Football fallout

The Eastern Michigan University Athletic Department and football team announced Tuesday offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Ken Karcher is “no longer a member of the EMU coaching staff.” On the heels of a 2-10 season, it was clear that a change needed to be made and Karcher ended up being the program’s choice.

The Athletic Department stated in an email Tuesday morning a search was underway for a new offensive coordinator and EMU head coach “[Ron] English will make no further comment on the matter until the search has been concluded.”

Karcher came to EMU in 2008 with English, and in addition to being the offensive coordinator, he was also named the quarterbacks coach. Before coming to EMU, he served as quarterbacks coach at the University of Toledo.

Karcher’s coaching career has been a diverse one: He began coaching
in 1991 by serving as the quarterbacks and wide receivers coach at the University of North Texas. He then spent three years (1994-96) as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at the University of Pittsburgh, after starting out as the passing game coordinator and quarterbacks coach in 1993.

Karcher then moved on to NFL Europe where he spent 1997-99 as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for the Rhein Fire in Germany, before moving to Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va. to compete in the Big South Conference, where he spent 2000-05 as the head coach. After this he spent two years as offensive coordinator at Fellowship Christian High School in Roswell, Ga., before taking the Toledo job and then moving onto his most recent position at EMU.

Before entering the world of coaching, Karcher played both college and professional football. He played for Notre Dame University from 1981-82 before transferring to Tulane University in 1984. He graduated from Tulane in 1986 and played from 1987-88 as a backup quarterback for the Denver Broncos.

With Karcher leaving, there is still the matter of replacing him. On Tuesday afternoon, there was a posting on emujobs.com for an assistant head coach position. Whoever takes the job will face an enormous amount of pressure right away to guide the EMU offense to an instantly successful season.

English is not likely to lose his job at this point, but with only one year remaining on his contract he is not exactly out of the hot seat either. If the new coordinator fails to measure up to whatever English and EMU Athletic Director Derrick Gragg define success as, we may very well see a new head coach before the next season’s end.

No replacement has been immediately announced, so it is very likely that while the search is underway, there may be some time before the Eagles have a new offensive coordinator.


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