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Published: Friday, 5/11/2001

Krebs expects young coaches to win at BG

I decided to hold off on writing about Bowling Green State University's major coaching hires until athletic director Paul Krebs had assembled his entire staff. Well, now that the new football and women's basketball coaches have been named, I'll admit I'm impressed.

It's not time to gas up the Bowling Green bandwagon, but it is time to re-embrace the Falcons, particularly those of us who had soured on the lack of direction in the athletic department.

I must admit that Krebs, BG's second-year AD, has quickly put his stamp on the program.

New bosses, regardless of their line of work, need positive things to occur under their watch.

Change was required at BG. Krebs made changes.

He hand-picked Curt Miller, who Krebs believes is the best person to coach the women's basketball team, five months after hiring Urban Meyer as football coach.

Miller, 32, who signed a five-year contract on Tuesday, has been an assistant coach at Colorado State, Syracuse, Cleveland State and Kent State.

He takes over a program that went 35-49 in three seasons under former coach Dee Knoblauch.

Meyer, who turns 37 in July, is the youngest football coach in the Mid-American Conference. Before signing a five-year deal to coach the Falcons, Meyer was an assistant at Notre Dame, Colorado State and Illinois State.

BG's football team went 2-9 last year in coach Gary Blackney's 10th and final season.

Women's soccer coach Andy Richards came to Bowling Green last season after five years as assistant women's soccer coach at Oregon State. Under Richards the Falcons advanced to the MAC championship game for the first time.

ADs like to shape the athletic department in their own image by hiring football and men's basketball coaches - the primary revenue producers.

Krebs saw no reason to replace men's basketball coach Dan Dakich, who was hired by the previous AD and guided the Falcons to the 2000 MAC regular-season title. Krebs signed Dakich, 38, to a five-year contract extension.

Firing Blackney following a sixth consecutive losing season was a no-brainer for Krebs. Hiring the right replacement was the hardest part.

The best way for the new coaches to justify Krebs' faith in them is to be competitive immediately.

“I think you definitely want to hire people on the upswing of their careers, people who have the potential to be successful,” Krebs said yesterday.

Meyer, Miller and Reynolds have a consistency in their profiles. They are young, perhaps too young and energetic to know better.

They're all under 40, all making head-coaching debuts, and possess dynamic, engaging personalities.

They all come from successful college backgrounds and have developed reputations as excellent recruiters.

“I'm thrilled where our athletic department is headed,” Krebs said. “We have coaches who are familiar with winning. They are people we believe in.”

Look, I'm a skeptic by nature.

But the Krebs' era at Bowling Green should be met with optimism.

It should be viewed as a positive step to return the athletic department to prominence.

Krebs' master plan may or may not work.

I'm just glad he's trying so hard.

John Harris is a Blade sports columnist. E-mail him at jharris@theblade.com.



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