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McElwain announces coaching staff changes: Skipper, Barbay promoted; Zordich, Slaughter hired


Central Michigan coach Jim McElwain walks down the tunnel toward the field before the second half of the MAC Championship game Dec. 7 at Ford Field in Detroit, MI. 

Jim McElwain had a vacancy on his staff and called up an old friend — 12-year NFL veteran and former Michigan defensive backs coach, Mike Zordich. 

Zordich accepted the offer and will join McElwain on Central Michigan's coaching staff as the defensive backs coach.

"He brings 12 years of NFL experience as a player as well as four years as a coach in the National Football League," McElwain said. "I think it's really good for (the secondary) to get someone of his caliber to come here and be part of the Chippewa football program."

Zordich played collegiately at Penn State from 1982-85 and was a four-year letter winner and an All-American as a senior in 1985. He played in the NFL with the San Diego Chargers, New York Jets, Phoenix Cardinals and Philadelphia Eagles. 

Upon retiring from the NFL, Zordich served as the defensive coordinator at Cardinal Mooney High School in Youngstown, Ohio for six seasons before returning to Philadelphia as a defensive quality control coach. He served as the Eagles' safeties coach from 2011-14, he then took the same position at Youngstown State. 

Zordich joined Michigan's staff upon the hire of Jim Harbaugh in 2015 as the defensive backs coach and was there until Jan. 13, when he was fired after six seasons with the Wolverines. 

Zordich was one of two new additions announced by McElwain in his first press conference of the spring football season. 

The other was new wide receivers coach Alvin Slaughter, who comes to Mount Pleasant from Northwestern State University in Louisiana. 

"(Slaughter's) energy has been fantastic," McElwain said. 

Slaughter comes to CMU after five seasons with the Demons, where he helped land three wide receivers on Division I Football Championship Subdivision All-American teams. He spent time at Louisiana State as a graduate assistant and as the head coach at Monsignor Pace High School in Florida. 

Slaughter replaces Chad Bumphis, who was with the Chippewas briefly before taking the wide receivers coach position at Utah. Kevin Barbay, who held the wide receivers coach position each of the last two seasons, has been promoted to offensive coordinator. 

"He's been a coordinator before, he's been in this system," McElwain said. "Exciting for our players because the transition from what Charlie (Frye) did, just carrying it forward as we moved on."

Zordich replaces David Rowe, who took the cornerbacks coach position at Houston. 

Skipper promoted

Tim Skipper, the Chippewas' linebackers coach, has been given the assistant head coach label. Skipper joined the staff last season, replacing Mark DeBastiani, and previously worked with McElwain while he was at Florida.

"Timmy does a wonderful job," McElwain said. "He's been with me a long time."

Here is the complete CMU coaching staff heading into the 2021 season:
Jim McElwain — Head coach
Kevin Barbay — Offensive coordinator/Quarterbacks coach
Robb Akey — Defensive coordinator
Tim Skipper — Assistant head coach/Linebackers
Keith Murphy — Special teams coordinator/Safeties
Cornell Jackson — Running backs
Alvin Slaughter — Wide receivers
Tavita Thompson — Tight ends/Tackles
Mike Cummings — Offensive line
Justin Hinds — Defensive line
Mike Zordich — Defensive backs