Turn Around Season Pays Off for Western Michigan Football


Waldo Stadium, Kalamazoo Michigan. Photo credit — Gwen De Young

The 8-4 Western Michigan football season ended on a loss, but coach and players were rewarded by the Mid-American Conference as awards for the regular season were announced today.

MAC Coach of the Year

Head coach P.J. Fleck was named MAC coach of the Year after having one of the best turnarounds in the MAC, and debatably in division 1 football. At 34, he is the youngest coach in FBS and was hired at Western Michigan after Bill Cubit was relieved of his coaching duty in 2012. His first season the team only won 1 game and fans called for Fleck to be fired. However he wasn’t and that has shown to be a good thing for the Broncos football program.

Mid-American Conference Offensive Player of the Year and the MAC Freshman of the Year

No surprise here, freshman Jarvion Franklin was named MAC Offensive Player and Freshman of the year. Franklin lead the MAC with 1525 rusing yards and 25 touchdowns. Franklin scored 13 more touchdowns than the second place player in the MAC. Franklin also spent most of the season leading the nation in rushing touchdowns until he was injured in a game against Eastern Michigan University. Having Franklin for the next 3 years will be fun for Bronco fans to watch, this kid is going to be a real special player for the team.

Eleven Broncos named All-MAC

Franklin, wide receiver Corey Davis and cornerback Donald Celsicar were named to the First Team All-MAC. Quarterback Zach Terrell and lineman Willie Beavers were named Second Team while guard James Kristoff, wide receiver Daniel Braverman, cornerback Ronald Zamort, safety Justin Currie, punter J. Schroeder and freshman Darius Phillips earned Third Team.

A season of turnarounds for the Broncos only looks to continue for seasons to come. In 2014 Western Michigan Football had a recruiting class ranked 71st in the nation and 1st in the MAC. The 2015 recruiting class is 62nd in the nation and still first in the MAC. P.J. Fleck has brought the program back strong and was the spark needed. He brings kids in and gets them to trust him and the plans he has. People laughed at Row The Boat when Fleck brought it to Western a season ago, now more and more people are getting on the boat to row.

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