Joe Tumpkin
Joe  Tumpkin

Defensive Coordinator

Alma Mater:
Michigan Tech


Phone: (989) 774-3896

Owning an impressive defensive coaching resume, Joe Tumpkin is entering his fifth season as Central Michigan's defensive coordinator. The two-decade coaching veteran oversaw the development of nine All-Mid-American Conference selections while with the Chippewas.

Last season, CMU's defense had one of the top pair of linebackers in the MAC with Shamari Benton and Justin Cherocci.

The duo were both named to the All-MAC third team in 2013 as Cherocci led the conference in total tackles with 120 while Benton was sixth with 111. In tackles per game, Cherocci ranked 16th nationally (10.0) while Benton was 32nd (9.3).

The CMU defense improved as the 2012 season progressed, particularly in the areas of pass rush and creating turnovers. The defense capped off the season with an impressive performance in CMU's win in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl. His unit played at its highest level of the season and held a high- powered Western Kentucky offense to just 21 points.

Eight different Chippewas recorded interceptions in 2012, led by senior safety Jahleel Addae's four, which tied for the best mark in the MAC. Addae went on to join the San Diego Chargers as a free agent and contributed immediately.

Addae, who was also recognized on the Jim Thorpe Award preseason watch list, received Second Team All-MAC honors. While in 2011, he became the first CMU defensive back since 2001 to earn All-MAC First Team recognition. Addae shared the conference lead in interceptions (4) and ranked eighth in tackles per game (8.9) and ninth in total tackles (107). He is currently a member of the San Diego Chargers.

Under Tumpkin's watch, linebackers Shamari Benton and Justin Cherocci emerged in 2012, with each displaying a consistent nose for the football. The pair combined for 258 stops, which represented nearly 25 percent of the team's total tackles. Both were among the MAC's leading tacklers while a current student-athlete 89 assisted tackles ranked No. 1 in the nation.

Tumpkin's first season as the defensive coordinator at CMU was highlighted by the selection of five Chippewas to the All-Mid-American Conference team.

The CMU defense forced multiple turnovers in six games in 2010, including a season-high four in a 26-22 win over rival Western Michigan. The Chippewas recovered 14 fumbles in 12 games, tied for 11th nationally.

Prior to CMU, Tumpkin spent two seasons as the linebackers coach at the University of Pittsburgh. He worked directly with a pair of All-BIG EAST First Team selections in Adam Gunn (2009) and Scott McKillop (2008). McKillop, the Big East Defensive Player of the Year and a First Team All-American, was selected by the San Francisco 49ers in the 2009 NFL Draft and continued his professional career with the Buffalo Bills (2011-2012).

Tumpkin coached the linebackers at SMU from 2005-07. He aided in the development of 2006 All-Conference USA Second Team linebacker Reggie Carrington.

Prior to the 2007 season, he earned a minority coaching fellowship with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and spent training camp working with the Buccaneers' coaching staff.

Tumpkin was on the coaching staff at Sam Houston State for three seasons (2002-04), piloting the linebackers during his first two seasons before shifting to the secondary in 2004.

Tumpkin's coaching experience also includes stops at Lakeland (defensive coordinator, 2000-01), Southern Illinois (linebackers coach/recruiting coordinator, 1998-99) and Defiance (linebackers, 1996). At Southern Illinois, he worked with eventual NFL Pro Bowl linebacker Bart Scott.

Tumpkin graduated from Michigan Tech in 1994 with a bachelor's degree in scientific and technical communications. He was a four-year letterman and captain of the Huskies' football team.

The Tumpkin File
1994 Lakeland College Graduate Assistant
1995 Northern Michigan University Defensive Line/Graduate Assistant
1996 Defiance College Linebackers
1997 Western Michigan University Graduate Assistant
1998-1999 Southern Illinois University Linebackers/Recruiting Coordinator
2000-2001 Lakeland College Defensive Coordinator
2002-2004 Sam Houston State University Linebackers/Secondary
2006 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Training Camp (Minority Internship)
2005-2007 SMU Linebackers
2008-2009 University of Pittsburgh Linebackers
2010-Present Central Michigan University Defensive Coordinator
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