Wake Forest hires Bowling Green's Dave Clawson as head coach

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Bowling Green's Dave Clawson has agreed to become the new head coach at Wake Forest, Bowling Green announced Tuesday morning.

Clawson, 46, replaces Jim Grobe, who resigned at Wake last week after 13 seasons at the school.

Clawson had spent the past five seasons at Bowling Green and guided the Falcons to the MAC championship this season, the school's first in 21 years. He was 32-31 with the Falcons, including a 10-3 mark this season, and led them to three bowl bids.

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If Bowling Green beats Pitt in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl, the Falcons would register a three-win improvement for the third consecutive season -- they would be the only school in the FBS able to claim that feat after this season.

Clawson also has been coach at Richmond and Fordham, two FCS programs that he led to the playoffs.

While his overall coaching record is just 90-80, Clawson was a solid hire for Wake. He has a good reputation as an offense-minded coach who specializes in rebuilding projects. He takes over a Wake program that has suffered through five consecutive losing seasons.

How Clawson handles the rigors of recruiting in a major conference -- and at a "lesser" school with tough academic requirements -- is a legitimate concern. The makeup of his staff will be important. A question is whether Clawson will bring along Bowling Green offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Warren Ruggiero, who was the quarterbacks coach at Kansas State when Vikings QB Josh Freeman was with the Wildcats and also was coordinator during Saints WR Marques Colston's time at Hofstra.

Bowling Green's coaching vacancy becomes the 11th in the FBS ranks this year and the third in the MAC, along with Eastern Michigan and Miami (Ohio). Five of the 11 schools (Miami, USC, Wake Forest, Washington and Wyoming) have hired new coaches.

Mike Huguenin can be reached at mike.huguenin@nfl.com. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.

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