Former Eastern Michigan football coach Jeff Genyk eager to start in new role at Cal
In five years at Eastern Michigan, Jeff Genyk invested himself into trying to turn a struggling college football program around.
He spent the past 12 months doing the same for himself. He started his own consulting business. He worked with seven different college football programs evaluating spread offenses. He worked as a color commentator for ESPN regional broadcasting working Atlantic Coast Conference games.
But deep down, he yearned to return to coaching.
Even if that meant moving his family to the West Coast.
On Saturday, the University of California announced Genyk would join its football staff, serving as Jeff Tedford's special teams coordinator and tight ends coach. The opportunity is similar, Genyk said Monday, to his 12-year tenure at Northwestern - another school known for its academic success.
It also affords Genyk the chance to return to his first love.
"There's no doubt I missed coaching," Genyk said in a telephone interview Monday. "I missed being around the players and impacting their lives, and I missed Game Day, and that's something I really had a chance to reflect on over the last year."
Genyk will make the move to Berkely this week begin beginning on Tedford's staff within the next few weeks. He had never met Tedford before interviewing with him within the last two weeks.
Cal - which finished 8-4 last season - is coming off its seventh straight bowl appearance, a 37-27 loss to Utah in the Poinsettia Bowl in San Diego. The Bears' program is one Genyk said he has admired from a distance but that will now give him the chance to make a living in and around college football.
"We are excited about bringing in an experienced coach with Jeff's high level of expertise, energy and passion," Tedford said in a news release issued by the school. "He is a versatile and well-rounded coach that has all the qualities we are looking for in members of our coaching staff."
Although the job means moving to Northern California, Genyk said up-rooting loved ones for new opportunities goes with the territory. Genyk's wife had recently become certified to teach elementary school in either Michigan or Illinois.
"She knew what kind of passion I have for coaching and for college football," Genyk said. "And when you jump on that college coaching carousel you know that sometimes, you're going to have to travel anywhere in the United States. And this is a great opportunity."
Jeff Arnold covers sports for AnnArbor.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 734-623-2554. Follow him on Twitter @jeffreyparnold.