“New EMU coach Chris Creighton hopes to establish positive culture in Ypsilanti, says wins will follow”

From mLive comes “New EMU coach Chris Creighton hopes to establish positive culture in Ypsilanti, says wins will follow.” Setting aside the usual complaints about college football generally and EMU football specifically, this Creighton guy seems like a pretty good choice. He’s got 17 years of previous head coaching experience, albeit at smaller schools and in smaller conferences.

And they’re not paying him an outrageous amount of money– well, for a football coach. He’s going to get $400K a year, which is probably what EMU would have had to have increased English’s pay to if we had decided to keep him.

Another interesting little tidbit about Creighton as a coach: he apparently has a strict no potty mouth policy, both of himself and his coaches and his players. Also from mLive, “New Eastern Michigan coach Chris Creighton known for unique no profanity policy.” Here’s a quote from that article:

“I think as coaches we can communicate without using profanity,” Creighton said Thursday after being introduced as EMU’s 37th coach. “I know that you don’t need to use profanity. I want to treat these guys like men.”

The rule isn’t something he just talks about, either.

“Absolutely it’s enforced and absolutely he’s strict about it,” said Brandon Coleman, a defensive lineman who just finished his senior year at Drake under Creighton.

The rule has gained Creighton notice over the years for being unique in college football. But it held a special significance Thursday at the Convocation Center.

What better way to move on from a coach fired for use of profanity towards players than to hire a coach known for his aversion to it?

Holy shit, no profanity?!? (Couldn’t resist).

Anyway, it looks like Lyke (and her consulting firm) made a really good hire given where the Emus are at: lots of experience, lots of winning in the lower divisions, squeaky-clean character building kind of guy, not a stupid amount of money (recall there were wild rumors about trying to bring in a million dollar hire for a while there), etc., etc. Like I said, I’d rather EMU shut the football program down or moved to a lower division, but given that that’s not going ot happen, this seems to be the next best thing.

So let the good vibes with Creighton begin and continue– at least until he too has a couple of 2-10 seasons or he turns out to be great and is snatched up by a big-time program in a couple years.

13 Responses to “New EMU coach Chris Creighton hopes to establish positive culture in Ypsilanti, says wins will follow”

  1. Not 1 million, but $400 K is still a huge drain. Then the “bonuses” will come in. Teaching never gets bonuses.

    How is that supposed to be a “positive” culture when the salary of one guy is greater than the operating budget of some departments?

    Also, has anyone ever answered they the whole team needs to be put up at the marriot before a game and get breakfast? Seems more money wasted.

    As to his “no profanity” rule- fuck that.

  2. Njorun

    Are you talking about College Football as an industry or EMU or just making comments because you are mad someone is making a but-load more money than you for doing what you consider less important than what you do.

    College athletics has been an exploitive industry for some time now, but your questions/comments seem like they are taken from 1994 (or out of date with reality.)

    • Like I said, it’s all relative and you’ve got to compare MAC football coaches to each other and not to professors. So compared to other current coaches and the last one we had, $400K seems reasonable to me. Sure, I’d just as soon they shut the program down entirely, but the BoR et al aren’t listening to that argument.

  3. It will be interesting to see if he can win some games with Ron English’s players. It is interesting how the next guy always gets a pay raise just for taking the position. I am sure he has a good exit package.

  4. A person who takes a position is not getting a raise for being hired cause he is making more than his predecessor; he is making the market rate/value that he negotiated with his employer. I would imagine faculty and staff positions at EMU have increased in salary since 2008; be it through CBAs or COLAs etc.

  5. I am not aware of COLAs in any of the current CBAs. There have been two years recently where I got a 0% raise. Most others, my raise has been at or below the rate of inflation.

  6. I think what Grady is describing here is “salary compression.” I’m making these numbers up, but say a new assistant professor 10 years ago started at $40K; 8 years ago, new assistant professors were starting at $42K; now they are starting at $50K. And so forth.

