Courtesy: CMU Athletic Communications
In 2012, the program building blocks that head coach Dan Enos strategically assembled over the past three years while at Central Michigan began to firmly fall into place.
Enos’ Chippewas won seven games overall, including four of their last five in the regular season, all in MAC play, to earn the program’s fifth bowl bid in the last seven years. Central Michigan grabbed the national spotlight in week four, scoring nine points in the game’s final 45 seconds to knock off Iowa on the road, 32-31, in thrilling, come-from-behind fashion. CMU punctuated 2012 with a 24-21 victory over Western Kentucky in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl in Detroit.
The CMU offense, which finished the regular season on a tear by scoring 30 or more points in six straight games, flourished in both phases in 2012. Behind a talented offensive line, led by All-American left tackle Eric Fisher, junior running back Zurlon Tipton rushed for 1,492 yards, the most by a Chippewa running back in 16 years. Senior quarterback Ryan Radcliff reached the 3,000-yard passing plateau for the third time in his career and posted the best touchdown-to-interception ratio of his career (23-9). Radcliff’s top two targets excelled in 2012, as senior Cody Wilson solidified his status as one of CMU’s all-time great receivers, finishing third in receptions and fifth in receiving yards, while sophomore Titus Davis was among the nation’s leaders in yards per reception.
The CMU defense showed improvement as the season progressed, particularly in the areas of pass rush and creating turnovers. Linebackers Justin Cherocci and Shamari Benton were among the MAC’s leading tacklers while senior safety Jahleel Addae tied for tops in the conference in interceptions.
Enos had five Chippewas earn All-MAC recognition in 2012 – Fisher (first team), Tipton (second team), Addae (second team), Davis (second team), and Wilson (third team) – upping the total number of all-conference honors earned by his players to 19 during his three-year tenure. Fisher also received All-America recognition, earning second team honors from SI.com and third team mention by the Associated Press.
One of Coach Enos’ cornerstone messages to recruits and his players is that whatever you can dream, you can achieve at Central Michigan. The entire sports world witnessed the embodiment of that philosophy this April when Eric Fisher made history by becoming the highest NFL draft pick ever from CMU and Mid-American Conference when he was selected No. 1 overall by the Kansas City Chiefs. Three other Chippewas from the 2013 class, Jahleel Addae (San Diego Chargers), Darren Keyton (Detroit Lions), and Cody Wilson (Detroit Lions), have also signed NFL contracts.
Enos has also had 12 Academic All-MAC selections and five academic all- district honorees in addition to three Academic All-Americans, including Cody Wilson in 2011 and 2012.
A team that included just 13 seniors and 19 first-time starters found itself in six games decided by seven points or fewer. And while the Chippewas finished 3-9 overall, five of the losses were by a combined 19 points.
The highlight of the season was a 26-22 Senior Night victory over Western Michigan in front of a national television audience on ESPNU. The Chippewas’ fifth straight win over their in-state rivals kept a pair of traveling trophies in Mount Pleasant: the Victory Cannon, presented to the winner of each year’s CMU-WMU matchup, and the Michigan MAC Trophy, awarded to the winner of the round-robin competition between Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan and Western Michigan. The Chippewas won at Eastern Michigan, 52-14, on Sept. 18.
CMU opened the season with 33-0 win over Hampton at Kelly/Shorts Stadium, making Enos the first CMU head coach since Herb Deromedi in 1978 to win his debut.
The 2011 Chippewas featured 24 first-time starters and 10 true freshmen playing significant roles on offense and defense, while eight or fewer seniors were available to see playing time during each of the final six games of the season. Freshmen accounted for 10 of the final 11 touchdowns CMU scored in 2011, and on Nov. 10 against Ohio the Chippewas fielded an offensive starting lineup that included seven true or redshirt freshmen.
The Chippewas’ season was highlighted by a 48-41 win over eventual MAC champion Northern Illinois at Kelly/ Shorts Stadium on Oct. 1. CMU led by as many as 22 points in the fourth quarter in handing NIU its lone conference loss of the season.
True freshman receiver Titus Davis earned Freshman All-America honors from Phil Steele’s Magazine after catching 40 passes for 751 yards and eight touchdowns, a CMU freshman record for touchdown receptions and tied for the sixth most in a season in school history. Junior receiver Cody Wilson was named to the Capital One/ CoSIDA Academic All-America second team, marking the second straight year the Chippewas had produced an Academic All-American.
Enos was introduced as the head coach of the Central Michigan football program in a press conference on January 12, 2010.
Prior to CMU, he spent four seasons at Michigan State. He was the Spartans’ running backs coach from 2007-2009 after coaching the quarterbacks in 2006.
The Spartans’ backfield featured a pair of true freshmen in 2009, as Larry Caper and Edwin Baker combined to rush for 895 yards and seven touchdowns. Caper was named to the Big Ten All-Freshmen Teams by ESPN.com and Sporting News.
