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Ex-Arizona assistant Dino Babers is the new head coach at Bowling Green

Dino Babers was 19-7 in two seasons at Eastern Illinois. Photo by Bradley Leeb-USA TODAY Sports

Dino Babers was 19-7 in two seasons at Eastern Illinois. Photo by Bradley Leeb-USA TODAY Sports

One of Dick Tomey’s former coordinators at Arizona, Rich Ellerson, lost his head coaching job at Army this week.

Another of Tomey’s ex-coordinators gained his first FBS head coaching job Wednesday.

Dino Babers, who was at Arizona from 1995 to 2000, was announced as the new head coach at Bowling Green following his two successful seasons at FCS school Eastern Illinois.

Babers, 52, was the Wildcats’ offensive coordinator from 1998 to 2000, taking over for retired Homer Smith. The 1998-99 offenses, featuring Trung Canidate, Dennis Northcutt and tag-team quarterbacks Keith Smith and Ortege Jenkins, among others, are among the most prolific in school history.

Back then, Babers was certainly one of the hottest young coordinators in college football, but it wasn’t until his recent time at Baylor that his name started being mentioned again for head coaching jobs. Taking over Eastern Illinois, which beat San Diego State 40-19 to begin this season, was a smart move.

Babers coached receivers, running backs and quarterbacks at Arizona.

Here is a story on his hiring at Bowling Green from our Gannett partner, USA Today:

Dino Babers will take over as head coach at Bowling Green, the school announced Wednesday.

Babers will replace Dave Clawson, who took the job at Wake Forest.

Babers, the runner-up for the Eddie Robinson Award for FCS Coach of the Year this week, led Eastern Illinois to a 12-2 record, a No. 2 national ranking and a quarterfinal appearance in the FCS playoffs.

“We are so proud to have Dino and his family join Bowling Green State University,” athletic director D. Christopher Kingston said in a statement.

“Dino brings with him an incredible résumé 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, 19-7 in two years at Eastern Illinois, was an assistant at Baylor under Art Briles.

Baber’s Panthers led the FCS in yards a game (589.5) and points a game (48.2) in 2013. In addition, Eastern Illinois averaged 372.4 yards a game through the air and 217.1 yards on the ground.

“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.”

Babers’ quarterback at Eastern Illinois, Jimmy Garoppolo was named the Walter Payton Award winner, the FCS equivalent of the Heisman Trophy. Garoppolo threw for 5,050 yards and 53 touchdowns in 2013. During his two seasons under Babers’ guidance, he has thrown for 8,873 yards and 84 scores.

Babers was a four-year starter at the University of Hawaii, Academic All-WAC, and captain his senior year.

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