Carl Pelini takes defensive coordinator job at Bowling Green

YSU defensive coordinator hired for same job with Falcons

Staff report


Carl Pelini is moving from one of the nation’s top defensive teams in FCS to one of the worst defensive programs in FBS.

Bowling Green announced the hiring of Pelini, the older brother of YSU head coach Bo Pelini, as its new defensive coordinator on Tuesday. BGSU is banking that Carl, the Penguins’ defensive coordinator for the last three years, can reverse the Falcons’ fortunes.

BGSU (2-10, 2-6 in the Mid-American Conference’s East Division) was among the worst defensive teams in the country in 2017, allowing a MAC-worst 506.6 yards per game, including 253.3 rushing yards.

Just four of the 128 other Football Bowl Subdivision schools gave up more yards on the average.

“I am extremely excited to become part of the Bowling Green Falcon coaching staff, Bowling Green State University, and the community at large,” Pelini said in a statement issued by the BGSU sports information department.

“I would like to thank Coach [Mike] Jinks, the staff and the administration for all their help in making this opportunity become reality. I look forward to working with the young men in the program, and to developing a passionate, physical brand of defense that will define us from this point forward.”

The Pelini brothers are Youngstown natives and Cardinal Mooney High graduates.

Carl Pelini did not return a phone call seeking comment. Bo Pelini also could not be reached for comment.

Carl Pelini’s defense was a major factor at YSU in 2016 as the Penguins advanced to the FCS championship and finished 12-4 after a 28-14 loss to James Madison in the title game.

YSU’s defense also was strong in the recently concluded 2017 season, although the Penguins were unable to return to the FCS playoffs.

YSU (6-5, 4-4 in the Missouri Valley Football Conference) led FCS teams in pass defense, allowing just 143.7 yards per game. The Penguins also tied for 20th in total defense (316.9 yards) and were 20th in points allowed (19.1).

Carl Pelini was the head coach at Florida Atlantic during the 2012 and 2013 seasons, following a four-year stint as the defensive coordinator at Nebraska under his brother.

Nebraska ranked second nationally in pass efficiency defense, fifth in passing yards allowed per game, seventh in scoring defense and No. 10 in total defense from 2009-11. Carl Pelini was a top-five finisher in the voting for the Frank Broyles Award as the nation’s top assistant coach in 2009 and 2010.

In his final two seasons at Nebraska, Pelini’s defense produced six All-Americans, two first-round NFL draft picks and two conference defensive players of the year.

Carl Pelini also spent three seasons as an assistant to Frank Solich at Ohio, was the defensive coordinator at Minnesota State-Mankato and spent time as an assistant to Bill Snyder at Kansas State. His career also has included several high school jobs, including a stint as the head coach at Austintown Fitch.

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