BOWLING GREEN — By this point, Seth Doege is ready for the reaction that comes with the inevitable second question.
Seth Doege, 29, is a former quarterback at Texas Tech, where Falcons coach Mike Jinks was an assistant before coming to BGSU.
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The former Texas Tech quarterback followed Mike Jinks, a former Red Raiders assistant, to Bowling Green when BGSU hired Jinks after the 2015 season. And when Doege, 29, catches up with people from his native Texas, they typically ask about his start in college coaching.
His answer to the follow-up question is what draws puzzled looks.
“A lot of people will ask where I’m coaching, and I say Bowling Green, and their next question is, ‘How’s your brother doing?’ It’s like, ‘Well, he’s our starting quarterback,’” he said, smiling. “It kind of surprises people.”
The Doege brothers are nine years apart in age, and when it came time for each to take their next step, it just so happened a Mid-American Conference school nearly 1,400 miles away from home was the destination for both of them.
This season, both will have big roles in the Falcons’ program. Jarret is BG’s starter under center as a sophomore, and his wide receivers are under the direction of his big brother.
Seth spent 2013 on the Atlanta Falcons’ practice squad and played in the Canadian Football League until the spring of 2015. His foray into coaching began with a call from Jinks, who had a spot on the BGSU staff as a graduate assistant.
As the staff began putting together its recruiting plans, a certain Lubbock high school quarterback happened to be on the radar of a few Falcons coaches and in the family tree of another.
“I remember two days into the job, somebody said, ‘When are we going to offer your brother?’ ” Seth said. “I said, ‘I think we’re stupid if we don’t.’ That’s kind of how it happened.”
Jarret Doege won the starting quarterback role last season as a true freshman. The sophomore is slated to start again this season.
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The Texas Tech staff had seen Jarret at camps, though the Falcons became Jarret’s first Football Bowl Subdivision offer. Despite interest from a handful of schools in the Southwest, BG ended as Jarret’s only offer.
Two years later, the sons of a longtime Texas high school coach are together at Bowling Green, a faraway destination but by many indications the right fit.
“It’s just cool with both of us being here,” Jarret said. “I grew up with my dad coaching me all my life, so now that he can’t do that, my brother takes that role. I feel like it’s awesome for him to be able both my coach and still my brother.
“He’ll get on me when I’m not on point. But he’s also here to be my brother when I need him to be my brother.”
The timeline for both at BGSU was accelerated. After one season, Jinks said Seth had separated himself from the other GAs, and Jinks promoted him to a full-time spot on the coaching staff. He now coordinates the special teams as well as coaching the receivers.
By the end of his first season on campus, Jarret had won the starting quarterback role. He led the Falcons in completion percentage (63.8), yards (1,381), and passing touchdowns (12), and become the first true freshman to start at BG in 35 years. He goes into this season as the clear starter.
For both Doege brothers, Jinks said football is in their DNA.
“Indiana basketball is what I can compare to small-town West Texas high school football,” Jinks said. “Both of those guys, they grew up out on the field and running around locker rooms and things of that nature. This is natural, I guess you could say.”
Randy Doege, their father, laughed and said he knew “absolutely nothing” about Bowling Green before Jinks took the job. He said the family has had a warm welcome in northwestern Ohio, and the Doeges will return again for the home opener Sept. 8 vs. Maryland.
Now that both Doege brothers are Falcons, more than a few orange T-shirts have begun to sprout up in Red Raider country.
“We’ve fallen in love with Bowling Green and we’ve fallen in love with Ohio,” Randy Doege said. “We get there as much as we can. I told both my boys that if they made it some day, that I wouldn’t miss their games, and me and his mom [Melinda] intend to honor that.”
On the field, the receivers coach has no issue with letting the quarterback know if he didn’t care for a particular throw.
Off the field, it’s not unusual for Jarret to show up to Seth’s house unannounced and help himself to the refrigerator.
It’s a unique dynamic for the Doege brothers to experience a new facet of Division I football together at the same time, but one they’re both enjoying along the way.
“For me, it’s one of the most fun experiences I’ve ever had in my life,” Seth said. “I have my family here, I have my brother here, and we’re playing at the highest level of football you can possibly play. To me, it doesn’t get any better.”
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