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Speir Adds Michael Painter as Director of Football Operations

July 10, 2017

Cullowhee, N.C. - Western Carolina sixth-year head coach Mark Speir has announced the addition of Michael Painter to his staff, fulfilling the role of Director of Football Operations. Painter, who has been on the coaching staffs of five different schools during his professional career, joins WCU football after four years at the University of Connecticut.

Painter assumes a role previously held for several years by longtime department member, Dan Gibson, who took over as the WCU Director of NCAA Compliance in June.

“We’re excited about the addition of Michael Painter and his family to our Catamount football family. Michael has huge shoes to fill in the departure of Dan Gibson who has been a vital part of Catamount football for many years as he moved on into compliance,” said Speir. “Michael brings a wealth of knowledge as a player and his experience from numerous stops including most recently UConn. He’s a very sharp individual that will bring new ideas to our staff, and we’re thrilled to have him on board.”

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.

Season tickets for all five home dates of Western Carolina's 2017 football season are on sale now through the WCU Athletics Ticket Office, located on the first floor of the Ramsey Center and online at Fans can also call the ticket office toll free at (800) 34-GOWCU or (828) 227-2401.

WCU’s football student-athletes officially report to campus for the 2017 fall camp on Monday, July 31 with practice opening on Tuesday, Aug. 1 with the first of two acclimation period, helmet-only sessions. The first day in full pads for the Catamount football team this the fall is slated for Saturday, Aug. 5.

Keep track of everything related to Catamount football and WCU Athletics through its social media outlets on Facebook ( and Twitter (@catamounts, @WCU_FB), as well as video updates on the department's YouTube channel (CatamountSports).

Important Upcoming Dates in Catamount Football:
Friday, July 14 – The WCU Great Smokies Invitational at The Ridges Golf Club
Tuesday, July 18 – Southern Conference Football Media Day in Spartanburg, S.C.
Monday, July 31 – Catamount Football Student-Athletes Report
Tuesday, Aug. 1 – First scheduled practice of 2017 preseason (helmet only); single-game football tickets on-sale to Catamount Club and season ticket holders only
Saturday, Aug. 5 – First scheduled practice in full pads
Sunday, Aug. 6 – Western Carolina's on-campus Media / Photo Day
Tuesday, Aug. 8 – Single-game home football tickets on sale to general public
Friday, Aug. 18 – Western Carolina University Freshman Move-In Day
Monday, Aug. 21 – First day of classes for the fall semester
Saturday, Sept. 2 – 2017 Catamount Football season-opener at Hawai'i
Friday, Sept. 8 – 13th annual Bob Waters Memorial Golf Tournament at The Maggie Valley Club
Saturday, Sept. 9 – 2017 Catamount Football home-opener vs. Davidson in Cullowhee, N.C.
Friday, Oct. 27 – "The Mutt" Catamount Football Golf Classic at the Laurel Ridge Country Club