BOWLING GREEN – BOWLING GREEN — Bowling Green State University football coach Dave Clawson has agreed in principle to become the next coach at Wake Forest, according to people with knowledge of the situation.
Wake Forest is expected to introduce Clawson as its next coach today in Winston-Salem, N.C.
Clawson is expected to begin recruiting for the Demon Deacons immediately. The Falcons are preparing to play in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl in Detroit after winning the Mid-American Conference title Friday night with a victory over Northern Illinois.
Wake Forest interviewed Clawson on Sunday and offered him the job Monday. He was chosen over Ball State coach Pete Lembo, who was interviewed by Wake Forest athletic director Ron Wellman, a Bowling Green grad, on Thursday.
Clawson did not return a call seeking comment.
Clawson leaves BG after five years. BG went 10-3 this season, bringing his overall record at the school to 32-31. The Falcons won the MAC East Division title with a 7-1 mark, then knocked off No. 16 Northern Illinois 47-27 in the MAC championship game.
It was BG’s first MAC title since 1992.
Clawson also led the Falcons to the Roady’s Humanitarian Bowl in 2009 and the Military Bowl last season.
At Wake Forest, Clawson will replace Jim Grobe, who led the Demon Deacons for 13 seasons and posted a 77-82 record, tying him for the most wins in program history.
This season Wake Forest was 4-8 overall and 2-6 in the Atlantic Coast Conference, good for sixth in the seven-team Atlantic Division. The losing season was the Demon Deacons’ fifth in a row.
The highlight of Grobe’s tenure was an ACC title in 2006, the school’s first conference title in 36 years.
This will be Clawson’s fourth head coaching assignment, and at all three previous stops he has rebuilt programs. He has a career record of 90-80.
Clawson was at Fordham from 1999-2003, and after a winless first season he led the Rams to their first winning record in 12 seasons just two years later, eventually going 29-30, which included a 26-10 mark in his last three years.
Clawson then moved to Richmond in 2004, and in his second year, he posted a 9-4 record. Clawson’s four-year record with the Spiders was 29-20. The team won the Football Championship Subdivision national title the year after he left.
Clawson, a native of Youngstown, N.Y., served as offensive coordinator at Tennessee for one year before going to BG.