Announced yesterday, Mike Hart and Jacob Kirkendall will remain on Eastern Michigan's football coaching staff.
"It was obvious from our first meeting that Coach Hart had invested a lot into this program and cares about it deeply," head coach Chris Creighton said in an official press release issued by the university. "He wants to be at Eastern and after getting to know him, I whole-heartedly wanted him to stay. He has all of the qualities that make a great college coach and those who know him well say he is an even better man. I am extremely excited and thankful that Mike is going to remain an Eagle."
After spending three years on the Indianapolis Colts roster, Hart joined EMU's coaching staff in 2011 as their quality control assistant for offense before becoming the running backs coach in 2012. In his first year in Ypsilanti, EMU rushed for 2,620 yards and 16 touchdowns off of 575 carries, 14th-best rushing attack in the country. The following year, the Eagles ran for 1,960 yards, 13 touchdowns off 448 carries, making it the third-straight season that the Eagles ran for at least 1,900 yards. This passed season, EMU ran for a total of 1,896 yards, helping Bronson Hill be the first EMU player since 2003 to rush for at least 1,000 yards.
A two-time Doak Walker Award finalist, a Heisman Trophy finalist and Michigan's all-time leading rusher, it's no surprise that Hart has the know-how to help make this program successful.
"Jacob Kirkendall's reputation as the Director of Football Operations is as good as it gets," Creighton said. "He has served this program now for six years an does an outstanding job. His work ethic, organization and connections on campus have made this program better through the years and will help elevate Eastern Michigan Football as we begin to close the gap."
There it is, the obligatory "close the gap" by Creighton. An Ohio alum, this will be Kirkendall's seventh year at EMU. The primary responsibilities for his role include coordinating travel arrangements, high school recruiting visits, camps, speaking engagements and community outreach programs.
These two are the only official additions per emueagles.com, but we have seen a couple of other names out there as well. The sources are pretty promising, too.
Best Strength & Conditioning Coach in America is now an Eastern Michigan Eagle! Welcome Coach Ron McKeefery!— Chris Creighton (@Coach_Creighton) January 6, 2014
It's not like everybody has their own theory of what an ideal strength and conditioning coach should be like (well, other than making players stronger and faster), but he's been in and out of the NFL, most recently with the Cincinnati Bengals, and has held this position at other division-1 universities. He also has a website.
EMU Football just got better: Coach Kalen DeBoer is now on campus and is our new Offensive Coordinator! #lotsofpoints!— Chris Creighton (@Coach_Creighton) January 9, 2014
Can we please make this a thing? #LotsOfPoints!
Kalen DeBoer worked his way up to be the head coach over at Sioux Falls, serving as an assistant, then offensive coordinator, then a head coach for five years. As a head coach, he has a record of 67-3, winning three NAIA National Championships, only losing one in-conference game. Remember, if something were to happen where somebody needed to take Creighton's spot as the team's head coach, there needs to be a plan-B.
Most recently, he was the OC and wide receivers coach over at Southern Illinois University from 2010-2013, where they averaged 26.7 points per game in his four seasons there, including a 70-7 victory in his first game there. #LotsOfPoints!