Syracuse named Bowling Green head coach Dino Babers as the program’s 30th head coach, the school announced on Saturday afternoon. Babers will be officially introduced as head football coach at a press conference on Monday at 10 a.m.
Babers will take over for Scott Shafer, who was fired on Nov. 23 prior to SU’s final game against Boston College. The Orange finished 4-8 in 2015, and Shafer went just 14-23 in three years as Syracuse’s head coach.
“It is a true honor to have been selected to lead Syracuse University football, a program steeped in rich tradition, excellence, and success, both on and off the field,” Babers said in a release. “There were many coaching opportunities out there but none more attractive or exciting than this one. I’ve always admired Syracuse Football’s scrappy demeanor, grit, and winning mentality, but what attracted me to this position even more is the University’s intense focus on preparing its student-athletes for a lifetime of success. This is an incredible opportunity and one I am thrilled to have been offered.”
Babers was head coach at Eastern Illinois (2012-13) and Bowling Green (2014-15), compiling a 37-16 record. Bowling Green defeated Northern Illinois in the Mid-American Conference Championship on Friday evening.
In two seasons at Bowling Green, the team won the inaugural Raycom Media Camellia Bowl in 2014, the program’s first bowl win since 2004, and two MAC East Division titles.
“We wanted a leader who had a proven track record and a strong commitment to student welfare,” said Mark Coyle, Syracuse’s director of athletics. “Dino’s background as a former student-athlete combined with his head coaching experience, and dynamic offensive mind make him a great fit for our program. We are committed to building a winning Syracuse Football program and today reinforces that commitment.”
The hiring was first reported by ESPN’s Joe Schad and Sports Illustrated’s Thayer Evans. USA Today’s Dan Wolken was the first to report that Babers became the favorite after Ohio State defensive coordinator Chris Ash withdrew from consideration for the position.
Sports Illustrated also reports that the Orange will ink Babers to a six year deal.