|Babers introduced as BG's new football coach (12-19-13)|
|Written by JACK CARLE, Sentinel Sports Editor|
|Thursday, 19 December 2013 14:14|
‘’He has the skills and values required to sustain a solid program, and insure that we make a great team even better,’’ said Chris Kingston, BG’s athletics director, who added that Babers was his first choice for the job.
Babers, who was the head coach at Eastern Illinois for the last two years, replaces Dave Clawson. Clawson coached the Falcons for five years, before being named head coach at Wake Forest earlier this month.
The history and tradition of Bowling Green football, and the rich recruiting area in Ohio, were positives for Babers.
“The opportunity to recruit high school athletes from this state is unmatched,’’ Babers said. “You can name four or five states with just home-grown football players, and this is one of those states.
“To have that rich area so close to the university, and to be able to interact with those high school coaches …. gives you a great opportunity to be successful,” Babers added.
Defensively, Babers likes what he has seen from the Falcons, especially against Northern Illinois in the Mid-American Conference championship game.
“They have played great defense here, so we have to be careful about any kind of change that happens on the defensive side,’’ Babers said.
‘‘I can tell you that we’re going to change on offense … (use an) up-tempo offense,” he added. “From an offensive standpoint, we’re going to get better. I can’t stand here and be modest about what things we do on offense. I may be humble, but we know what we’re doing on offense, and we’re going to be good.
“Taking a football team like this, that has a great base, a great foundation, and then trying to put a little icing on to make it taste a little bit different; I’m excited about that opportunity.”
Kingston was impressed with Babers’ background, which includes stints at Baylor and UCLA.
‘’First and foremost he is a player’s coach, willing to spend the time necessary to develop trusting relationships on and off the field, and in and out of the classroom,’’ Kingston said. ‘’Secondly, he is a man of integrity, following the letter of the law and the NCAA throughout his entire career. And third he has proven himself to be an overachiever, who challenges himself and all of those around him to continually improve, and never settle both competitively and academically.
“In addition to those three overarching traits, he has a relentless work ethic,’’ Kingston added.
Babers said the key words about him was “I don’t settle.”
“Be special, be different, be Bowling Green,” Babers said.
Art Briles, Baylor’s head coach, was one of the biggest influences on Babers.
“His style is a positive reinforcement style. He never sees the negatives, he always sees the positives,’’ Babers said about Briles. “Nothing is more important than the players. It’s all about the players and having a positive influence, so you make sure you have an impact on their lives.
“If you are going to be a player’s coach, you have to be involved. I want to know what’s going on,” Babers continued. “The coolest thing about that is that I’m not going to have to ask, because they are going to feel comfortable enough that they will just walk up and tell me.”
The current Falcons met with Babers at 7:15 Thursday morning, and he made a positive impression on them.
“It’s better for me, if we’re going to spread the ball around,” said BG freshman wide receiver Ronnie Moore. Moore said he thinks he can pick up Babers’ offensive plan very fast, and that it’s going to be fun.
“I had one question for him. I asked him: What offense do you run? He said ‘have you seen the Baylor offense?’ And I said, ‘Yes.’ He said, ‘That’s your offense right there.’ I said, ‘That’s fine with me.”
Babers said he plans to attend the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl game between Bowling Green and Pittsburgh next Thursday. He is also talking with current members of BG’s coaching staff as well as his staff at Eastern Illinois as he assembles the new staff for the Falcons.
“That’s my first point of emphasis so to speak, is bringing the staff together so when we come out of the recruiting period, we will be ready to go,” Babers said. “You really need to go slow on that, because it is something that is going to be with you a long time … I am going to make sure I do my due diligence … do a lot of background work on a lot of people before I decide on a final staff.”
Babers said he planned to call the recruits who have verbally committed to Bowling Green, and tell them that he planned to honor their commitment.
Babers received a five-year contract for $400,000 a year.
|Last Updated on Friday, 20 December 2013 10:09|
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