There have already been plenty of lists shared with potential candidates to become the new head coach for Syracuse football. But what about the other side? Where could Dino Babers coach next, if he chooses to continue being a D1 college football head coach?
How wild would it be for Babers to stay in the ACC? Well, it might not be as crazy as it seems. The Bears don’t have a pretty recent history. Cal hasn’t posted a winning record since 2019. That puts Bears head man Justin Wilcox on the hot seat. With the school moving conferences next year, maybe leadership decides a new coach should lead the charge and looks for a new head coach.
If that job opens up, Babers makes sense as a replacement. He knows the ACC well. Plus, he’s focused on team culture, which seems just as important as on-field success at an academic school like Cal. This is probably the most realistic path for Babers to stay at a Power Five (soon to be Power Four) school.
Nevada is a program in a rough spot right now. Head coach Kevin WIlson is 4-19 in his second season leading the team. He’s a likely candidate to get fired this offseason.
So what’s appealing about the Wolf Pack to Babers? Well, the main pull is being in the Mountain West. That’s the same conference as Hawaii, the school that Babers played and coached at. It would mean a return to his home state at least once every other year. Plus, the Mountain West is a conference on the rise, with the potential for the major additions of Oregon State and Washington State. There are certainly worse schools to coach at right now than Nevada.
New Mexico could have a head coach opening very soon. Lobos head coach Danny Gonzales is reportedly on the hot seat, with an 11-31 record with the team. While New Mexico picked up a big win at Fresno State this weekend, one game doesn’t completely change how a school feels about its coach. In a few weeks, there very well could be an opening in Albuquerque.
Babers does have experience in the Southwest. He spent time at Northern Arizona, Arizona, and UNLV. That’s on top of a few schools in Southern California. While there’s no direct ties to New Mexico itself for Dino Babers, it’s a program that would welcome someone with his resume. Leading the Lobos might be one of his best options to do that this offseason.