Ex-CMU coach John Bonamego on Twitter: 'Get behind the new coach'

Tony Paul
The Detroit News
John Bonamego was fired as Central Michigan football coach Friday.

Former Central Michigan football coach John Bonamego hasn't spoken to reporters since he was fired late Friday night.

But he broke his silence on Twitter on Sunday, in a class way.

Bonamego responded to tweets from multiple supporters of the program, including one in which he wrote, in part, "Get 100% behind the new Coach and go Kick Butt! I will be watching PROUDLY! Fire Up Chips Forever!"

Bonamego, 55, is a Central Michigan alum who coached the Chippewas for four seasons, taking them to three bowl games.

This year, though, was a disaster, with a 1-11 record, capped by a horrific performance in Friday afternoon's 51-13 loss at Toledo. To make matters worse, the game featured one big brawl and another minor skirmish, both instigated by the Chippewas.

It was officially the worst season in Central Michigan's history, which dates to the 1800s, and to the 1970s for Division I purposes. The Chippewas didn't beat any teams in the Football Bowl Subdivision.

Bonamego was fired Friday night after arriving back in Mount Pleasant, and less than a year after he signed a contract extension that was to take him through 2022. He has a buyout worth more than $1 million; there are negotiations under way between representatives for Bonamego and athletic director Michael Alford.

Bonamego's annual salary was just under $700,000.

More:Who's next at CMU after the firing of coach John Bonamego?

Bonamego was 22-29 in four seasons, after being hired away from the Detroit Lions, where he was special-teams coordinator. (Interestingly, the Lions have an opening, again, for a special-teams coach.) It was his first head-coaching job, at any level. There were signs of promise early in the tenure, after he replaced Dan Enos, but this season unraveled quickly, beyond one of the worst offenses in the nation.

Alford will hold a meeting Monday morning with other CMU athletic department officials to discuss the state of the program, and how to proceed moving forward. This will be his first major hire since taking over as athletic director last spring. Alford already was on the road Saturday, scouting at least one possible coaching candidate.

Bonamego hasn't returned messages from The Detroit News, and Alford has declined to speak beyond the statement he issued Friday night.


Twitter: @tonypaul1984