Players, Kingston excited to welcome coach Babers

Wide receiver Chris Gallon said it’s unbelievable how excited the team is to have new head football coach Dino Babers.

Babers was officially introduced as the new head coach for the Bowling Green State University football team Thursday morning.

Babers, who has most recently coached at Eastern Illinois University, replaces Dave Clawson who left for a job at Wake Forest University on Dec. 10. He is not only making history as the 18th coach at BG but he is also the first African-American coach in school history.

He inherited a team in EIU that in 2011 finished last in the Ohio Valley Conference and turned them around in 2012 to win the OVC Championship. In his two seasons at EIU he finished with a combined 19-7 record, as well as this season leading them to a number two national ranking and the Football Championship Subdivision quarterfinals. That marked just the fourth time in OVC history that a team went from worst to first.

The Falcons are coming off of a Mid-American Conference Championship, a 10 win season and have been talked about as being able to repeat again next year.

“I just left two championships and they had never won before,” Babers said. “This is not pressure I will just do what I do.”

Babers’ trademark has been his ability to have explosives offenses wherever he goes. In his time at EIU the team had the best offense in all of FCS. The Panthers led the nation in yards per game with 589.5 and points per game with 48.2 in 2013. In addition, EIU averaged 372.4 yards per game through the air and 217.1 yards per game on the ground.

He has coached 27 NFL wide receivers thorough out his coaching career, including Tennessee Titans receiver Kendall Wright and Cleveland Browns receiver Josh Gordon. With returning receivers like Ronnie Moore, Ryan Burbrink and Chris Gallon, Babers will look to fully use all the weapons he has.

“We have a lot of receivers returning, a lot of weapons at receiver and we love to use them all,” Gallon said. “This was a great choice as head coach.”

Although he is known for his offensive coaching ability he has also proven to be just as an effective defensive coach. The Panthers are ranked in the top 30 nationally in scoring defense, red zone defense and passing defense efficiency. EIU was sixth in the nation with a plus-14 turnover margin they forced 37 turnovers on the year and ranked first in the country with 23 fumbles recovered.

“He touched on being a guy who won’t make too many changes,” safety Ryland Ward said. “Our defense will be a mixture of what they like doing and what we have been doing.”

BG has not beaten the University of Toledo since 2009 and that is one thing that Babers knows he must do as the newest head coach of the Falcons. Babers has been apart of rivalries before, he said.

“I know what it means here to beat the team up north,” he said.

Babers has been a winner at every job he has held, at UCLA as an assistant head coach, he also had stops at Pittsburgh, Texas A&M, Arizona, San Diego State, Purdue, Northern Arizona, Nevada, Arizona State and Hawaii.

“I don’t settle. I don’t settle for average in anything I do,” Babers said. “Why would I want to be average.”

Interim head coach Adam Scheier will coach the Falcons in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl. Babers first chance to coach the Falcons will be in the season opener next fall.