In 2008, Enos worked directly with one of the nation’s top running backs, Javon Ringer. Ringer led the nation in carries (390), scoring (132 points) and touchdowns (22) and ranked fourth in rushing (125.9 ypg) en route to being named a consensus first-team All-American. Ringer was the first Spartan running back to earn All-America honors since Lorenzo White in 1987. The consensus All-Big Ten First-Team selection rushed for 1,637 yards, the second- highest single-season total in school history.
In his first season coaching the Michigan State running backs, Enos mentored one of the top backfields in the Big Ten in Ringer and Jehuu Caulcrick. Michigan State ranked third in the Big Ten and No. 25 in the NCAA in rushing offense, averaging 198.2 yards a game, an improvement of 69 yards per game over 2006. Ringer, a second-team All-Big Ten pick, and Caulcrick, an honorable mention selection, combined to rush for 2,319 yards and 27 touchdowns in 2007. Ringer led the Spartans in rushing for the third straight season with 1,447 yards, the sixth- best single-season total in MSU history, while Caulcrick set a school record with 21 rushing touchdowns.
Enos began his tenure at Michigan State in 2006 coaching the Spartans’ quarterbacks. He worked directly with Drew Stanton, who earned team MVP honors after accounting for 2,252 total yards and 17 touchdowns as a senior. Stanton, who was selected by the Detroit Lions in the second round of the 2007 NFL Draft, finished his career ranked among MSU’s all-time leaders in completion percentage (first at .642), pass completions (second at 543), pass attempts (second at 846), passing yards (second at 6,524), total offense (second at 8,036 yards), 200-yard passing games (second at 18), pass efficiency rating (third at 138.7) and touchdown passes (fifth at 42).
Enos spent the 2004 and 2005 seasons as the quarterbacks coach on Mark Dantonio’s staff at Cincinnati.
In 2005, his pupil Dustin Grutza became the first freshman quarterback to start a Cincinnati season opener (vs. Eastern Michigan) since World War II. Grutza, a redshirt freshman, finished fourth in the Big East Conference in total offense, averaging 165.0 yards per game.
In 2004, Enos helped hone the talents of Gino Guidugli, who closed out his career as Cincinnati’s all-time passing leader with 11,222 yards. As a senior, Guidugli completed 210-of-342 throws (.614) for 2,633 yards and a school- record 26 touchdowns while leading the Bearcats to a 7-5 record, including a 32-14 victory over Marshall in the Fort Worth Bowl.
Enos spent the 2003 season as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach under Craig Bohl at NCAA Division II North Dakota State, where he designed an offensive attack that averaged 30.1 points per game en route to an 8-3 record. Tony Stauss hit 220-of-325 passes (.677) for 2,134 yards and 15 touchdowns. His 2,134 passing yards represented the second-highest single- season total in Bison history.
Prior to his appointment at North Dakota State, he worked for three years as the quarterbacks coach at Western Michigan (2000-02) under Gary Darnell. In 2002, the Broncos finished fifth in the Mid-American Conference and No. 30 nationally in passing offense, averaging 256.1 yards per game. In 2001, Western Michigan ranked third in the MAC and No. 30 in the NCAA in passing offense (257.8 ypg). In 2000, the Broncos averaged 400.6 total yards and 29.9 points per game while posting a 9-3 record and winning the MAC West Division crown.
In 1999, Enos served as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Missouri State under Randy Ball. The Bears ranked among the NCAA Division I-AA leaders in passing offense (No. 22 at 258.8 ypg), scoring offense (No. 23 at 33.9 ppg) and total offense (No. 30 at 417.8 ypg). Quarterback Jay Rodgers finished among the national leaders in passing efficiency (No. 9 with a 150.1 rating) and total offense (No. 20 at 251.6 ypg).
His full-time coaching credits also include stops at Southern Illinois (quarterbacks and wide receivers, 1997- 98), Northern Michigan (offensive coordinator/backfield, 1996) and Lakeland College (offensive coordinator/ quarterbacks and wide receivers, 1994-95). He began his coaching career as a graduate assistant for George Perles at Michigan State (1991-93).
Enos was a four-year letterman (1987-90) and two- year starter (1989-90) at quarterback at Michigan State, compiling a 16-7-1 record (.688) as a starter. He led the Spartans to back-to-back bowl victories: a 33-13 win over Hawaii in the 1989 Aloha Bowl and a 17-16 win over Southern California in the 1990 John Hancock Bowl. As a senior, Enos threw for 1,677 yards and four touchdowns while helping the Spartans earn a share of the 1990 Big Ten championship. Enos still ranks among Michigan State’s all-time top 10 in pass attempts (No. 10 at 478), pass completions (No. 10 at 297), completion percentage (No. 3 at .621), passing yards (No. 10 at 3,837) and total yards (No. 8 at 4,301).
Enos earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration from Michigan State in 1991 and received a master’s degree in sports administration in 2006. A native of Dearborn, Mich., Enos earned all-state honors as a senior for Coach Jack Bridges at Edsel Ford High School. He accounted for 5,743 total yards and 46 touchdowns during his prep career.
Enos and his wife, Jane, are the parents of two children: Lia and Alex.