Head coach Mike Jinks has been fired by Bowling Green, per a press release sent by the Falcons’ athletic department on Sunday afternoon. Defensive coordinator Carl Pelini has been announced as the interim coach.
Jinks’ firing marks the first removal of an FBS head coach this season.
This news comes less than 24 hours after Bowling Green squandered a 14-point lead to Western Michigan, losing 42-35 to the Broncos at home. The loss set Bowling Green to 1-6 this season, with the lone victory occurring by seven points against Eastern Kentucky of the FCS.
In about 2.5 seasons manning the sidelines, Jinks finished with a 7-24 record as head coach. The former Texas Tech running backs coach took over prior to the 2016 season, serving as the successor to current Syracuse head coach Dino Babers. He inherited a reigning MAC champion squad and a program that won three-consecutive East division titles.
However, this success was not sustained. The Falcons finished 4-8 in Jinks’ first season in 2016, following that up with a 2-10 finish in 2017. Bowling Green particularly struggled early in the season, and Jinks failed to beat a single FBS team in the month of September — faring 0-11.
Under Jinks, Bowling Green failed to defeat a non-conference opponent in the FBS. The program also hasn’t topped a team with a .500 or better record since 2015. One primary reason the Falcons failed to improve under Jinks was a defense that allowed an astronomically number of yards and points on a week-to-week basis.
Currently the worst rushing defense in the entire FBS, Bowling Green ranked 118th in points per game defense in 2016, 123rd in 2017, and is 129th this season. The ugliest loss of the Jinks era was a 77-3 shellacking from Memphis in September 2016.
Jinks will be replaced by Pelini, who served as the Florida Atlantic coach from 2012-13. He is the older brother of former Nebraska head coach Bo Pelini. Carl joined the Falcons staff this offseason after fulfilling defensive coordinator duties at Youngstown State — where Bo is currently coaching.
Pelini’s first game as head coach will occur at Peden Stadium next week as Bowling Green will battle Ohio.