You’re probably not going to find Syracuse coach Dino Babers at Albertsons Stadium anytime soon.
In an interview with Hawaii Warrior World — Babers is a Honolulu native — Babers explained his decision to leave Texas A&M before the Aggies’ bowl game in 2002.
Babers started the season as the team’s offensive coordinator but was replaced as the team’s coordinator in September by now-Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin. (Really!) Babers finished the 6-6 season as the Aggies’ QBs coach but had already decided he was going to look for another job.
He hastened his search when he learned Texas A&M would potentially be playing in the Humanitarian Bowl, held at Boise State’s home stadium. From HWW:
“Obviously the initial thing was very personal for lack of a better word. It happened the third game of the year. We were 2-1. I was demoted to quarterbacks coach, so I still had a job to do, to coach the QBs. One of my proudest moments ended up coaching three quarterbacks that year, including a freshman who led us in an upset win over Oklahoma. I wasn’t calling the plays, but we qualified for a bowl and the team went to Boise State. That’s when I said I’m done. They said we still have a bowl game, I said, listen, I’ve been really good about this. I’m going to look for a new job. They said if you look for a new job you’re not going to get your bowl check. I knew what I wanted to say, but I just said you guys keep the bowl check. I never played or coached on blue turf before and I’m not going to now. That got out, the team decided to decline the bowl game. And I went off to Pitt.”
We’re not sure if Babers said this in (part) jest or was totally serious, but either way it’s hilarious. A blue turf boycott is funny.
A&M didn’t end up going to a bowl game at all at the end of the season. Babers became the running backs coach at Pitt for a season before moving to UCLA and then Baylor before he was hired as the head coach at Eastern Illinois in 2012.
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