I know the memes, you know the memes, so let's just hold off the jokes for a minute. (Note: Yes, I know this is on the Internet, so that bullet can't be dodged, but I won't be the one firing). FootballScoop.com is reporting that former Eastern Michigan head coach Ron English is going to be coaching again at San Jose State.
Source tells FootballScoop former Eastern Michigan HC Ron English will be new defensive coordinator @ San Jose State https://t.co/sNnVtycOD5— FootballScoop Staff (@FootballScoop) January 23, 2016
As a result of #LockerRoomTiradeGate, English was fired from his position in 2013. His contract was going to expire at the end of that season. In the fluke of a 2011 season where the Eagles went 6-6, one win shy of being bowl-eligible (two wins were against FCS schools), there was hope, optimism and all those fuzzy feelings football fans around the community have been longed to flirt with. Then it all went down the pipe. A two-win season the very next year washed away the honeymoon feelings, the 2013 campaign was no better.
Actually, that was an understatement.
2013 was worse.
There was absolutely nothing English could have done to save Demarius Reed from the bullet. All things considered, it's hard enough to play and coach through when the most joyous person in the locker room is taken from you. Years, months, weeks, the grinding, it all snowballed on the reclusive head coach.
There was other turmoil, including the murder of football player Demarius Reed. Later EMU players were charged with beating a man who was accused of his death. Then the Eagles began the season 1-8 when English went on his recorded tirade during a defensive backs meeting. He was fired within hours. He issued an apology and has been silent ever since.
"It happened because when your priorities get misplaced things like that happen," English said. "You always hear coaches say God, family and football in that order. Football was my God. That won't happen again because my priorities are straight now. Anybody who knows me knows I love football so that passion will be there. The thing that hurt me most is it came across that I did not love people and did not care about athletes. That cannot be further from the truth."
Self-rehabilitation became a tool for therapy for English. He joined a local church. He became a better father-figure for his children. He's off of Twitter. He naturally continued to study his favorite game. He became approachable. He became a football writer and radio personality in Ann Arbor. It was only a matter of time before he'd get back into the game, and to no surprise at that.
With stops at Louisville and Michigan, English's understanding of being a solid defensive coordinator is unquestioned. It took three seasons for EMU to have one solid year of having a good defense; it's no secret that it takes a long time for any coach to have a taste of success in Ypsilanti.
The situation is never ideal for fans, but it's a learning experience for some to find out that head coaching just isn't for them. That eventually became the case for Ron English. It was truly an unfortunate past for everybody involved. From his perspective, from the players, from the recruits, those in the program, fans that invested their time, but there's a future to look forward to. English has served his time in exile from collegiate coaching, and it was only a matter of time before this opportunity came for him.
It's one thing to stay angry at English for highlighting him as a head coach that could never improve on top of a 6-6 season, but it also might be best to just be happy for the guy.