Babers leaves Eastern Illinois for Bowling Green

Charleston, IL ( - Eastern Illinois will begin its search for a new head football coach in the coming days after Dino Babers stepped down to accept the top job at Bowling Green.

Babers enjoyed two highly successful seasons at Eastern Illinois, winning back- to-back outright Ohio Valley Conference championships to advance to the FCS playoffs. He had a 19-7 overall record (14-1 OVC), including 12-2 this season as the Panthers rose to the No. 2 national ranking and reached the national quarterfinals.

Babers was the runner-up for the Eddie Robinson Award for FCS coach of the year, and his starting quarterback, Jimmy Garoppolo, was named the outstanding player in the nation with the Walter Payton Award.

"We would like to thank Coach Babers for his service to Eastern Illinois University and the Panther football program," EIU aathletic director Barbara Burke said. "Coach Babers and his staff brought an exciting brand of football to Charleston winning consecutive Ohio Valley Conference championships. While we hate to lose him as our head coach, we do understand that this is part of the collegiate coaching business and coaches move on to other opportunities."