Eastern Michigan Eagles Coaching Staff 2023

Chris Creighton has proved transformative as the head of the Eastern Michigan coaching staff as he returns to the Eagles for the 2023 college football season.

After leading the Eastern Michigan Eagles to their best record since 1987, Chris Creighton returns as the head coach for the 2023 college football season. As the Eagles aim to win a first-ever MAC Championship, who else makes up the Eastern Michigan coaching staff helping to get them to the promised land?

PFN Mock Draft Simulator - Desktop

Eastern Michigan Eagles Coaching Staff

Head Coach, Chris Creighton

Creighton became the 37th head coach in Eastern Michigan football history when he took over the Eagles before the 2014 college football campaign. The upcoming season sees him enter his 10th season at the helm, but numbers like this don’t really begin to tell the full story of the timeline and impact that he’s had on the Eagles’ football program.

Transformative is the only word that really does justice to Creighton’s impact on Eastern Michigan.

Ahead of the 2023 college football campaign, he is the only Eagles head coach to lead the program to multiple bowl appearances — most recently the 2022 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. In 2016 he delivered the first winning season since 1995 and has had three since.

While holding a laundry list of “firsts” at Eastern Michigan the veteran coach also resides in an exclusive club of active FBS coaches that have achieved over 160 career wins.

MORE: MAC Season Predictions 2023

He began his coaching career at Concordia (Illinois) University in 1991 before spending a season as the QB and head coach of Swedish side Limhamn Griffins, leading them to a Swedish league title.

On his return to American soil, Creighton spent three seasons as the offensive coordinator at Manchester College before landing his first full-time head coaching role at NAIA level Ottawa (Kansas) University.

His full coaching résumé can be found below.

  • Concordia (Illinois) (offensive coordinator, 1991-1992)
  • Limhamns Griffins (quarterback and head coach, 1993)
  • Manchester College (offensive coordinator, 1993-1996)
  • Ottawa (Kan.) University (head coach, 1997-2000)
  • Wabash College (head coach, 2001-2007)
  • Drake (head coach, 2008-2013)
  • Eastern Michigan (head coach, 2014-2023)

Offensive Coordinator, Mike Piatkowski

An accomplished quarterback who played for head coach Creighton at Drake, Mike Piatkowski transitioned from playing the position to coaching it when he rejoined the Eastern Michigan coaching staff in 2020. During his time with the Eagles, he’s assumed more responsibility and will be the offensive coordinator and quarterback coach for the 2023 college season.

Piatkowski was originally with the Eagles for three seasons in 2016-2018 when he worked as an offensive graduate assistant — a role he’s filled at several programs.

During his time as a coach, he’s worked with some of the most potent scoring offenses in college football while learning under offensive savant Kalen DeBoer while at Indiana.

Before beginning his coaching career, Piatkowski set school records for passing yardage, completion percentage, touchdown passes, and total offense at Drake while being named the 2012 Pioneer Football League Offensive Player of the Year.

His playing success has certainly followed him into coaching.

  • Montana State (offensive intern, 2013)
  • Midland University (graduate assistant working with RBs, 2014; working with TES, 2015)
  • Eastern Michigan (offensive graduate assistant, 2016-2018)
  • Indiana (offensive graduate assistant, 2018-2020)
  • Eastern Michigan (QB coach, 2020; QB coach and pass game coordinator, 2021-2022; QB coach and offensive coordinator, 2023)

Defensive Coordinator, Ben Needham

Since arriving in Ypsilanti in 2018, Ben Needham has been involved with developing some of the most dangerous and dominant defensive talent in the MAC — including Maxx Crosby and Jose Ramirez. After originally joining the Eastern Michigan coaching staff as a defensive line coach, successive promotions see him start 2023 as the defensive coordinator and LB coach.

Needham is an impressively experienced and versatile coach. His playing background as an offensive lineman at DePauw University helped his understanding of how to be successful as a defensive lineman, while his varied coaching career includes special teams experience from coaching punters during a stint at Kent State.

