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Published: Friday, 12/12/2008

BGSU picks Clawson as new football coach


BOWLING GREEN After a two-week period of uncertainty, Bowling Green State University s football program has a new leader.

Dave Clawson, who twice was named the coach of the year in the Football Championship Subdivision, will be announced as BG s 17th head coach at a press conference today, The Blade learned late last night.

Clawson, 41, has a record of 58-49 between stints at Fordham and Richmond. He served as Tennessee s offensive coordinator this year but was not retained by new head coach Lane Kiffin.

Terms of Clawson s contract were not known as of last night.

Gregg Brandon was fired by BG on Nov. 29 just hours after he completed his sixth season with a 38-10 win at Toledo. Brandon was 44-30 overall, including a 31-17 mark in the Mid-American Conference, and led the Falcons to three bowl games.

Clawson, a native of Youngstown, N.Y., spent five years at Fordham and compiled a 29-29 record. He became coach at Richmond in 2004, and after finishing 3-8 in his first year, Clawson led theSpiders to a 9-4 record, an Atlantic 10 championship, and a berth in the NCAA quarterfinals in 2005. In his next two seasons, Clawson led Richmond to records of 6-5 and 11-3. In 2007 Richmond finished No. 4 in the nation and advanced to the semifinals of the NCAA playoffs.

Clawson s first responsibilities will be to solidify a recruiting class that already has 20 verbal commitments as well as forming a coaching staff.

Two assistants under Brandon, Matt Campbell and Mike Ward, have accepted positions at Toledo under new coach Tim Beckman.

Christopher said on the day Brandon was fired that he would seek candidates with ties to Ohio or the Midwest. Clawson does not appear to have either. After a playing career as a defensive back at Williams College in Massachusetts, Clawson joined the coaching ranks as an assistant at Albany before staying in the Northeast and taking positions at Buffalo (1991-92), Lehigh (1993-95) and Villanova (1996-98).

Clawson s one season at Tennessee did not go well. Under his watch, the Volunteers offense finished 115th out of 119 Division I teams with 268.8 yards per game. Perhaps the lowest point of the season came in a 13-7 loss to Wyoming on Nov. 8. BG defeated Wyoming 45-16 on Sept. 27.

Contact Ryan Autullo at:rautullo@theblade.com.

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