewas finished the season as MAC regular season champions.
May 12 — Former CMU quarterback Cooper Rush signed with the Dallas Cowboys as an undrafted free agent.
May 15 — Michael Alford was hired as Dave Heeke's replacement as CMU's Athletic Director. Alford's first day on the job was July 3.
May 23 — Five CMU baseball players were selected to the 2017 All-MAC teams after finishing the regular season atop the MAC West.
June 14 — Baseball's Daniel Jipping was selected by the Colorado Rockies in the 2017 MLB Draft. Jipping led CMU in batting average, runs batted in, doubles and home runs in the 2017 season.
Aug. 10 — Senior tight end Tyler Conklin suffered a broken bone in his foot in training camp. He was inactive for the first five games of the 2017 regular season.
Aug. 16 — Keene signed with Cagliari Dynamo Academy in Italy after multiple 2017 NBA Draft workouts.
Sept. 9 — Morris and the CMU offense tallies 590 yards against Kansas in the second football game of the season. Morris had five touchdown passes in the 45-27 win.
Sept. 22 — Forward Lexi Pelafas broke CMU women's soccer's all-time scoring record with her 27th career goal in a 2-1 loss to Kent State.
Oct. 7 — Conklin returned to the field for the football team. He caught 10 passes for 136 yards and two touchdowns — lifting CMU to a 26-23 win at Ohio.
Nov. 1 — Morris threw the game-winning 77-yard touchdown pass to senior Corey Willis against Western Michigan in Waldo Stadium. It was head coach John Bonamego's first victory over rival WMU.
Nov. 25 — Men's and women's basketball were named tournament champions over Thanksgiving Break. Men's basketball won the Great Alaska Shootout while the women's team won the Junkanoo Jam in the Bahamas.
Dec. 3 — Bonamego announced CMU football will play Wyoming in the 2017 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl in Boise, Idaho on Dec. 22. The Chippewas have reached a bowl game in five of the last six seasons.