This past season was Lewis’s first as co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Bowling Green, which won the MAC championship under Babers. With the tutelage of Lewis, Falcons quarterback Matt Johnson leads the FBS in passing yards (4,700) and is second in touchdown passes (43) this season.
Johnson also broke the MAC’s single-season passing yards record previously held by Ben Roethlisberger (4,486 yards) and the league’s single-season touchdown passes record that had been held by Bowling Green’s Omar Jacobs (41). The Falcons are in the top five nationally in passing offense (376.1 yards per game), total offense (561 yards per game) and scoring offense (43.4 points per game).
One of college's top up-and-coming assistants, Lewis initially came to Bowling Green last season as Babers’s inside receivers coach. Under Lewis last year, the Falcons had at least six receivers with 20 or more receptions, four receivers over 30 catches and three receivers with more than 50 receptions, just one of three FBS programs to do so.
Prior to Bowling Green, Lewis was inside receivers coach at Eastern Illinois for two seasons under Babers. Lewis was a graduate assistant at Akron in 2011 and coached tight ends at Nebraska Omaha in ’10.
He got his coaching start as offensive coordinator at his alma mater, Richards High in Oak Lawn, Ill. He played for Wisconsin from 2004–07.
Babers became Syracuse’s coach last week after an 18–9 record in his two seasons at Bowling Green, including a 10–3 mark this season. A disciple of Baylor’s Art Briles, Babers is considered one of college football’s best offensive minds.
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.
Syracuse’s first black head coach, Babers replaces Scott Shafer, who was fired after a 4–8 campaign this season. Shafer went 14–23 in his three seasons in charge of the Orange.