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Michigan tabs ex-CMU coach John Bonamego as bowl game consultant

Michigan has reportedly added former CMU head coach John Bonamego to its ranks as a bowl game consultant for the Peach Bowl.

According to the Detroit Free Press’ Nick Baumgardner, a spokesperson for the football program has confirmed that the former head coach has joined the program for the bowl game and his status with the program beyond that is unclear.

Elsewhere, per a program spokesman, former Central Michigan head coach John Bonamego is with Michigan in Atlanta for the Peach Bowl working with the team as a ‘consultant,'” Baumgardner’s report read. “It’s unclear if that role will continue beyond the bowl game.”

Bonamego was fired by the Chippewa’s earlier this month after leading the program to its worst season in program history after going 1-11 in 2018. He finished his coaching career in Mount Pleasant with a 22-29 record in four seasons, taking the Chippewa’s to three bowl game appearances.

He was replaced by former Michigan wide receivers coach and Florida Gators head coach Jim McElwain, who was hired by the program in early December. McElwain was fired by Florida during the 2017 season after going 22-12 in three seasons, which included two losses to the Wolverines during his tenure. He was brought in to be the wide receivers coach by Jim Harbaugh in February of 2018 before becoming the new Chippewa head coach in December.

“The thing that really drew us to this, was not only the community, but the history and tradition,” McElwain told reporters during his introductory press conference this month. “Coach (Roy) Kramer. Coach (Herb) Deromedi. The great Chippewas that have played here, obviously having the current ones that are even playing the National Football League as we speak. But all the ones that have been here before, I welcome them back because they are the ones that have built part of that tradition.”

Bonamego, 55, has spent the majority of his coaching career in the NFL ranks. Spending two stints with the Jacksonville Jaguars (1999-2002, 2012) as a special teams coach, he also spent time with the Green Bay Packers, New Orleans Saints, Miami Dolphins and the Detroit Lions in various special teams roles (which includes special teams coordinator) before heading to Mount Pleasant, his alma mater, to take the head coaching job. He was most recently a special teams coordinator with the Lions during the 2013 and 2014 seasons.

“I can’t put into words how humble, grateful, and proud I am to be the head coach at Central Michigan,” Bonamego told reporters at his introductory press conference in 2015. “To me, this never will be (just) a job. It’s the job.”

Despite being born in Pennsylvania, Bonamego went to Paw Paw High School before playing collegiate football with the Chippewas. Bonamego’s responsibilities with the program are unclear at this time.

U-M will take on Florida, who are 4-0 against the Gators in program history, in the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl on Saturday. Kickoff is scheduled for noon EST.

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