Clawson says Bowling Green job is 'a dream come true'

Ex-UT coordinator expected to earn $200,000

Dave Clawson meets the media at a news conference announcing his hiring as Bowling Green's new football coach.

Photo by Lori King

Dave Clawson meets the media at a news conference announcing his hiring as Bowling Green's new football coach.

Bowling Green hired former Tennessee offensive coordinator Dave Clawson as its head coach Friday.

Clawson spent only one season at Tennessee, but newly hired coach Lane Kiffin decided not to keep him on staff. Clawson replaces Gregg Brandon, who was fired after six seasons.

“It is an honor and a thrill to be given this opportunity to coach football at Bowling Green State University,” said Clawson. “To be named the head coach of a football program that is filled with a rich history is a dream come true. The ability to work at a first-rate academic school and to compete in a conference that is competitive year in and year out excites me to be a Falcon. I look forward to continuing the tradition at Bowling Green State University.”

The Toledo Blade reported that Clawson is expected to sign a six-year contract with an annual base salary of $200,000. He will be able to make as much as $400,000 with incentives.

Clawson, who was accompanied at the news conference by his wife and two children, said that unlike his stints at Fordham and Richmond, Bowling Green can compete for a championship right away. On offensive and defensive schemes, Clawson said he prides himself on not being married to any one system and will adapt to his players’ strengths.

Much of Clawson’s success came in the Football Championship Subdivision, where he was coach at Richmond and Fordham and twice won coach of the year honors. He led Richmond to the national semifinals in 2007.

“Dave’s experience as a head coach impressed all of us. Not just the winning records, but all aspects of how he ran his programs,” said Bowling Green athletic director Greg Christopher.

The 41-yearold Clawson replaces Brandon, who was 44-30 and led the Falcons to three bowl games after taking over for Urban Meyer.

Clawson left Richmond for Tennessee in January, saying he couldn’t pass up a chance to coach in the Southeastern Conference.

He achieved his goal of becoming a head coach even though Tennessee’s offense struggled this season, ranking near the bottom of all major college teams in total offense.

The Vols never managed to put together a consistent passing or running attack, and they were slow to adjust to a new offense with multiple formations.

Clawson was credited with re-energizing the Richmond program. After going 3-8 in 2004, the Spiders went 9-4 and made the playoffs the following year. A year ago, Richmond was beaten in the semifinals by eventual champion Appalachian State.

He spent five years coaching Fordham and was the offensive coordinator at Lehigh and Villanova.

Bowling Green passed over at least one candidate who spent time in the area, Missouri defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus, who played and coached at nearby Toledo.

Former Bowling Green and Oklahoma State assistant Tim Beckman said he was contacted about the job before he took the top position at Toledo a week ago.

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Comments » 92

ctownvol writes:

He also said being the offensive coordinator at Tennessee was a dream come true. Dream? More like a nightmare.

Volsfan75 writes:

1st congrats Clawson. You deserve it!

rusty_shackleford writes:

There is less shame in trying and failing than never trying at all.

It didn't work here. OK, learn from the experience and make it work somewhere else. Good luck, coach.

Trifecta_Storm writes:

Congrats CDC, I know you will be successful and I wish you all the best!

Now GO VOLS!!!!!

volnbig11land writes:

Congrats and good luck to you but don't understand this:

“To be named the head coach of a football program that is filled with a rich history is a dream come true.

Filled with a rich history????

smokyredbone writes:

Hope he is a better Bowling coach! "Stole that one from earlier article,sorry!"

thebrainofj writes:

Good for him... Tennessee's offensive woes don't all fall on his shoulders. Our QB & WR play was bad enough to put any team near the bottom of college football in total offense! Dave really seems like he has it together, he met a bad situation here in Knoxville.

JeffBleedsOrange writes:

in response to Volsfan75:

1st congrats Clawson. You deserve it!

first idiot.

MillisaAnn writes:

I hope it all works out for him.

jgvol8 writes:

How is Randy Sanders not a head coach? He didn't suck near as bad as this guy.

