Bowling Green State University’s 2023 football schedule includes five home games, but one away game — at “The Big House” against Michigan on Sept. 16 that will have special meaning for BGSU coach Scot Loeffler.
Loeffler was Michigan’s quarterback from 1993-96. He earned his undergraduate degree in history with a minor in political science in 1998 from Michigan.
From 2002-07, he coached quarterbacks for the Wolverines. Chad Henne became the first true freshman quarterback to lead his team to a Big Ten title and start in a BCS game, while John Navarre became Michigan’s first All-Big Ten first-team quarterback since 1997.
Prior to that, Loeffler was a graduate assistant and student assistant at Michigan beginning in 1996, working with Tom Brady and Brian Griese. He was part of the Wolverines’ undefeated national championship season in 1997.
Over his career, Loeffler has coached eight quarterbacks who went on to play in the NFL – Brady, Tim Tebow, Griese, Henne, Drew Henson, Navarre, Logan Thomas and Anthony Brown. Those eight quarterbacks have won a combined 10 Super Bowl championships (Tom Brady, 7; Chad Henne, 2; Brian Griese, 1).
In 2008, Loeffler worked with the Detroit Lions’ quarterbacks, following his tenure at Michigan. But he hasn’t been back to Ann Arbor in a while for a football game.
“It’s a nice school, it’s a great place, and I haven’t been in the new (renovated) stadium since it’s been done. I’ve been back to one football game in 2007 or 2008,” Loeffler said.
“When I was with the Lions I was at the Wisconsin-Michigan game, and Michigan came back and won. But that’s the last time I’ve been to that stadium in a football competition.”
Loeffler said standing opposite some of his best friends who are coaching against him will be a novel experience.
“It’s going to be really weird standing on the other sideline,” Loeffler said. “I’ve got a ton of friends who are coaches there — (head) coach Jim Harbaugh obviously with his father (Jack Harbaugh) playing and coaching here.
“(Running backs coordinator) Mike Hart, (wide receivers coach) Ronald Bellamy, my roommate, (defensive line coach) Mike Elston, so there are a lot of good friends and good family still at that place. We’re excited about that game.”
PaSean Wimberly (Toledo Whitmer), a BGSU 5-foot-10, 175-pound senior running back best known for blocking punts on special teams last year, said the Falcons will have to be prepared going against a team that played in the College Football Playoff semifinals last season.
“That’s probably the eye-opening game that everybody will want to see,” Wimberly said. ”We are going to have to stick with our fundamentals, stay true to ourselves and be able to compete and do all the little things right so we can prepare for that big game and those big events.”
The Mid-American Conference released its 2023 football schedule for its member institutions on March 1.
In 2023, Bowling Green will host Eastern Illinois (Sept. 9), Ohio (Sept. 23), Akron (Oct. 21), Ball State (Nov. 1) and Toledo (Nov. 14).
BGSU will also travel to Liberty (Sept. 2), Georgia Tech (Sept. 30), at Miami (OH) (Oct. 7), at Buffalo (Oct. 14), at Kent State (Nov. 8) and at Western Michigan (Nov. 21).
“I like exactly how it was laid out, inside and out. I can’t ask for a better schedule,’ Loeffler said.
Bowling Green faces six teams that earned bowl bids in 2022 – Buffalo (Camellia), Liberty (Boca Raton), Miami (OH) (Bahamas), Michigan (Fiesta/CFP Semifinal), Ohio (Arizona) and Toledo (Boca Raton).
Bowling Green’s schedule features four MACtion games for the second year in a row. The Falcons have an off weekend on Oct. 28.
For the second year in a row, BGSU will finish the regular season prior to Thanksgiving. BGSU does not face MAC foes Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, or Northern Illinois in 2023.
While the Michigan game looms large for Loeffler, he said there is still plenty of work to do, even though an early spring practice session concluded Friday.
“Obviously that’s a special personal game for me, but what our team needs to worry about right now is being able to go left-right with great hand placement and great pad level on inside zone and getting the quarterback with the right progression and the right footwork and throwing to the open guy,” Loeffler said.