Who is CMU HC Jim McElwain? Exploring his coaching journey from Florida to Central Michigan

Central Michigan v Notre Dame
Central Michigan coach Jim McElwain

Central Michigan coach Jim McElwain was dragged into the middle of college football's spiciest scandal in ages when the alleged perpetrator of the Michigan sign-stealing, Connor Stalions, was seen wearing CMU merch in Week 1.

But what has the 61-year-old CMU coach's professional career looked like?


Jim McElwain's career background

Jim McElwain began his career in 1985 as a graduate assistant at Eastern Washington after spending three years as the Eagles quarterback. He was the receivers and quarterbacks coach.

McElwain then moved to Montana State as the offensive coordinator from 1994 to 1999, smashing several Big Sky conference offensive metrics.

From there, between 2000-2002, he was the special teams and receivers coach at the University of Lousiville. He held the same positions at Michigan State under coach John Smith.

In 2006, McElwain was hired by the NFL team, the Oakland Raiders, as their quarterback coach under coach Art Shell but was dismissed alongside the head coach at the end of the season. He became the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Fresno State in 2007.

McElwain was Nick Saban's first offensive coordinator at Alabama and turned the offense into a powerhouse.

The first instance the Crimson Tide showed their offensive capability was against the best defense in the country, the Florida Gators, in the 2009 Southeastern Conference championship game, where they dominated Urban Meyer's side.

McElwain won the New Mexico Bowl in 2013 as coach of the Colorado State Rams and was even named the Mountain West Conference coach of the year.

His next job was as head coach of the Florida Gators, and he was named the SEC Coach of the Year in 2015 due to his SEC East Division win, a feat he repeated the following year.

Jim McElwain became the wide receivers coach at Michigan under Jim Harbaugh before leaving to become Central Michigan coach in 2019, a position he currently holds.


Jim McElwain and the Michigan sign-stealing investigation

After Central Michigan beat Northern Illinois 37-31 on Tuesday, Jim McElwain addressed the rumors that have floated around that controversial Michigan Wolverines analyst Connor Stalions was on the Chippewas sidelines against Michigan State on Sept. 1.

The man in the picture is seen holding a clipboard, wearing a CMU hat and has a visitor's pass around his neck.

"We obviously are aware of a picture floating around with the sign-stealer guy," McElwain said. "Our people are doing everything they can to get to the bottom of it. I certainly don't condone it in any way, shape or form. I do know that his name was on none of passes that were let out. We'll just keep tracing it back, and tracing it back. And try to figure it out."

Amy Folan, the CMU athletic director, commented on the matter as well.

"We became aware of these photos late yesterday and we are in the process of determining the facts surrounding them," Amy Folan said. "As this process is ongoing, we have no further comment at this time."

Whether or not Jim McElwain was aware of the man alleged to be Connor Stalions wearing his team's merchandise will be an interesting revelation.

Quick Links

Edited by R. Elahi
App download animated image Get the free App now