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Dave Clawson to be named head football coach at Wake Forest

Photo: Carlos Osorio/AP

Dave Clawson led Bowling Green to an upset win over Northern Illinois in the MAC title game last week.

Bowling Green coach Dave Clawson has agreed in principle to become the next coach at Wake Forest, according to a source with direct knowledge of the situation. The details could be finalized as early as tomorrow.

Wake Forest officials interviewed Clawson late Sunday night and offered him the job today. Wake Forest chose Clawson over Ball State coach Pete Lembo, whom Wake Forest athletic director Ron Wellman interviewed on Thursday in the Muncie, Ind., area.

Lembo is in the running for the Connecticut job and scheduled to interview in Atlanta. Clawson was never involved with that position.

Clawson replaces Jim Grobe, who resigned after five consecutive losing seasons. He stepped down after Wake finished 4-8 this year.

The hiring comes after Bowling Green's dominating performance in the MAC title game on Friday night. Bowling Green (10-3) blew out No. 16 Northern Illinois, 47-27, to clinch the school's first MAC title since 1992.

Wellman, who is a Bowling Green graduate, attended the MAC title game on Friday night and interviewed Clawson in northwest Ohio on Sunday afternoon. The race to become Wake Forest's next head coach essentially came down to him and Lembo.

Clawson's background appears to be an ideal fit for the Demon Deacons. His two jobs prior to Bowling Green were at Fordham and Richmond, two academically oriented schools that Clawson dug out of losing ruts. Clawson's recruiting footprint at Wake Forest will be similar to the one he used in Richmond. ron

Clawson's niche is as a program builder and player developer, which is what's needed at Wake Forest. The Demon Deacons play in the ACC Atlantic Division with Clemson and Florida State, the league's two clear-cut juggernauts.

Clawson has built Bowling Green up to be a consistent MAC contender, as the Falcons return seven starters on offense next season. That includes two of the best players in the MAC, star sophomore quarterback Matt Johnson and sophomore running back Travis Greene, who rushed for a school-record 1,555 yards this season.

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