Paw Paw native Bonamego named CMU head coach

Posted at 7:23 PM, Feb 06, 2015
and last updated 2015-02-08 17:01:13-05

MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. — Central Michigan wanted someone who knew their football program well to be its next leader.

That’s what they’re getting.

The school officially announced the hiring of former Chippewa player and current Detroit Lions special teams coordinator John Bonamego as the new head football coach at Central Michigan on Sunday. He’s scheduled to be formally introduced Monday afternoon in Mount Pleasant.

FOX 17 first reported Bomamego’s hiring on Friday.

“John has all the traits we wanted,” CMU Director of Athletics Dave Heeke said in a release. “He has an extraordinary passion for Central Michigan. John knows how fantastic this university and community are, and he understands the responsibility that comes with being our head coach.”

“John fully embraces the championship culture we’ve built here at CMU. Creating an exceptional experience for all our football student-athletes is a top priority for him. John has worked with some of the top coaches in football, and those individuals hold him in high regard. He knows what it takes to build a successful program and will do that here at Central Michigan.”

“Since I left CMU in 1987, my dream job was to be the head coach of the Central Michigan football program. Today, that dream came true,” Bonamego said through the university’s release. “During my time here, I had some of the best experiences of my life and I expect to make many, many more in the coming years. The Mount Pleasant community is a very special place and my family and I are excited to be a part of it.

“It’s clear to me that this program has a very solid foundation. We will work every day to achieve the championship level,” he said. “Our team will compete with a strong passion and work ethic in everything we do, from on the field, to in the classroom and in the community. It’s a priority that we help our student-athletes develop into great young men who will make an impact on those around them for the rest of their lives.”

Bonamego is a native of Paw Paw and played quarterback and wide receiver at CMU during the mid-1980s.

He’s spent the last two seasons with the Lions after other special teams stints with the Jaguars, Saints, Dolphins, and Packers.