BigVolinCarolina writes:

Good luck, Coach Clawson. It'll only take a few games at Bowling Green before folks realize that Clawson wasn't the reason for UT's offensive woes this year.

Enjoy your new coaching gig!

TNisPeerless writes:

in response to jgvol8:

How is Randy Sanders not a head coach? He didn't suck near as bad as this guy.

You make an extremely good point. Although I think Clawson's prior HC experience makes him a more attractive candidate.

pms151 writes:

in response to jgvol8:

How is Randy Sanders not a head coach? He didn't suck near as bad as this guy.

Fulmer never let either one of them off his leash. He should have paid their salaries out of his own pocket.

Volumnus writes:

Clawson's track record is very good up to his arrival at UT. One has to assume that he is used to working with a different quality of student, and or it was the system here. He did not arrive at Tennesse and suddenly just get stupid, it is more likely that stupid was here waiting on him. I am happy for him and his family! I wish him all the success in the world. It is unfortunate that he had to experience this year with the Vol fans.

AllVol2008#1353998 writes:

in response to ctownvol:

He also said being the offensive coordinator at Tennessee was a dream come true. Dream? More like a nightmare.

That's the first thing that popped into my head as well! I don't have anything against the guy, but he sure seemed like a real weiner . . .

bkgunter writes:

Player performance is affected by coaching---think E. Ainge's improvement in year one under Cutcliffe. Our quarterback play is likely to be substantially improved next year because of improved coaching. Clawson may not have acclimated well to the BCS/SEC level and may be better suited to D-1. I'm hoping for an unexpectedly huge jump in performance by Crompton for year one. CLK may be confident in his ability to coach it out of/into Crompton---could explain cutting Boyd and Petty loose. Glad Clawson landed on his feet.

crappieking writes:

in response to thebrainofj:

Good for him... Tennessee's offensive woes don't all fall on his shoulders. Our QB & WR play was bad enough to put any team near the bottom of college football in total offense! Dave really seems like he has it together, he met a bad situation here in Knoxville.

Agreed. He might have been more successful if Fulmer would have stopped sticking his nose in the offense. Let's face it guys we simply don't have the athletes right now especially at QB and WR. We used to be WR U. Meachem was last good one we had.

Ralph_Crampton writes:

There is talk about Randy Sanders becoming the new head coach at UT-Chatanooga, after the Kentucky Wildcats play their bowl game. That could be a good fit.

junder13 writes:

This is a dream hire for UT too! Now we don't have to continue paying partial salary until you're employed again as a coach! haha
(seriously, that was part of the contract w/ all the assistants, if you remember)

Well, jokes aside, good luck to him. I don't really blame him for the disaster of a season. I believe he fared about as well as Randy Sanders as OC and we all know how he's become much more successful outside of Fulmer's grasp. Best to the guy.

qball77 writes:

Yeah. Clawson's track record as a head coach is too good to judge him based on a bad year at UT. I wish him all the best.

TommyJack writes:

in response to jgvol8:

How is Randy Sanders not a head coach? He didn't suck near as bad as this guy.

You have to sell yourself...and what you're trying to accomplish. Some sell better than others. I suspect Clawson will do well at BG.

CrankE writes:

Believe me Dave, it's a dream come true for us too!

Just kidding. Sure wish things had worked out here at UT. Wish you the best at BGSU.

zqvol writes:

in response to JeffBleedsOrange:

first idiot.

Clueless

If there is an idiot here it must be you when you look in the mirror in the morning.

Give the guy a break, unless you know him personally why hold hatred toward him.

Good luck coach, true Vol fans wish you well in the future.

WorkinLikeHeck writes:

Clawson got a head coaching gig before Foolmore. LMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!ROTLF!!!!!!!!!!!!!ROTFLMGDMFAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

CrankE writes:

While you're at it, could you hire Fulmer as a special assistant up there for a few months and get him to go on and leave?

With respect to what Fulmer's accomplished here, the special deal is a load of bama. There'll be a time for him to reconnect with UT and help, but I believe that time is later rather than sooner. Right now, he just needs to go.

