Presnell Announces Retirement After 31 Seasons at CMU
Courtesy: CMU Athletic Communications
"Through the help of many people and mentors I have had a blessed career of 31 seasons with the Central Michigan University football team," Presnell said. "It has been my privilege to work with hundreds of student-athletes and many great coaches, all of whom have enriched my professional life. The many relationships I have acquired over the years have molded me into the person I am today. I will be forever grateful to the players, coaches and colleagues that have passed through my life at this great university. Fire up Chips!"
Presnell's collegiate coaching career began at CMU in 1978, when College Football Hall of Fame head coach Herb Deromedi hired him as a graduate assistant. Presnell worked for six head coaches during his 31 seasons at CMU, serving at different times as a position coach, associate head coach, recruiting coordinator and director of operations. He has been on the sidelines for six of CMU's seven Mid-American Conference championship seasons and all seven of the Chippewas' bowl game appearances.
"Plas has been a devoted staff member of this department for a long time and I can’t thank him enough for everything he has done for CMU Athletics," said CMU director of athletics Dave Heeke. “Plas has always put the student-athlete first, making lasting impacts on countless people associated with our football program. I think it is important to have people like Plas remain close to our program even after they retire and there will always be a place for him within our program.”
Presnell was a graduate assistant under Deromedi in both 1978 and 1980 before being hired into a full-time assistant role in 1981. Following the 1982 season, Presnell was named the defensive coordinator at Saginaw Valley State, where he helped lead the Cardinals to a record of 26-10-1 (including 23-1 in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference) from 1983-86. Saginaw Valley State won GLIAC championships in both 1983 and 1984.
Presnell returned to CMU for good in 1987, working with five different position groups over the following 16 seasons. As tight ends coach, he worked directly with eventual NFL players Tory Humphrey and Joe Staley; the latter went on to become the first first-round NFL draft pick in CMU history.
While he was assigned the operations and recruiting coordinator duties each season beginning in 1987, Presnell was officially named CMU’s director of football operations in 2001. He continued to coach tight ends from 2001-03 (adding the title of associate head coach in 2003) and worked with the Chippewas’ kickers, punters and long-snappers from 2004-06. Beginning in 2007, Presnell was exclusively in charge of the program’s day-to-day operations.
“I want to thank Plas for the loyalty and dedication he has shown this program,” said CMU head coach Dan Enos. “From the moment I came to CMU, I could tell that Plas cared deeply about every member of our program and was willing to do whatever was needed to help them succeed. I feel very fortunate that he has been a member of our staff and I know that there will always be a place for him within our program.”
A native of Allen Park, Mich., Presnell is a 1973 graduate of Michigan State. He and his wife, Sue, have two children: Ben and Kate.