He has extensive exposure to the MAC, but Needham’s coaching journey has seen him also work in two different Power Five conferences. Needham has twice served alongside head coach Creighton. From the beginning of his coaching career at Ohio State — where he earned a degree in music education — to his current role at Eastern Michigan.

  • Ohio State (student assistant, 2005-2007)
  • Wabash College (assistant defensive line coach, 2007)
  • Drake (assistant defensive line coach, 2008-2010)
  • Ohio State (defensive graduate assistant, 2010-2012)
  • Arkansas (defensive graduate assistant, 2012)
  • Kent State (LB coach, punters coach, recruiting coordinator, 2013-2015); defensive coordinator, 2016; defensive and special teams coordinator, 2017)
  • Eastern Michigan (defensive line coach, 2018-2020; defensive line coach and defensive run game coordinator, 2021-2022; defensive coordinator and LB coach, 2023)

Offensive Line Coach, Sean Coughlin

After serving as the offensive line coach at Arkansas State from 2018-2020, Sean Coughlin joined the Eastern Michigan coaching staff in 2021. Entering his third season with the program, Coughlin is the offensive line coach and co-offensive run game coordinator. He was a three-time all-conference guard at Drake, working on the football team before Creighton’s arrival in 2008.

MORE: MAC RB Rankings 2023 

Defensive End Coach, Bo Alexander

A new addition to the Eastern Michigan coaching staff for 2023, James “Bo” Alexander will coach the Eagles’ defensive ends in what is his first full-time coaching role at the FBS level. He arrived in Ypsilanti from Pittsburgh, where he was a defensive graduate assistant. Eagles’ fans may recognize him from a four-year standout playing career at Kent State.

Tight End Coach, Brandon Blaney

Brandon Blaney joined the Eastern Michigan coaching staff in 2020 after a long and varied career that has seen him coach at the highest levels of college football and the NFL. Beginning his career at Oklahoma, he’s spent time at Ohio State, Kansas, Iowa State, Tennessee, and Michigan, while working as a defensive assistant for the Jacksonville Jaguars from 2011 to 2013.

Wide Receiver Coach, Chris Chestnut

After playing football at Western Michigan in the early 2000s, Chris Chestnut had a three-year career in the AFL before joining Ellsworth Community College as WR coach in 2009. He joins the Eastern Michigan coaching staff for the 2023 season after successful stints at Tennessee State, Western Kentucky, and most recently in a return to his alma mater in 2021 and 2022.

Cornerback Coach, Munir Prince

A two-way player for Notre Dame before transferring to Missouri, Munir Prince got his coaching break with the Tigers in 2010. Following stops at Drake, Missouri State, and Pittsburg State, he became the head coach at Webster Groves High School before joining the Eastern Michigan coaching staff as cornerback coach for the 2022 season — a role held at two of his previous stops.

Safety Coach, Tate Omli

In addition to his role working with the Eagles’ safeties, Tate Omli serves as the defensive pass game coordinator on the Eastern Michigan coaching staff. Omli is in his second stint with the program, having previously worked as a graduate assistant in Ypsilanti for the 2016 and 2017 seasons. He returns having spent the past three seasons at Hutchinson Community College.

Running Back Coach, Issac Reed

Having been twice named the Bob Packard Outstanding Offensive Back at Baldwin Wallace University, Isaac Reed took his talents to the sideline with his alma mater in 2016. Advancing through multiple programs, including three years in the MAC with Buffalo, Reed lands on the Eastern Michigan coaching staff having spent 2022 in the Big Ten with Rutgers.

Defensive Tackle Coach, Jerone Steckel

A former teammate of now Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, Jerone Steckel joins the Eastern Michigan coaching staff for the 2023 college football season as their defensive tackle coach. He spent the last four seasons working with the defensive line at Southeast Missouri State and also has MAC coaching experience from a year spent at Central Michigan.

Share your thoughts!x