Sorry to get off topic.

givehim6 writes:

Good that he's HC we can see how Boiling Green does. If boiling Green does good we well know it was ol' phil's butting in that coused the mess. Anyway, good luck in KY. I think boiling green is more your style.

straightshooter writes:

Last time I noticed, Richmond, the division II team Dave Clawson left was still winning in the playoffs. Looks like they don't miss him, at least yet!!

MidTennVol writes:

in response to jgvol8:

How is Randy Sanders not a head coach? He didn't suck near as bad as this guy.

You obviously don't know anything about Clawson...or how Coach Fulmer worked with his OCs.

We never got a chance to see Dave Clawson's offense, as Fulmer never let him truly be an OC fully in charge of the offense. Same with Sanders, BTW, who fell on his sword for Fulmer.

Do your homework. As much as I like Sanders, he has a long way to go before he even catches up to where Dave Clawson was five or even eight years ago. They are not in the same league when it comes to coaching.

In fact, Dave Clawson is far more qualified to be a head coach than Lane Kiffin. Compare what they've each done in their careers.

We will hear more about Dave Clawson in the years to come.

zqvol writes:

in response to WorkinLikeHeck:

Clawson got a head coaching gig before Foolmore. LMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!ROTLF!!!!!!!!!!!!!ROTFLMGDMFAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Clueless . . . you make an assumption that CPF wants to coach again this year.

Of course we all know what ever assumption starts with.

zqvol writes:

in response to MidTennVol:

You obviously don't know anything about Clawson...or how Coach Fulmer worked with his OCs.

We never got a chance to see Dave Clawson's offense, as Fulmer never let him truly be an OC fully in charge of the offense. Same with Sanders, BTW, who fell on his sword for Fulmer.

Do your homework. As much as I like Sanders, he has a long way to go before he even catches up to where Dave Clawson was five or even eight years ago. They are not in the same league when it comes to coaching.

In fact, Dave Clawson is far more qualified to be a head coach than Lane Kiffin. Compare what they've each done in their careers.

We will hear more about Dave Clawson in the years to come.

I have to agree with you on the point about Clawsen being more qualified.

jobrando#216494 writes:

UT-Chat is still open for Phil. He would be a good one for them plus he would still be in the mountains and close to Knoxville. Also, he could add time to his pension since it's a state school.

sctennesseefan writes:

in response to volnbig11land:

Congrats and good luck to you but don't understand this:

“To be named the head coach of a football program that is filled with a rich history is a dream come true.

Filled with a rich history????

Yes, Bowling Green does have a rich history in football! Please remember there is one former Bowling Green coach that has a 4 game winning streak against the Vols! See below:

"Urban Meyer began his head coaching career at Bowling Green in 2001, where he engineered the top turnaround in NCAA Division I-A football, showing a six-win improvement from the previous season. The Falcons rebounded from a 2-9 record to post their first winning season since 1994 with an 8-3 finish. For his efforts, he was named the 2001 Mid-American Conference Coach of the Year. A year later, he guided BGSU to a 9-3 record and its highest national ranking in school history (No. 16 ESPN/USA Today and No. 20 Associated Press). Bowling Green spent five weeks in the national polls and finished third in the nation in scoring offense, averaging 40.8 points per game.
The Falcons, who became the highest scoring team in MAC history, also finished ninth in the nation in total offense (448.9 ypg) and 11th in rushing offense (219.1 ypg) in 2002. They were the only team in the nation to average at least 215 yards rushing and 215 yards passing per game. BGSU also led the nation in red zone production, scoring on 61-of-63 trips (.968) inside the 20-yard line, including 52 touchdowns.
His teams fared well defensively, too. In 2001, BGSU ranked first in the MAC in scoring defense (19.5 ppg), rushing defense (86.3 ypg) and total defense (319.5 ypg). Bowling Green led the MAC in turnover margin both years under Meyer.
Meyer's 17-6 record at Bowling Green included a 5-0 mark against BCS teams and two wins over ranked opponents. After his first of two wins over Missouri, Meyer was named ESPN.com National Coach of the Week in 2001."

