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Bowling Green hires Babers of E Illinois as coach

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BOWLING GREEN, Ohio (AP)

Bowling Green has hired Eastern Illinois' Dino Babers to become the Falcons' new football coach.

Babers led Eastern Illinois to a 12-2 record and the Football Championship Series quarterfinals this season.

In announcing the hiring Wednesday, Bowling Green athletic director D. Christopher Kingston called Babers ''a proven winner.''

''Dino brings with him an incredible resume of successful experiences that absolutely fit the Falcon football program,'' Kingston said.

He takes over for Dave Clawson, who led Bowling Green to a Mid-American Conference championship before leaving for Wake Forest earlier this month.

Babers, 52, was 19-7 in two seasons at EIU. He inherited a team that had finished last in the Ohio Valley Conference in 2011 and helped it finish 6-1 in the league the next season. He was selected the conference's coach of the year the past two seasons.

Before joining Eastern Illinois, Babers spent four seasons working at Baylor under coach Art Briles. He served as the special teams coordinator, recruiting coordinator and outside receivers coach for the Bears.

Babers has more than 30 years' experience as an assistant in FBS.

His coaching stops include UCLA, where he was an assistant head coach and recruiting coordinator. He also spent time at Pittsburgh, Texas A&M, Arizona, Purdue and Arizona State.

Eastern Illinois had one of the top offenses in the FCS under Babers. The Panthers led the nation with just over 48 points per game and 589.5 yards per game.

Bowling Green (10-3) plays Pittsburgh in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl on Dec. 26. The Falcons won the MAC championship with a victory over previously unbeaten and then-No. 16 Northern Illinois in the conference title game.

Bowling Green special teams coordinator Adam Scheier will serve as the interim coach for the Falcons in the bowl game.

Tagged: Bowling Green, Illinois

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