The extensive search for a new head football coach for Davenport attracted over 100 applicants, including some of the most successful and accomplished coaches in collegiate football. In the end, the search was narrowed down to a small group of highly qualified coaches and were honored to meet with each of them. The Search Committee consisted of key stakeholders for university success who were charged with recommending the candidate who best would represent the qualities and vision of Davenport Football and take our program to the next level of excellence.
Davenport is happy to announce the new Head Coach for Davenport University Football is Charles “Sparky” McEwen!
Charles “Sparky” McEwen has spent the last five seasons at Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Mich. He has served as passing game coordinator, receivers coach, pro liaison and alumni relations liaison during his tenure with the Bulldogs. He helped guide Ferris State to back-to-back undefeated regular seasons as a member of NCAA Division II and the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. The team posted a 28-game regular season win streak from 2013-2016. The Bulldogs made a NCAA Division II semifinal appearance in 2016 including a 47-32 quarterfinal win over Grand Valley State in Allendale, Mich.
McEwen, who played for the Bulldogs from 1987-90, spent more than a decade as a professional football coach in the Arena Football League with both the Grand Rapids Rampage and the Oklahoma City Yard Dawgz.At the professional level, McEwen coached the Oklahoma City Yard Dawgz for three seasons prior to the franchise’s departure from the AFL prior to the 2011 campaign.
McEwen began his arena football career as a quarterback with the now-defunct Grand Rapids Rampage in 1998 and first served as the team’s offensive assistant and scout in 2000. He was the offensive coordinator from 2001-03 before originally becoming assistant head coach and offensive coordinator in Oklahoma City in 2004.
He returned to Grand Rapids as head coach and director of football operations of the Rampage for three seasons (2005-08) before going back to Oklahoma City as the head coach and president of football operations for his final three seasons of indoor football, which included two as an arena football2 franchise and the final year in the AFL.
McEwen was the Rampage’s offensive coordinator during the program’s three best seasons from 2001-03, which included winning ArenaBowl XV in 2001. Under his direction, the Rampage’s offense scored more points than any other team in the Arena Football League and gained more yards than any other over the three-year span.
McEwen also served as a successful high football head coach in Grand Rapids at Creston High School from 1996-2003.
A huge thanks to the Search Committee for their commitment and service on this important task. Also, thank you to our Interim Head Coach, Steve Casula, who is an integral part of Davenport Football and has agreed to stay on as our Offensive Coordinator.