John Bonamego

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Ex-CMU coach John Bonamego joins Michigan as bowl game consultant

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When Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh isn’t dodging the NFL coaching rumor mill, he’s preparing for an upcoming bowl matchup against the Florida Gators. And he’s calling in the reinforcements to help put together the best possible plan of attack for the game. Joining the Michigan bowl prep efforts is John Bonamego, the former Central Michigan head coach, as a consultant.

Bonamego was cut loose as the head coach of Central Michigan in late November and he has not surfaced on another coaching staff in any formal position as of yet. And although Michigan lost wide receivers coach Jim McElwain to be the new head coach at Central Michigan, Bonamego is simply joining the Michigan program as a consultant at this time. A Michigan official confirmed as much to Nick Baumgardner of the Detroit Free Press.

We’ll see if this leads to a regular position within the Michigan program at some point in the near future. Bonamego’s NFL experience as a coach could be an asset for Michigan’s staff if he were to join the staff after being a consultant for the Peach Bowl.

Following cancer treatment, John Bonamego back to work at CMU


Earlier this summer we learned Central Michigan head coach John Bonamego was fighting a treatable form of tonsil cancer. The treatment, of course, would take him away from handling the rigors of being a head coach of a college football program, but Bonamego has finished up the bulk of his treatment is ready to get right back in the routine of leading the Chippewas. He returned to the practice field Friday, ringing a ceremonial bell to signify the culmination of his chemotherapy and radiation treatment.

I’m glad to be back, I’m glad to be done with treatment,” said Bonamego on Friday. “I feel about as good as you can possibly feel coming off of seven weeks of radiation and eight weeks of chemo. The last couple weeks I’ve kind of dodged that question because I don’t want to lie and I don’t want to complain… It’s a relief to be done with the process.”

As anyone who has gone through or known someone who has gone through a battle with cancer will tell you, there is still more to come for Bonamego. Follow-up visits will still be lined up as doctors continue to monitor Bonamego’s health, but for now the coach can start planning to coach Central Michigan in Week 1 against Oklahoma State.

“I’m excited for us to play against somebody else rather than go against ourselves in practice which we’ve been doing, seems like, forever,” he said.

Central Michigan coach John Bonamego fighting treatable tonsil cancer


Cancer sucks, but that is not going to get Central Michigan head coach John Bonamego down. Bonamego has informed his team he has been diagnosed with a treatable form of cancer in his left tonsil.

“This morning I met with our student-athletes and coaches to let them know I have been diagnosed with cancer in my left tonsil,” Bonamego said in a statement released Thursday morning by Central Michigan. “As I told our team, I WILL beat this. It was discovered early and is very treatable.”

Bonamego says he will continue to coach while going through treatment, but said he will make some adjustments to his schedule to cut back on certain events not directly related to football activities.

Bonamego was hired by Central Michigan to be the new head coach in the latest round of the coaching carousel. He had previously served as an assistant coach with the NFL’s Detroit Lions. Central Michigan needed to make a quick hire for the vacancy at head coach after Dan Enos left the program to be the offensive coordinator at Arkansas in late January.

FBS head coaching carousel comes to a full and complete stop

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It all got started before mid-September and lasted until the beginning of February. This past season’s edition of the coaching carousel went on a tad longer than perhaps anyone could have imagined, but with Central Michigan officially introducing John Bonamego as its new head coach today, we now have closed the book on head coaching changes among major college football programs.

Hopefully, at least.

In all we saw 15 head coaching changes at the FBS level, including seven from power conferences. Three of those power conference coaching changes came in the Big Ten, with Michigan and Nebraska each turning a page with their respective programs and Wisconsin having to react to losing a coach to the Pac-12.

Ready for a quick trip down memory lane? Here is a walk-through of the timeline of events regarding this now completed coaching carousel.

Coaching Carousel Timeline

  • September 8, 2014 – SMU head coach June Jones announces his resignation from the head coaching position. SMU names defensive coordinator Tom Mason interim head coach for the remainder of 2014 season.
  • September 28, 2014 – Kansas head coach Charlie Weis relieved of his duties. Kansas names defensive coordinator Clint Bowen interim head coach.
  • October 5, 2014 – Troy head coach Larry Blakeney announces he will resign at end of 2014 season.
  • October 13, 2014 – Buffalo relieves Jeff Quinn of his duties. Buffalo names Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks Coach Alex Wood interim head coach.
  • November 16, 2014 – Florida announces Will Muschamp will be dismissed at the end of the regular season.
  • November 28, 2014 – UNLV head coach Bobby Hauck resigns from position.
  • November 30, 2014 – Nebraska fires Bo Pelini, effective immediately. Running game coordinator Barney Cotton named interim coach for bowl game.
  • November 30, 2014 – Troy announces Kentucky offensive coordinator Neal Brown will be new head coach.
  • November 30, 2014 – SMU announces it will hire Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris to be new head coach.
  • November 30, 2014 – Buffalo hires Wisconsin-Whitewater head coach Lance Leipold to be new head coach.
  • December 1, 2014 – Tulsa fires head coach Bill Blankenship.
  • December 2, 2014 – Michigan fires head coach Brady Hoke.
  • December 4, 2014 – Florida hires Colorado State head coach Jim McElwain to be new head coach.
  • December 4, 2014 – Nebraska hires Oregon State head coach Mike Riley to be new head coach.
  • December 5, 2014 – Kansas hires Texas A&M wide receivers coach David Beaty to be new head coach.
  • December 8, 2014 – Houston relieves head coach Tony Levine of duties.
  • December 8, 2014 – UNLV reportedly set to hire Bishop Gorman High School (NV) head coach Tony Sanchez as new head coach.
  • December 10, 2014 – Oregon State hires Wisconsin head coach Gary Andersen to be new head coach.
  • December 11, 2014 – Tulsa hires Baylor offensive coordinator Philip Montgomery to be new head coach.
  • December 12, 2014 – Wisconsin hires Pittsburgh head coach Paul Chryst to be new head coach.
  • December 15, 2014 – Houston hires Ohio State offensive coordinator and quarterback coach Tom Herman to be new head coach.
  • December 22, 2014 – Colorado State hires Georgia offensive coordinator Mike Bobo to be new head coach.
  • December 26, 2014 – Pittsburgh hires Michigan State defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi to be new head coach.
  • December 29, 2014 – Michigan hires former San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh to be new head coach.
  • January 22, 2015 – Central Michigan head coach Dan Enos leaves job to accept position as Arkansas offensive coordinator.
  • February 8, 2015 – Central Michigan hires Detroit Lions special teams coordinator John Bonamego as new head coach.