Well, this was unexpected to say the least. Eight days before the Bowling Green Falcons take on Pitt in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl, they've hired a new head football coach for next season. Bowling Green State has confirmed it has hired Eastern Illinois head coach Dino Babers as the next head man.
"We are so proud to have Dino and his family join Bowling Green State University," BG Director of Athletics D. Christopher Kingston said in an official statement. "Dino brings with him an incredible resume of successful experiences ... He is a proven winner who is in the business of developing young men who desire success on the field, in the classroom and in the community. His ability to maximize talent through skill development is unmatched."
Babers is an offensive focused coach, known for innovative schemes. He spent three seasons at Baylor (2008-11) before taking the Panthers' head coaching gig in 2012. MAC fans might remember Babers' EIU Panthers from earlier this season. They gave Jordan LYnch and Northern Illinois a scare in a shootout at the beginning of the season en route to a 12-2 season, including the No. 2 overall seed in this year's FCS playoff. The Panthers lost to Towson last week in the quarterfinals.
In two seasons with the Panthers Babers went 19-7 and helped guide quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to the best season in program history (5,050 yards, 53 touchdowns).
Babers is also the first black football head coach in program history. His introductory press conference is scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 19 at 10 a.m..