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Bowling Green hires Eastern Illinois' Dino Babers as head coach

Dino Babers went 19-7 in two seasons as Eastern Illinois coach. (AP Photo) Dino Babers went 19-7 in two seasons as Eastern Illinois coach after spending four years as a Baylor assistant. (AP Photo)

Dino Babers will leave Eastern Illinois and become the new head coach at Bowling Green, the school announced on Wednesday.

Joe Schad of ESPN and SI.com's Pete Thamel first reported the news.

Babers will replace Dave Clawson, who left Bowling Green to take over at Wake Forest. In a statement, Falcons' athletic director D. Christopher Kingston said Babers' background was a huge selling point in the university's selection.

"We are so proud to have Dino and his family join Bowling Green State University," Kingston began. "Dino brings with him an incredible resume of successful experiences that absolutely fit the Falcon football program. He is a proven winner who is in the business of developing young men who desire success on the field, in the classroom and in the community. His ability to maximize talent through skill development is unmatched."

Babers finished his career with Eastern Illinois with a 19-7 record in two seasons, including a 12-2 mark this season. The Panthers lost to Towson in last week's FCS quarterfinals after finishing the regular season with the No. 2 ranking in the FCS.

Babers took the job at Eastern Illinois after four seasons as an assistant at Baylor under Art Briles, where he oversaw Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III in the Bears' up-tempo offense. Babers carried that offensive philosophy over to Eastern Illinois, where the Panthers led the FCS in yards per game (589.5) and points per game (48.2) in 2013. He was runner-up for the Eddie Robinson Award for FCS Coach of the Year.

Babers said he and his family are excited to become Falcons.

"I am honored and excited to join the Falcon family," Babers said. "BGSU has great facilities and the fans are proving, most recently through ticket sales for this year's bowl game, that their support of BGSU football is among the best in the MAC. I want to thank President Mazey, Chris Kingston, and Lesley Irvine for the opportunity to take over the Bowling Green program. My family and I can't wait to get to Bowling Green and become Falcons. While I look forward to my time at BGSU, I want to thank the Eastern Illinois players and fans for their support the last two years, especially President Perry and (athletics director) Barbara Burke."

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