Jim McElwain

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Central Michigan OL leaving football to pursue music career

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Central Michigan offensive lineman Shawn Wiley is stepping away from football with another goal on his mind. According to a report from Central Michigan Life, Wiley has refrained from entertaining potential transfer options so he can focus on his music career.

Officially, Wiley is currently sitting with his name in the NCAA transfer portal as he has made up his mind to explore his options beyond the Chippewas. But according to the report, he has no interest in digging into his potential transfer options despite coaches and staff members from other programs checking in to weigh his interest in continuing football with them.

“My heart isn’t on the field anymore,” Wiley said to Central Michigan Life. “I don’t care if Alabama hits me up to play ball, it’s done.”

For Wiley, a coaching change hasn’t meshed well with his goals. Wiley says he did not fit into the system being implemented by head coach Jim McElwain and his music work would not be able fit into the patterns McElwain wants to have with the program.

“I wasn’t fitting in and abiding by what he was saying,” Wiley said. “I respect the business aspect of it. He’s a really good coach, and CMU is going to be a totally new team.”

So we’ll keep an eye out on the charts for Wiley’s trade name of Jimmy Lee. In the meantime, Central Michigan will have one less body on the offensive line to work with.

Report: Central Michigan to hire Jim McElwain to be head coach

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It appears as though Jim McElwain is going to be a head coach once again. According to a report by Evan Petzold of Central Michigan’s student newspaper, CM Life, via Twitter, Central Michigan will hire McElwain to fill their vacancy at head coach.

McElwain is currently the wide receivers coach at Michigan after coaching at Florida for three seasons from 2015 through 2017. McElwain came to Florida after being the head coach at Colorado State from 2012 through 2014. That his first head coaching job after coaching the previous four years as the offensive coordinator for Nick Saban at Alabama.

McElwain has a career record of 44-28 as a head coach, but he went 3-4 at Florida in 2017 before being removed as head coach of the Gators under bizarre circumstances.

Central Michigan is coming off a 1-11 season that saw the end of the line for former head coach John Bonamego. Bonamego coached Central Michigan to a record of 22-29 over the past four seasons.

Who will call plays for Michigan’s offense? To be determined

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Usually, this time of year brings one pretty common question to college football programs around the country. Who is going to be the starting quarterback? While Michigan is indeed looking to have an answer to that down the line, the Wolverines are also trying to figure out just who exactly will be in charge of calling the offensive plays from the sideline.

As Michigan got their spring practices underway the other day, head coach Jim Harbaugh says that is a decision that has not been made amid a handful of coaching staff changes this offseason.

Well, I haven’t decided,” Harbaugh said Friday, according to MLive.com. “It really comes down to who the play caller is going to be and how we’re going to call plays. If that’s what you’re asking, I haven’t really decided yet.”

Michigan recently put the finishing touches on a new contract for Ed Wariner and also added former Florida head coach Jim McElwain to the staff this offseason. Passing-game coordinator Pep Hamilton is another candidate for the play-calling responsibilities too after already being on the staff. Tim Drevno stepped down as offensive coordinator in February.

The importance of revitalizing the Michigan offense cannot be overstated. Michigan ranked 105th in the nation in total offense in 2017, averaging 348.9 yards per game. Only Illinois and Rutgers averaged fewer yards per game among Big Ten programs last fall. The Wolverines had issues at the quarterback position all season long too, resulting in the nation’s 111th-ranked passing offense with just nine touchdown passes and 10 interceptions. Maryland, Minnesota, and Rutgers were the only passing offenses in the Big Ten to average fewer passing yards per game.

Meanwhile, Michigan is still holding out hope to have Ole Miss transfer Shea Patterson ruled eligible to play this season. A hold-up in the NCAA transfer process is keeping Patterson among those in limbo right now.

Antonio Callaway takes some blame for Jim McElwain losing his job at Florida

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The Florida Gators turned the page on the 2017 season by attempting to breathe new life into the program coming off a tumultuous season on and off the field. A season was essentially lost before it ever could truly get going when wide receiver Antonio Callaway was suspended for the season as part of a felony fraud case and a drug charge over the summer, as well as being connected to a Title IX investigation. As the now former Gator prepares for the NFL, he is faced with questions regarding his past in Gainesville, and he is shouldering blame on his shoulders for how it all came to an end for Jim McElwain as head coach of the Gators.

As reported by Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat reporter Trevor Sikkema, via Twitter, Callaway says McElwain may still be the head coach at Florida (and not an assistant coach at Michigan) if Callaway played last season.

Callaway may not be too far off the mark. Callaway was the explosive playmaker Florida desperately needed last season. Callaway was Florida’s leading receiver in 2016 with 721 yards and three touchdowns as a sophomore and a team-high 678 yards and four touchdowns as a freshman. Callaway also returned two punts for touchdowns in 2015, proving to be a threat any time he stepped foot on the field during his two seasons on the field at Florida. Would Callaway have been able to turn a team that went 4-7 into a team that could muster together enough wins to save McElwain’s job?

Considering Florida lost three of their seven games by a single score, the case could be made that Callaway may have been able to save McElwain’s job. But McElwain pretty much talked his own way out of the job by throwing out the idea his family was being targeted and never being able to provide the evidence asked of him.

Florida replaced McElwain with Dan Mullen, previously of Mississippi State, as their new head coach.

Report: Jim McElwain signs deal to join Michigan staff

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The Jim McElwain watch in Ann Arbor is essentially done. ESPN reports the former head coach of the Florida Gators has signed a deal to join Jim Harbaugh as a new member of the Michigan coaching staff. Michigan has not formally announced the new addition yet, but McElwain told ESPN he is getting to work right away as a wide receivers coach.

I’m excited to get back into it and am looking forward to going there and learning and helping Michigan get better,” McElwain said to ESPN‘s Chris Low, who reported the latest update in the ongoing McElwain-To-Michigan story. It has been quite a year for McElwain, who has now gone from wanting to “beat the heck out of Michigan” to joining Harbaugh as an offensive assistant (Harbaugh was 2-0 against McElwain in head-to-head meetings between Michigan and Florida).

McElwain was fired by Florida last October in the midst of a disappointing season after discrepancies in McElwain’s claims about receiving death threats could not be backed up by the coach. Florida bought out McElwain’s contract at a reported $7.5 million.

Michigan had been looking to fill the role of receivers coach following the abrupt departure of Dan Enos to Alabama. Enos joined the Michigan coaching staff for a cup of coffee, getting hired in January after the Arkansas coaching staff was given an overhaul with the firing of Bret Bielema only to leave for a job with Nick Saban. McElwain, of course, is one of many coaches to jump into head coaching off the Saban coaching tree in recent years, first with Colorado State and most recently with Florida.

Previous reports have floated the idea McElwain will call plays for the Wolverines, but that remains unconfirmed.