Bowling Green's Mike Jinks is first head coach firing of 2018

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Bowling Green head coach Mike Jinks looks on against Northwestern during the second half of an NCAA college football game in Evanston, Ill., Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017. (AP Photo/Matt Marton)
Bowling Green head coach Mike Jinks looks on against Northwestern during the second half of an NCAA college football game in Evanston, Ill., Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017. (AP Photo/Matt Marton)

The first head coach firing of the season has come from Bowling Green.

The school announced Sunday that it has fired Mike Jinks. Jinks was in his third season as the Falcons’ head coach. Under his watch, the program was just 7-24 after dropping to 1-6 with a loss to Western Michigan on Saturday.

“I want to thank Coach Jinks for all of his efforts with our football program and in the BG community. However, we felt it was time to make a change in leadership,” athletic director Bob Moosbrugger said in a statement. “These are not easy decisions and we do not take this lightly. This affects 11 coaching families, 112 student-athletes and numerous support staff. We wish Mike and his family the best in their future endeavors.

Defensive coordinator Carl Pelini (yes, that Carl Pelini) will serve as the team’s interim head coach. Pelini, the older brother of former Nebraska and current Youngstown State head coach Bo Pelini, was previously the head coach at Florida Atlantic before his short tenure came to a rather tumultuous ending.

“We have a talented group of hard working student-athletes and I look forward to the program finishing the season strong playing for the senior class under the leadership of Coach Pelini,” Moosbrugger said.

Pelini is in his first year at Bowling Green following three seasons on his brother’s staff at Youngstown State.

Under Jinks, Bowling Green declined rapidly

Before Jinks was hired, Bowling Green won at least eight games in four consecutive seasons under Dave Clawson (now at Wake Forest) and then Dino Babers (now at Syracuse). When Babers left, Jinks was brought in after a three-year stint as an assistant under Kliff Kingsbury at Texas Tech.

Jinks’ role as a position coach for the Red Raiders was his first collegiate coaching gig. Before that, he was a high school head coach in Texas from 2005-2012 and a high school assistant dating back to the mid-’90s.

The decision to bring Jinks from Texas to Ohio was deemed a curious one. From the Toledo Blade:

The Falcons’ hiring of Jinks was a puzzling one from the outset, even in many coaching circles. Jinks was a successful Texas high school coach who made the move to college as an assistant at Texas Tech. Jinks was the running backs coach for three seasons at Texas Tech, and BG hired him despite the fact he never had been to Ohio before accepting the job.

Once he arrived at Bowling Green, the program could not maintain its status as a MAC contender. In fact, the Falcons declined quickly, going 4-8 in his first season and 2-10 in his second season. After starting 2018 with a 1-6 mark, the school decided it was time to go in another direction.

“Our football program has been a source of pride for our alumni and fans. We need football to be successful to help our entire athletics department and University. We are committed to excellence on the field and in the classroom,” Moosbrugger said.

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