Talk about leaving on a high note.
Just 12 hours after lifting the Mid-American Conference Championship trophy, multiple reports are indicating that Dino Babers, head coach of the Bowling Green Falcons, will be heading to Syracuse to take over for the departed Scott Shafer.
USA TODAY's Dan Wolken reported that the Babers deal was done on Wednesday, three days before the MAC Championship Game, but that the deal was not announced, as it was sensitive information. Earlier in the same week, Babers had been linked to the then-vacant UCF job, now occupied by former Oregon offensive coordinator Scott Frost.
Babers has been impressive in his short head coaching career, with two stops at FCS Eastern Illinois (19-7 in two seasons, with national rankings at the end of both seasons) and BGSU (18-9 in two seasons). Babers has also been a sort of quarterback whisperer, turning Jimmy Garrapolo into an attractive 2nd-round draft pick for the New England Patriots, and accelerating the growth and pro prospects of Matt Johnson, who set multiple school and conference records in season passing numbers.
As a head coach, Babers has achieved a lot of postseason success, leading the EIU Panthers to a quarterfinal game in 2013, and the Bowling Green Falcons to two straight MAC Championship Games, winning one, and winning the Camellia Bowl against South Alabama in 2014.
Babers has a very long and varied coaching history, which dates back to the late 1980's, and includes stops at Arizona State, Purdue, Arizona, Texas A&M, Pittsburgh, UCLA, and Baylor. Babers has coached on all three sides of the ball, and was the assistant head coach at UCLA from 2004-2007, where he also coached quarterback and running backs. A stop in Baylor from 2008-2013 steeped Babers into the revolutionary Air Raid offensive system, which Babers adapted to a Midwestern climate with a (tad) more running plays to wild success. Babers was a running back and defensive back at the University of Hawai'i from 1979-1983, and started his coaching career as a grad assistant at Hawai'i.
Won't hear one bad word about coach from me I'm happy for him and he deserves it. Stayed with us all in from day 1— Matty (@11DroppinDimes) December 5, 2015