southerntnvol writes:

I bet he goes after Petty as a QB.

volnbig11land writes:

in response to sctennesseefan:

Yes, Bowling Green does have a rich history in football! Please remember there is one former Bowling Green coach that has a 4 game winning streak against the Vols! See below:

"Urban Meyer began his head coaching career at Bowling Green in 2001, where he engineered the top turnaround in NCAA Division I-A football, showing a six-win improvement from the previous season. The Falcons rebounded from a 2-9 record to post their first winning season since 1994 with an 8-3 finish. For his efforts, he was named the 2001 Mid-American Conference Coach of the Year. A year later, he guided BGSU to a 9-3 record and its highest national ranking in school history (No. 16 ESPN/USA Today and No. 20 Associated Press). Bowling Green spent five weeks in the national polls and finished third in the nation in scoring offense, averaging 40.8 points per game.
The Falcons, who became the highest scoring team in MAC history, also finished ninth in the nation in total offense (448.9 ypg) and 11th in rushing offense (219.1 ypg) in 2002. They were the only team in the nation to average at least 215 yards rushing and 215 yards passing per game. BGSU also led the nation in red zone production, scoring on 61-of-63 trips (.968) inside the 20-yard line, including 52 touchdowns.
His teams fared well defensively, too. In 2001, BGSU ranked first in the MAC in scoring defense (19.5 ppg), rushing defense (86.3 ypg) and total defense (319.5 ypg). Bowling Green led the MAC in turnover margin both years under Meyer.
Meyer's 17-6 record at Bowling Green included a 5-0 mark against BCS teams and two wins over ranked opponents. After his first of two wins over Missouri, Meyer was named ESPN.com National Coach of the Week in 2001."

Didn't prove your point (at least to me) on their "rich history in football" and I really don't think Bowling Green University has ANYTHING to do with the fact that urwhine has beat us four years in a row.

I contribute that fact to some other reasons that no longer need to be explained...

WorkinLikeHeck writes:

in response to zqvol:

Clueless . . . you make an assumption that CPF wants to coach again this year.

Of course we all know what ever assumption starts with.

I guess Foolmore had interest in the Clemson job when it was open because he didn't want to coach again?

ROTFLGJDHAIAODMNFGUTO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

khelton657 writes:

in response to Volumnus:

Clawson's track record is very good up to his arrival at UT. One has to assume that he is used to working with a different quality of student, and or it was the system here. He did not arrive at Tennesse and suddenly just get stupid, it is more likely that stupid was here waiting on him. I am happy for him and his family! I wish him all the success in the world. It is unfortunate that he had to experience this year with the Vol fans.

"..stupid was here waiting on him"..pretty good...

OldNumber7 writes:

Bowling Green has been a stepping stone for many good coaches.

RaineyVol writes:

WOW!!! Who cares.. I'm sure Clawson is going to turn the teams success around just like he did tennessee's offense!

volnbig11land writes:

in response to OldNumber7:

Bowling Green has been a stepping stone for many good coaches.

Agree completely with that, but don't agree that it has a "rich football history".

BigVolFanInGa writes:

in response to thebrainofj:

Good for him... Tennessee's offensive woes don't all fall on his shoulders. Our QB & WR play was bad enough to put any team near the bottom of college football in total offense! Dave really seems like he has it together, he met a bad situation here in Knoxville.

Agree 100%. he is a fine young man and a proven coach. I wish him and his family well.

You certainly cannot lay all the blame on him. Even as they struggled with his new system, if not for the interceptions, fumbles, dropped passes and missed field goals, the Vols would have won 3 more games.

