Bowling Green coach Dino Babers is working out the final details to become Syracuse's head coach, according to a source.
Babers’ contract with the Orange is believed to be a six-year agreement, per the source.
Babers' Falcons beat Northern Illinois 34–14 on Friday to win the MAC championship. The 54-year-old coach has an 18–9 record in two seasons at Bowling Green, both of which included MAC East Division titles and trips to the conference championship game.
Babers, who would be Syracuse's first black head coach, would take over for Scott Shafer, who was fired on Nov. 23 after Syracuse fell to North Carolina State, the Orange’s eight straight defeat after opening the season with three consecutive wins. Shafer was allowed to coach Syracuse in its final game of the season, leading the Orange to a 20–17 victory over Boston College.
After winning a combined 15 games in 2012 and ’13, Syracuse has won just seven over the past two seasons. The Orange’s offense ranked 11th in the ACC in scoring (27.2 points per game) and 13th in yards (319.9 per game) this season while defense finished 13th in points allowed (31.0 per game) and last in yards allowed (438.5 per game).
A disciple of Baylor’s Art Briles, under whom Babers served from 2008–11, he has brought a similar style of offense to Eastern Illinois and Bowling Green. At Eastern Illinois, he coached quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to the Walter Payton Award, the Heisman Trophy award of the FCS. Garoppolo was drafted in the second round of the 2014 NFL draft by the New England Patriots.
Bowling Green leads the MAC in scoring offense and total offense this season with 44.2 points (tied for fourth in the country) and 566 yards per game (third in the country). Quarterback Matt Johnson’s 4,700 passing yards and 43 passing touchdowns are both best in the nation.