Bowling Green has officially hired Dino Babers to be their next head coach. Babers spent the last two seasons coaching at Eastern Illinois, an FCS school, after spending four years at Baylor learning the offense under Art Briles. He has 30 years of coaching experience under his belt, primarily serving as an offensive assistant coach at colleges all across the country.
Babers is regarded as one of the top offensive minds in the country. He recently called his Eastern Illinois team "the Baylor Junior Varsity" in a CBS Sports report:
"We're like the Baylor Junior Varsity," Eastern Illinois coach Dino Babers told me Saturday. "Everything that Baylor does, we do. You can't look at us and not see Baylor." [...]
"I'd been in [the coaching business] for 22 years before I met Art," said Babers, counting up that he was on 11 different college coaching staffs before linking up with Briles. "He changed my thinking. I never met a man like that before. He's so positive. So forward in his offensive thinking. He's completely committed to what he's doing and he gets people to drink the Kool-Aid."
Babers guzzled that Kool-Aid.
"The system is not the easiest thing in the world to learn," he said. "It probably took me a year and half before I was comfortable with it. The cool thing about it, is the offense never stays the same. First, it's a caterpillar and then it's a butterfly and then. ... It's always green and grown."
The MAC features some of the nation's highest-scoring teams on a yearly basis. In 2013, Bowling Green averaged just over 35 points per game under Dave Clawson, who took the head coaching gig at Wake Forest earlier this month. With sophomore quarterback Matt Johnson and running back Travis Greene expected to return next season, the Falcons, who won the MAC this year, should be in good hands in 2014 under Babers.
From Bowling Green's official release on the hiring:
Under the guidance of Babers, quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo was named the Walter Payton Award winner, the FCS equivalent of the Heisman Trophy -- given to the nation's best player. Garoppolo threw for 5,050 yards and 53 touchdowns in 2013. During his two seasons under Babers' guidance, he has thrown for 8,873 yards and 84 scores.
Babers, best-known for his offensive firepower, has proven to be an effective defensive coach, as well. The Panthers are in the top 30 nationally in scoring defense, red zone defense, and passing defense efficiency. They are also one of the most prolific defenses in the all of FCS at forcing turnovers, as they are sixth in the nation with a plus-14 turnover margin. EIU forced 37 turnovers on the year and ranks first in the country with 23 fumbles recovered.
The terms of Babers' contract have not been disclosed.