Good luck Coach Clawson.

rockytopspottedbirgdog writes:

in response to OldNumber7:

Bowling Green has been a stepping stone for many good coaches.

i am afraid that, that trend is about to end. good luck bowling green fans in resisting suicide after watching the "CLAWFENSE" for a couple of weeks. i am afraid that you dont have another urban meyer this time.

eleven99ers writes:

I think it's great he was able to land another spot. I'm for anybody finding a job these days. New system with same players was difficult to implement. Doesn't mean he's going to be a failure elsewhere. I saw nothing that said he wasn't giving the job his all and that's all you can ask. Best of luck to both the Vols and coach Clawson going forward.

RichmondVol42 writes:

in response to Volumnus:

Clawson's track record is very good up to his arrival at UT. One has to assume that he is used to working with a different quality of student, and or it was the system here. He did not arrive at Tennesse and suddenly just get stupid, it is more likely that stupid was here waiting on him. I am happy for him and his family! I wish him all the success in the world. It is unfortunate that he had to experience this year with the Vol fans.

Well said.

Go Vols.

GeneralNeylandsReturn writes:

in response to volnbig11land:

Agree completely with that, but don't agree that it has a "rich football history".

Curious, do you know Sewanee has a rich football history?

Not everybody is a Nebraska...and football has deeper roots across this country than just the prestige of national acclaim.

In their context, Bowling Green not only has a rich history, they've experienced years in which they were a dominant program. That tradion is a big reason they have been a stepping stone. Things like that don't happen by accident.

WorkinLikeHeck writes:

I am not surprised in the least that Mr. Complacency aka Foolmore isn't interested in "coaching" again this year and has instead agreed to work for UT as a special assistant to the President for $37,500 over 3 months. He'll be in Jackson Hole, the entire time like he was all last summer.

GeneralNeylandsReturn writes:

in response to RichmondVol42:

Well said.

Go Vols.

Good thngs happen to good men...just as sure as petty men never really succeed.

Congratulations are due to Dave Clawson. Once a Vol (whether Letterman or Alum), always a Vol...Bill Battle, a very good Christian man, while reviled by fans, is still a Member in Good Standing of the Letterman Club. As Dave Clawson will always be...

Vol_in_Mich writes:

in response to givehim6:

Good that he's HC we can see how Boiling Green does. If boiling Green does good we well know it was ol' phil's butting in that coused the mess. Anyway, good luck in KY. I think boiling green is more your style.

BGSU is in Ohio not Kentucky. The Corvette plant is in B.G., Ky. (that's all I know about B.G., Ky.) ;-)

Go VOLS!!!

newtonrail writes:

in response to rockytopspottedbirgdog:

i am afraid that, that trend is about to end. good luck bowling green fans in resisting suicide after watching the "CLAWFENSE" for a couple of weeks. i am afraid that you dont have another urban meyer this time.

I hope you are wrong. You and all the other haters. I wanted Fulmer gone by the end of season, although I think with another year Clawson would have Offense clicking much better. No one will ever know, just like those "in the KNOW" that Fulmer held Clawson back. Very few people know. I do know Hamilton better have a golden parachute, because Haslam will fire him along with Killer Kut Kiffin, if he doesn't succeed. And Liar Hamilton will throw him under the bus quickly.

Good luck Coach Clawson. I'm sorry you had to endure such spoiled fans, who haven't lived long enough to see the bottom. I'm afraid we are in for a couple of lean years even if Killer Kut Kiffin does eventually succeed. You don't throw the baby out with the bath water and he did. Recruits, a great D## coaching staff, because even if Monte comes, it will only be for a couple of years.

chuckfromwoodbury writes:

Coach Clawson was running fulmers offense. If you can't see that you're blind. As far as Coach Clawson getting a job before fulmer, somebody has to actually want you as their coach before you can be hired. No one, NO ONE, has contacted fulmer or his agent in regards to ANY coaching positions. The footbal world is giving us a hard look at the reality many of us could not see.

Waldorf writes:

Well......

Just think, if he actually had a head coach over him here who cared about more than his own personal glory and not being made to look bad, Coach Clawson might have succeeded at Tennessee and been next in line to be head coach. He'll do all he can to ruin Kiffin as well, I am sure.

Best of luck to you Coach Clawson.

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