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Arizona hires Dino Babers as offensive coordinator, reuniting former Syracuse coach with Brent Brennan

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USATSI

Arizona is hiring former Syracuse coach Dino Babers as its offensive coordinator, according to 247Sports and multiple reports. Babers was the offensive coordinator at Arizona in 2000 and worked with new Wildcats coach Brent Brennan, who was a graduate assistant on the same staff. 

Babers, who has an extensive past on the offensive side of the ball, spent the last decade as a coach at various levels. He was hired at Eastern Illinois in 2012 and amassed a 19-7 record with two FCS playoff appearances. He was the coach at Bowling Green from 2014-15 and led the Falcons to their second 10-win season in three years with a Mid-American Conference title. 

He parlayed that success into the Syracuse job, where he spent the last eight seasons. The Orange reached their peak under Babers in 2018 when they finished the regular season 9-3 and in second place in the ACC Atlantic, capping the year with a win against West Virginia in the Camping World Bowl. Syracuse placed 15th in the final AP Top 25 that season, marking the first time since 2001 that it ended the year ranked. 

Syracuse wouldn’t make another bowl until 2022 and never finished better than third in its division over the next four years. The Orange started that 2022 campaign off strong with a 6-0 record, including a win against No. 15 NC State that propelled them back into the AP top 25 for the first time in four years, but went 1-5 over the second half of the season and lost against Minnesota in the Pinstripe Bowl. 

Babers was fired 11 games into the 2023 season following Syracuse’s 5-6 start. Prior to breaking into the head coaching ranks, Babers spent almost 30 years coaching in different offensive roles across the country. His first offensive coordinator appointment came in 1998 at Arizona. 

After three years with the Wildcats, he took the same role at Texas A&M. From 2003-11, Babers coached at Pittsburgh (running backs), UCLA (wide receivers/running backs/associate head coach) and Baylor (wide receiver/recruiting coordinator/special teams coordinator). 

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