On Thursday morning, Dan Enos up and left his head coaching job at Central Michigan to be the new offensive coordinator for Arkansas. That's a big deal for a lot of reasons. It's basically the end of coach hiring season, National Signing Day is less than two weeks away, and it caught everybody off guard.
Of course, the internet had things to say, which instantly got us to thinking about the possibilities of Brady Hoke being the new head coach at CMU.
Friday, Steven Godfrey from SBNation reported that a lot of sources are saying that Zach Azzanni, current wide receivers coach for Tennessee, will be interviewed for the head coaching job at Central Michigan.
The Urban Meyer connection
In 2001, Azzanni was hired into Bowling Green as a graduate assistant coach, having already coached wide receivers at Valpariso from 1999-2000. Don't forget, Meyer's the new head coach over at Bowling Green at the time. High schoolers wouldn't know about that these days. Anyways, Meyer only stayed there until 2002, same time Azzanni stuck around as a GA. But in 2003, Meyer left for the head coaching job over at Utah and Azzanni stayed as the Falcons WR coach from 2003-06.
"(Zach Azzanni) is a tireless worker, relentless recruiter, and a great teacher of fundamentals," -Urban Meyer (2010)
After going 22-2 as Utah's head coach with a pair of bowl wins, two years was more than enough for Meyer in the Mountain West and became the head coach for Florida in 2005. In 2010, Meyer's last season as the Gators head coach, Meyer hired Azzanni to coach up the receivers in Gainesville. It wasn't the best of seasons for Meyer, finishing with a 7-5 regular season record, but still ended his time there on a high note, beating Michigan in the Outback Bowl.
Butch Jones, too
In 2007, Azzanni was hired to be the new WR coach for his alma matter, CMU (played WR from 1994-98). That same year, Butch Jones left West Virginia as their WR coach to be CMU's new head coach. As many CMU fans may recall, Jones had different coaching positions at CMU, having served as tight end and running backs coach as well as offensive coordinator for three years, dating from 1998-2004.
Would Brady Hoke be a good fit as Dan Enos' replacement at Central Michigan?
Just thinking out loud here.
Under Jones, the Chippewas had a fair amount of success, making a bowl appearance in all three seasons and winning the MAC Championship twice. But before the Chippewas could play the GMAC bowl during their 2009-10 campaign, But Jones left CMU for the head coaching job in Cincinnati.
Jones stayed in Cincinnati until 2012, then switched head coaching jobs again, but this time to Tennessee. This whole time, Azzanni had already spent that one extra year with Urban Meyer, became the offensive coordinator for Western Kentucky in 2011 and coached receivers for Wisconsin the following season. But as soon as Jones was brought in over at Tennessee, Azzanni came over to be the receivers coach for the Vols.
Three more things worth noting
At this point, I'm thinking out loud about the situation.
Zach Azzanni's hometown is Utica, Mich. This means that taking this job means that you can be closer to, presumably, where you'd have a lot of local friends and family members. Being home and still being able to do the job you love is an awesome gig.
WKU had one of the biggest turnarounds with Azzanni as their OC in 2011. From 2-10 in 2010 to a 7-5 record with Azzanni, they ended the season second in the Sun Belt standings, but were not invited to a bowl game.