Michael Painter joined the Western Carolina football staff, fulfilling the role of Director of Football Operations in July, 2017. Painter, who has been on the coaching staffs of five different schools during his professional career, came to Cullowhee after four years at the University of Connecticut.
Painter most recently served as the Director of Player Personnel for the UConn football team for three years under previous head coach Bob Diaco, for whom he had also worked on staff with at both Notre Dame (2010-11) and Cincinnati (2009). Before making the move to UConn, he was the defensive assistant at UMass and was the program's recruiting coordinator in 2013. In 2012, Painter worked at Minot (N.D.) State, coaching the secondary and outside linebackers.
As the Director of Player Personnel, Painter was highly-involved in the recruiting process of future student-athletes, with particular responsibility in maintaining computerized databases.
Painter was a graduate assistant coach at Notre Dame in 2010 and 2011, working with the defense and special teams. While in South Bend, he was part of the Notre Dame teams that won the 2010 Sun Bowl and 2011 Champs Sports Bowl.
During the 2007-09 seasons, Painter was a graduate assistant at the University of Cincinnati spending time with the offense, defense, and special teams. He was part of two Big East Conference championship teams (2008 and '09) and coached in three bowl games, including the 2009 Orange and 2010 Sugar bowls. He got his start in collegiate coaching while serving as an intern with the Central Michigan football program in 2006.
Originally from Sandusky, Ohio, Painter played at Mount Union (Alliance, Ohio) in 2003 where he was a part of the NCAA Division III national runner-up. He finished his undergraduate work in 2006 from Bowling Green before earning his master's from Cincinnati in 2009.
Michael is married to the former Taylor Ulrich, and the couple have a daughter, Scarlett.