Stripling named Central Michigan's interim coach

Associate head coach Steve Stripling has been named Central Michigan’s interim football coach through the GMAC Bowl, CMU athletics director Dave Heeke announced this afternoon.

Former head coach Butch Jones accepted a position to become the head coach of Cincinnati on Wednesday.

Stripling, who joined the CMU coaching staff in 2009 as the associate head coach in charge of defense and coached defensive ends, has more than 30 years of coaching experience. When he coaches the Chippewas in the GMAC Bowl against Troy on Jan. 6, it will be the 21st bowl game Stripling have been a part of as either a coach or a player.

“I have great confidence in Steve’s ability to lead our football program through the GMAC Bowl,” Heeke said. “He has served us well as associate head coach and his many years of experience have earned him the respect of our players and coaches.”

Stripling led a Central Michigan defense that ranked 29th in the country in total defense and 14th in the country in scoring defense, which led the Mid-American Conference.

Prior to coming to Central Michigan, Stripling coached the defensive line at Michigan from 2005-07. He worked directly with defensive end LaMarr Woodley, a 2006 All-American who won the Lombardi Award and Ted Hendricks Trophy.

The 2006 Wolverines led the nation in rush defense, surrendering just 43.3 yards per game on the ground.

“I’m very excited about the opportunity to lead this program,” Stripling said of Central Michigan. “We want to make this a winning experience and have an enjoyable experience as well. This team has accomplished a lot already this season, and we are looking forward to achieving our goals of being bowl champions and finishing in the top 25.”