    That kind of salary compression can cause all kinds of bad feelings/problems, and it’s one of the reasons why both the administration and the EMU-AAUP have tried to address it in a number of ways. Now the “bump” between assistant and associate and associate and full is a comparatively significant amount of money, and they just added the “super professor” pay increase for full professors who have been in rank for 10 years.

    So it’s not so much about your pay increases but where you start.

  7. Carl- 1994 or not, the fact remains, football at many schools lose money. More so than most at EMU, which was the point. The example of the hotel + breakfast for the players seems like more waste.
    All this for a silly game, yet there was talk of areas like physics being shut down.

    I never stated what I did or what I “made”, which is not really the point.

  8. I commend VP Lyke and everyone involved in this hire for what appears to be a successful search and a reasonable choice. They avoided the worst risks in hiring a football coach, while apparently coming close to hitting them.

    So, congratulations to the new coach and the athletic department. Now begins the real challenge: Demonstrating how EMU football contributes anything of value to EMU that is close to its fiscal costs. No Athletic Director, Coach, or President has seriously undertaken trying to do this at EMU, and the costs of the program have been hidden and its benefits inflated, systematically, by the ADs and Welch Hall alike.

    And now we start a new cycle of EMU football “Great Man” hopes for salvation: we have a new coach, and hopes are high that he’ll redeem a program that’s always at the bottom of college rankings and incurs no positive benefit in institutional reputation but instead markets EMU as a “loser school. How soon will these hopes begin to fade? How soon will the rally-around-the-coach ethos disappear and calls to fire him rise? If he earns a winning season or two or more, how long will it be before it’s clear that wins on the field don’t fill the stadium or advance EMU’s mission as a university for Michigan’s less than wealthy students aspiring to an education that advances their life chances?

    I wager that the cycle won’t be much different than it has been for decades. I give it five years to work itself out. I’d be happy to be proven wrong on this, but the past is the best prediction of the future, not cheerleader shouts.

    Education First.

  9. @ Mark Higbee If the coach achieves success and removes the “program that’s always at the bottom of college rankings and incurs no positive benefit in institutional reputation but instead markets EMU as a “loser school” label – wont that be a success?

  10. Carl,
    Your question stipulates a hypothetical that is always held out at the early stage of the EMU football cycle, but never is achieved. So, you’re asking “if what has never happened does happen, isn’t that a success?” The question presumes that the effort is worthwhile. I’d rather to focus on the fiscal costs of any Division 1 football program at EMU — many millions of dollars taken from students’ education for a subsidized form of entertainment that has no measurable market value, or consumer demand.

    But sure, if the coach proves himself the Great Man that he and all new coaches at EMU are held up to be; if he wins a season or two, or more; if his EMU teams rise from the very bottom to the top half of the rankings; sure, that’d be a success. Would that be enough to benefit EMU, the university? Probably not, but it would take a miracle and more good money after bad.

    If you’re serious about educating EMU students, you’d have to ask, is the success on the field worth $24 million out of about $300 million annual expenditures at EMU? $24 M. is about what EMU spends on athletic subsidies (money from taxpayers and students but used on athletics), and most of that, in an honest analysis, is used to support football or basketball, in one way or another.

    For instance, why do we have crew? Because President Kirkpatrick wanted a quick Title IX way to protect football — hence, EMU created a crew team, with many female players. EMU crew exists to protect EMU football team. Sam Kirkpatrick told me so himself.

    These facts take nothing away from the crew members, football players, or the new coach. But reality is tough! Even if you don’t face it head on.

    Education First!

  11. I just asked if this coach winning and removing the stigma of EMU as a loser school would qualify as a success in that the school wont be known for its losing football program but known for all the other things peer institutions would be known for?

    Somewhere in your redundant rant you agreed with that assessment, I think.

  12. Grady, yes, as I think I plainly wrote: if the new coach does all the things now expected of him, that would be a success. That degree of success would nearly take a miracle, and would plainly take many millions of dollars in spending, from student derived revenue, that students might well prefer to be spent on education.

    Not all statements that are longer that a few lines are “redundant” and many issues are complex enough that a few lines can’t describe them properly. Sorry to have lost your interest!

    A good holiday season to you. Go Eagles. Education First!

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