Annese to CMU?

Head football coach Tony Annese speaks to the media after Jason VanderLaan won the Harlon Hill trophy.
Head football coach Tony Annese speaks to the media after Jason VanderLaan won the Harlon Hill trophy. Michael A. Corn
Following a wildly successful 11-1 season, Head Coach Tony Annese has garnered national attention, potentially including the attention of a neighboring Division I college with a vacant head coaching position.

The days leading up to National Signing Day, which is February 4, are generally comparative to the calm before a storm. However, when longtime Central Michigan Head Coach Dan Enos resigned on Jan. 22, the storm began early for CMU and the suitors who may be looking to take Enos’ spot, and Annese could be among them.

Of course, no list of candidates has been officially drafted, and the university has been careful to not leak any information until the hiring becomes official. However, various news outlets around the state of Michigan claim that Annese is in the running with the likes of Tennessee Offensive Coordinator Mike Bajakian and Virginia Offensive Coordinator Scot Loeffler.

Media outlets have discussed former University of Michigan head coach Brady Hoke as a possible candidate as well.

Of the 128 head coaches in Division I football, Enos was the 119th highest paid, raking in $360,000 last season according to USA Today Sports.

According to the university, Annese made $94,908 dollars in 2013. Assuming that Central would pay their next coach similar salary to what they paid Enos, Annese would roughly quadruple his salary if he were to take the job.

Central Michigan was used as a Launchpad for former Grand Valley State Head Coach Brian Kelly, who coached at CMU from 04-06 before moving on to the University of Cincinnati, and then to his current job as head coach of Notre Dame. Annese received a Masters Degree from Central Michigan, and has a nephew named Tony Annese on the team as well.

Having taken over the helm of the Bulldogs’ coaching staff in 2012 and leading them to three increasingly successful seasons with 7-4, 8-3 and 11-1 records respectivelty. Annese has built an impressive résumé at Ferris.

Annese had a similar tenure at Grand Rapids Community College, where he coached for three years and finished his final season with an undefeated 11-0 regular season record, just as he did with the Bulldogs in 2014.

After his three years at GRCC, Annese travelled 55 miles to reach Ferris State and jump to the Division II level. The trip from Ferris State to CMU and Division I is even shorter, and it just might be a trip that Annese makes in the coming days.