Wake Forest introduces Dave Clawson as new football coach

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Dave Clawson was introduced Tuesday as the 32nd head football coach in Wake Forest University history.

Wake Forest held a 4:30 p.m. news conference to announce Clawson as the new head coach. He was then introduced to Demon Deacon fans at a Q&A session today at 5 p.m. on the sixth floor of Deacon Tower.

The head coach at Bowling Green State University for the past five seasons, Clawson led the Falcons to the 2013 Mid-American Conference championship on Friday with a 47-27 win over No. 16 Northern Illinois.

"We are very pleased to have Dave Clawson leading our football program," said Director of Athletics Ron Wellman. "Dave is a proven winner and leader and has had great success at every institution he has coached."

Clawson joins the Demon Deacons after five seasons as the head coach at Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green. The 2013 team went 10-3 overall and won the MAC East title with a 7-1 record. The Falcons have received a bid to the Little Caesar's Bowl on Dec. 26 in Detroit. It marks the third bowl appearance in five seasons for Clawson's team.

Clawson will yield his position as head coach at Bowling Green and will not coach the Falcons in the bowl game.

A 1989 graduate of Williams College in Massachusetts, Clawson earned a degree in political economy. A native of Youngstown, NY, Clawson was a defensive back for Williams and went on to serve as a graduate assistant coach at Albany in 1989 and 1990. He moved to Buffalo for the 1991 and 1992 seasons, tutoring the secondary his first year and the quarterbacks and running backs his second.

In 1993, Clawson was named the running backs coach at Lehigh and helped the Mountain Hawks to a 7-4 record and the Patriot League championship. He was promoted to offensive coordinator in 1994 and spent two years in that role, adding another Patriot League title in 1995.

Villanova hired Clawson as offensive coordinator in 1996 and his offense helped the Wildcats to NCAA FCS playoff appearances in 1996 and 1997. During his tenure at Villanova, Clawson's offense established 70 program records, held the No. 1 ranking in the nation for six weeks in 1997 and won the 1997 Atlantic 10 championship. He tutored Brian Westbrook, who became the first player in college football history to gain 1,000 yards both rushing and receiving.

Following the 1998 season, Clawson became the nation's youngest Division I head coach when he was named head coach at Fordham. Inheriting a team that had won just 22 games in the previous 10 years, Clawson turned the Rams into the Patriot League champions in his fourth season at the helm. He was the Patriot League Coach of the Year in both 2001 and 2002. Clawson helped the Rams 2002 FCS Playoffs where they defeated fourth seed Northeastern in the opening round before falling to Villanova.

Clawson was named the head coach at Richmond prior to the 2004 season. He guided the Spiders to the biggest two-year turnaround in school history, improving from 3-8 in 2004 to 9-4 in 2005. In 2007, his final year with the Spiders, Clawson guided Richmond to an 11-3 record, the Colonial South title and the FCS national semifinals.

He left Richmond in 2008 to replace David Cutcliffe as the offensive coordinator under Phillip Fulmer at Tennessee. Following that season, Clawson was named the head coach at Bowling Green in time for the 2009 season.

Clawson has compiled a 90-80 record in 14 career seasons including a 58-47 mark in conference games. He was 29-29 in five seasons at Fordham, 29-20 in four seasons at Richmond and 32-31 in five seasons with Bowling Green.

Clawson and his wife, Catherine, are the parents of two children, Courtney and Eric.

1 Comment

  • Tim

    Good luck! Hopefully he can bring some talent to Wake. About time for the Deacons to be competitive in ACC sporting again! Been way to long!

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