Comeback for Coach Kramer

CMU chooses football legend to be 2018 homecoming grand marshal

| Author: Heather Smith

Tally another win for Central Michigan University football coaching legend Roy Kramer.

Kramer has been chosen to lead CMU's 2018 homecoming celebration in October as grand marshal.

Kramer served as head coach from 1967-77. His marquee season came in 1974 as the Chippewas won the NCAA Division II national championship. Kramer was named Division II National Coach of the Year as his squad went 12-1 that season on their way to the title.

Plan to celebrate

Homecoming weekend is Oct. 5-6, with CMU hosting Buffalo on that Saturday in Kelly/Shorts Stadium. The game time will be set 12 days in advance per Mid-American Conference TV rules. Tickets are on sale at Ticket Central in the John G. Kulhavi Events Center or by calling 888-347-3872.

"The name Roy Kramer is synonymous with victory at CMU," said Bob Martin, vice president for advancement, "so we're naturally excited to welcome him back to campus on a weekend that celebrates our winning tradition."

Kramer led CMU to a pair of Interstate Intercollegiate Athletic Conference titles, in 1967 and 1968, and finished his career at Central with a record of 83-32-2. He coached four All-Americans, eight Academic All-Americans and 38 first-team all-conference players. Kramer was inducted into the Marcy Weston Central Michigan Athletics Hall of Fame in 1987.

Michael Alford, associate vice president and director of athletics, said Kramer had a tremendous impact at Central and was a transformational figure in college athletics.

"He led a special group of young men to the lone national title in CMU history, but his greatest impact may have been his efforts to elevate us to a Division I institution," Alford said. "He understood the university-wide impact that this move would have and was key in negotiating our entrance into the Mid-American Conference." 

A native of Maryville, Tennessee, Kramer left CMU for Tennessee's Vanderbilt University in 1978 and served as the athletics director for 12 years. As commissioner of the Southeastern Conference from 1990-2002, he expanded the league from 10 to 12 members and created the SEC Football Championship Game — the first in college football. He also is known as the creator of the Bowl Championship Series, college football's first postseason structure to crown a national champion.

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