On Tuesday afternoon, the Bowling Green Falcons formally announced the complete list of assistant coaches on Dino Babers' 2014 football staff. There will be one holdover from the Dave Clawson era, and as expected, the remainder come with Babers from Eastern Illinois.
(Biographical data from BGSUFalcons.com)
Sterlin Gilbert (Co-Offensive Cooordinator / Quarterbacks Coach)
Gilbert served as Babers' offensive coordinator during both of Babers' seasons at Eastern Illinois (2012-2013) and has ten years of experience as a high school assistant or head coach at various locations in Texas. He played quarterback at Angelo State and was named all-conference twice.
In 2013, Gilbert was named the FootballScoop FCS Coordinator of the Year. He led Eastern Illinois to 589.5 yards and 48.2 points per game. His team could pass and run extremely well -- they averaged 371.4yards per game through the air but also 217.1 yards on the ground.
These totals were a marked improvement over already great numbers in 2012. In his first season, EIU's offense 470.9 yards and 36.5 points per game.
EIU made the FCS playoffs in both seasons.
Gilbert also helped transform Jimmy Garoppolo into one of the best quarterbacks in the country and possibly a 2014 NFL draft pick. In 2013, Garoppolo passed for over 5,000 yards and 53 touchdowns, and he won the Walter Payton Award.
Matt Mattox (Co-Offensive Coordinator / Offensive Line Coach)
Mattox was Babers' offensive line coach during the 2013 season at Eastern Illinois. Mattox coached at Coffeyville and Butler Community Colleges in Kansas before coming to NIU. He played and got his coaching career started at the University of Houston under Art Briles. Babers worked under Briles at Baylor prior to moving to EIU, and Briles is the inspiration for what you will see from BGSU's new offense.
The Eastern Illinois offense ran up over 8,000 yards during Mattox's season as offensive line coach, including over 5,000 passing and 3,000 rushing yards.
Kim McCloud (Defensive Coordinator)
McCloud was the defensive coordinator at Eastern Illinois in the 2012 and 2013 seasons, and he also worked with Babers when both were assistants at Baylor University. McCloud also has experience working in the MAC, as he served there as an assistant in 2011 prior to going to EIU. He also has worked at Idaho, Missouri and Nevada. As a player, McCloud waa s three-year starting defensive back for the University of Hawai'i.
The defenses at EIU under McCloud were known primarily for forcing turnovers. The team ranked 18th in the country in turnovers forced in 2012, then led the country with 23 fumble recoveries in 2013. That 2013 squad forced 37 total turnovers, which led to a +14 turnover differential, which was 14th in the country. The Panthers were also one of the top defenses nationally in scoring defense, as they ranked in the top 30 in that category.
Tom Kaufman (Special Teams Coordinator / Linebackers Coach)
Kaufman was the Eastern Illinois linebackers coach for the 2012 and 2013 seasons. Prior to his work at EIU, Kaufman was a quality control coach at Kansas. He also has some familiarity with Ohio football, as he served as an assistant at both Case Western and Heidelberg for several seasons. Kaufman played football at John Carroll University.
His group was one of the most prolific in the Ohio Valley Conference at forcing turnovers, and his players were also among the league's best in tackles. In 2012, Robert Haynes notched 101 tackles to lead the team and rank near the top of the OVC.
Nick Monroe (Secondary Coach)
Monroe is the one holdover from the Dave Clawson administration. He has served as secondary coach at Bowling Green since 2010, and the groups that he coached helped BGSU's defense become the finest in the MAC.
In 2010 and 2011, his players were among the youngest and most inexperienced in the country. The Falcons' secondary featured four new starters in 2010, then played with three sophomores and two freshmen in 2011. That approach paid off in 2012, when the group ranked 13th nationally in pass defense and featured two all-conference players. During the 2013 season, the Falcons were sixth nationally against the pass and were so good that, in one game, they held Eastern Michigan to just four passing yards. Jerry "Boo Boo" Gates was named first-team All-MAC for the second straight year.
Mike Lynch (Running Backs Coach)
Lynch coached at Eastern Illinois for nine seasons prior to moving to BGSU with Babers. He was a wide receivers coach at EIU before Babers' arrival there and served as running backs coach during the 2012 and 2013 seasons.
His first back, Jake Walker, ran for 1,133 yards and was named to the All-OVC team. The team as a whole ran for 20 touchdowns during his first season as position coach. In 2013, his backs ran for over 3,000 yards. Sheppard Little ran for over 1,500 yards and 13 touchdowns to lead the group. Taylor Duncan fell just 12 yards shy of 1,000 and scored another 10 touchdowns.
Sean Lewis (Inside Receivers Coach)
Lewis served as a receivers coach under Babers during both of Babers' seasons at Eastern Illinois. Prior to that, he was a graduate assistant and game-day tight ends coach at Akron in 2011. Lewis played for four seasons at Wisconsin as a quarterback (one season) and tight end.
During the 2012 season, Lewis led EIU receiver Erik Lora to Freddie Barnes-type numbers for the Panthers. Lora totaled 136 catches and 1,664 yards. The team ended the season with 341 catches, over 4,000 yards and 34 touchdowns. Lora had another fantastic season in 2013, and along with Adam Drake, caught more than 1,300 combined receiving yards. Lora was named OVC Player of the Year in 2012 and then was named best FCS receiver in 2013.
Tom Freeman (Defensive Line Coach)
Freeman coached the defensive line for Babers at Eastern Illinois during the 2013 season. He has also been with Babers at several other stops and has more than 30 years of coaching experience. The pair served together at Pittsburgh, Arizona State and Purdue, and Freeman was an assistant at Hawai'i while Babers played there.
Freeman has also coached in the Canadian Football League with the Saskatchewan Roughriders. In college, he has also served at Weber State, Stanford and Central Florida.
Roy Wittke (Director of Football Operations)
Wittke led football operations for Babers during both seasons at Eastern Illinois but had been with the Panthers for the 17 years prior to Babers' arrival. He was offensive coordinator at EIU for two different periods, first from 1990-2002 and then again from 2008 until Babers' arrival after the 2011 season. Wittke coached Jimmy Garoppolo as a freshman and was also current Dallas Cowboy Tony Romo's coach, while Romo played at EIU.
Wittke was also offensive coordinator for three seasons at Arkansas and one season each at Arizona State and Northern Illinois. He served at NIU in 2007.
Sean Edinger (Director of Strength and Conditioning)
Edinger worked at Eastern Illinois in a similar role during the 2012 and 2013 football seasons, and at BGSU, he will supervise the strength and conditioning programs for all 18 Falcon sports. He has also worked at Central Missouri and Haskell Indian Nations University in Kansas. Edinger was a graduate assistant at the University of Missouri after graduating from Kansas in 2006.
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