EMU coaching search expands

According to coachingsearch.com, Eastern Illinois University head coach Dino Babers interviewed for the head coaching job on Monday.

On Tuesday, the Eastern Michigan University athletic department would comment on the matter.

Babers is in his second season as EIU head coach with a record of 19-6.

Late Tuesday afternoon, Babers was named the American Football Coaches Association’s 2013 Region 3 Coach of the Year for the second straight season.

Babers will lead the No. 2 seed Panthers into the Football Championship Subdivision Playoff Quarterfinals this Friday night against No. 7 seed Towson University at 7 p.m. on ESPN2.

University of Louisville running backs coach Kenny Carter has also interviewed for the job.

Last Thursday, Colorado State University-Pueblo head coach John Wristen was in Ypsilanti being interviewed by EMU athletic director Heather Lyke for the same position.

Wristen is considered to be one of the leading candidates for the EMU coaching vacancy.

Wristen’s past is not what you think of from a possible candidate.

In Aug. 1999, Lafayette Police arrested Wristen on suspicion of four misdemeanor charges: harassment, child abuse, false imprisonment and third-degree assault. In a deal with prosecutors, Wristen pleaded guilty to the assault charges, according to court records.

The Wristen File:

Wristen started in the Division I ranks in 1990 serving as a graduate assistant for Colorado University.

Wristen became an assistant at Northwestern University under Gary Barnett from 1991-99.

Wristen went with Barnett for his second stint at Colorado coaching the tight ends, kickoff and punt teams from 1999-2005.

Then, he went to the University of California-Los Angeles to serve as the tight ends and special teams coordinator under Karl Dorrell in 2006.

After CSU-Pueblo (known as Southern Colorado at the time) dropped its football program in 1984, Wristen was asked to come back to the school he graduated from to start it back from the ground up in 2007.

The ThunderWolves started play in the 2008 season as Wristen led them to a 4-6 record.

Improvement began to show in 2009 with a 7-4 finish, marking the third-most wins for a startup program in its second season.

From 2010-13, Wristen’s teams went 43-5 with at least a share of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference championship in the last three seasons.

EMU expects to name a coach by next Thursday, according to school president Susan Martin at a Board of Regents meeting Tuesday Afternoon.

Stay with The Eastern Echo as the story develops.

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