Dec 21, 2019; Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA; Central Michigan Chippewas head coach Jim McElwain reacts in the fourth quarter against the San Diego State Aztecs during the New Mexico Bowl at Dreamstyle Stadium. San Diego State defeated Central Michigan 48-11.  Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Central Michigan coach Jim McElwain (appendectomy) may miss opener

Central Michigan coach Jim McElwain is likely to miss Saturday’s game at Missouri after undergoing emergency appendectomy surgery on Wednesday.

Assistant head coach Tom Skipper is leading preparations for Central Michigan’s season opener.

There is no timetable for McElwain’s return, though Skipper would love to see the 59-year-old make a swift recovery.

“We are hoping, praying it’s one of those 24-hour deals and then he gets back with us, we get on the plane and we go play the game,” Skipper told reporters. “But Coach Mac has prepared us for situations like this. I’ve been with him a long time, and he’s always talking about ‘setbacks are temporary.’ So we’re moving forward as a team.”

Skipper also coaches the team’s linebackers.

McElwain is in his third season with the Chippewas. He went 3-3 in the shortened 2020 season and is 11-9 at the school.

McElwain is best known for his 2 1/2-season stint as coach of Florida, when he went 22-12 and was forced out at midseason in 2017. He also coached Colorado State from 2012-14.

McElwain has a 55-37 career mark in nine seasons.

–Field Level Media