Reports: Kent State names former Syracuse offensive coordinator Sean Lewis new head coach


Kent State linebacker James Alexander (left) and safety Erik Simpson attempt to push Bowling Green wide receiver Calvin Clater out of bounds Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2017.

Henry Palattella

After 26 days, it looks as if Kent State football has finally found their coach.

Multiple outlets reported Monday the Flashes have hired Syracuse co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Sean Lewis as the 22nd head coach in program history.

Lewis, who just finished his second season with the Orange, is no stranger to the Mid-American Conference; he spent three years in the league, with his most recent stint with Bowling Green in 2015 in the same role he held at Syracuse.

He also served as the wide receivers coach. Prior to that, he was on the other side of the Wagon Wheel rivalry as a graduate assistant at Akron in 2011.  

During his time at Bowling Green, Lewis helped Falcons’ quarterback Matt Johnson tear through the MAC record book, as he led the nation in passing yards with 4,700, snapping Ben Roethlisberger’s MAC record.

Johnson also threw for 43 touchdown passes in that season under Lewis. 

This past season, Syracuse upset the then-No. 1 seed Clemson Tigers, 27-24. In total, the Orange finished with a record of 4-8. 

Lewis’ new Kent State position brings about an end to a hiring process that saw numerous names tossed around. It was reported early in the process that South Dakota coach Bob Nielson was offered the job, but nothing materialized.

Oklahoma State offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich and Nebraska assistant coach Scott Booker were also candidates for the job, a source told KentWired.

Quarterback play was a revolving door for the Flashes this past season after season-ending injuries to quarterbacks Nick Holley and Mylik Mitchell. The Flashes spent the rest of the season rotating between junior George Bollas (1,113 yards passing, 4 TD, 12 INT, 283 yards rushing) and freshman Dustin Crum (232 yards passing, 1 TD, 2 INT, 310 yards rushing) for the remainder of the season.

According to the Record-Courier, both Holley and Bollas are considering transferring to different programs. 

Holley was in his senior season, but he could still apply for another year of eligibility under medical hardship.  

Junior offensive tackle Steffano Millin and junior kicker Shane Hynes have both already announced they will be transferring from the program.

Kent State let go of former coach Paul Haynes after he amassed a record of 14-45 during his time at the helm for the Flashes. He finished 2-10 this past season.

Stay tuned to Kent Wired for more updates.

Henry Palattella is the sports editor. Contact him at [email protected].