EIU Hires New Football Coach
Eastern Illinois University has hired Louisiana Tech defensive coordinator Kim Dameron as its new head football coach.
EIU says Friday that Dameron will take over for Dino Babers, who became head coach at Bowling Green after leading the Panthers to the Football Championship Subdivision quarterfinals.
Dameron has never been a head coach. He spent last season at Louisiana Tech after working as Cornell's defensive coordinator in 2012.
He's also been a coordinator or secondary coach at schools such as Ole Miss since 1986. He was EIU's defensive coordinator in 2000 after spending 1999 coaching at Toronto in the CFL.
Louisiana Tech's defense was ranked 69th in the country last season and gave up 408.3 yards and 26.3 points a game.
Dameron takes over a team that went 12-2 last season.
Almost 25 years ago, Eastern Illinois Head Football Coach Dino Babers got his start coaching as a running backs coach at EIU. More than two decades later, he’s back as head coach and looks like he’s on track to lead the Panthers to their second run at the FCS Bowl playoffs in two years. For the first half of this hour on Focus, host Jim Meadows talks with Babers about his approach to coaching, the pressure placed on student athletes and his strategy as the team approaches the back half of their schedule for this season.
Then, in the second half of this hour on Focus, Meadows talks with Sheldon Turner. Turner grew up on the East side of St. Louis and says if he wouldn’t have had the mentors he did, he wouldn’t be where he is today. We’ll hear from Turner about Champaign School Districts “Operation Hope” program and about why Turner thinks athletics are so important to character building. Turner was recently named "man of the year" by Central Illinois Busniess.