EIU Coach Third In Coach of Year Voting


Published on December 18 2012 6:26 am
Last Updated on December 18 2012 6:26 am
Written by Millie Lange

PHILADELPHIA - Eastern Illinois head football coach Dino Babers was third in voting for the Eddie Robinson FCS Coach of the Year Award presented by the Sports Network.  The winner, Craig Bohl of North Dakota State, was announced on Monday evening.

Babers was the Ohio Valley Conference Coach of the Year in his inaugural season as the Panthers head coach leading EIU to a 7-5 overall record and OVC regular season championship.  EIU advanced to its 14th FCS playoff appearance losing in the opening round to South Dakota State.

Babers took over the program in December 2011 replacing long time head coach Bob Spoo.  Babers had been on Spoo's first staff at EIU in 1987 before coaching at several other programs.  He became the fourth coach in OVC history to win a league championship in his first season as a collegiate head coach.  He also became the fourth coach to take a program that had finished last in the OVC standings the previous season to league champions the next.

Babers was named the AFCA Region Coach of the Year and is a finalist for the AFCA Coach of the Year award which will be presented in early January at the football coaches convention.

Under Babers high powered offensive attack the Panthers ranked among the nation's top ten programs in scoring offense, passing offense and total offense in 2012.  EIU featured two players who were finalists for the Walter Payton Award as junior wide receiver Erik Lora was fourth in final voting and junior quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo was 10th.

EIU opens the 2013 season Labor Day weekend at San Diego State.