Central Michigan football coach Jim McElwain sidelined with appendicitis ahead of season opener at Mizzou

From Staff & Wire Reports
The Columbia Daily Tribune
Central Michigan coach Jim McElwain reacts during the New Mexico Bowl against San Diego State on Dec. 21, 2019, in Albuquerque, N.M.

Missouri's first opponent might be missing some leadership.

Central Michigan could be without a key figure for Saturday's 2021 opener at Missouri: coach Jim McElwain. The third-year coach was set to undergo surgery for appendicitis on Wednesday, according to the school.

Assistant head coach Tim Skipper, promoted to that position for the 2021 season, will lead the Chippewas until McElwain's return.

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Skipper was hired before the 2020 season as CMU’s linebackers coach, a role he still has in addition to his assistant head coach duties. The Fresno State alum has never been a head coach, but served as assistant head coach under McElwain from 2013-14 at Colorado State.

McElwain, 59, is entering his third season as Chippewas head coach, after a prior stint with Florida.

McElwain is 11-9 at CMU, including 3-3 in last year's shortened season, after being tapped to replace John Bonamego in what was a marquee hire for a mid-major program.

The Detroit News and Detroit Free Press contributed to this story.