RALEIGH, N.C. – Dave Doeren is leaving Northern Illinois after two consecutive championship seasons to take over at North Carolina State.
N.C. State announced Doeren’s hiring Saturday — less than 24 hours after he guided the 19th-ranked Huskies to their second consecutive Mid-American Conference championship, and just six days after firing Tom O’Brien.
Doeren claimed a MAC title both years he was at NIU and is 23-4 since taking over the Huskies with a 17-1 record in conference play.
Doeren ”is a highly motivated overachiever who shares our goals to pursue aggressively a high level of achievement in the classroom and on the field of competition,” N.C. State athletic director Debbie Yow said in a statement.
The school planned a Sunday afternoon news conference to introduce him.
Doeren — who turns 41 on Monday — said he was ”honored and excited” to join the Wolfpack. He replaces O’Brien, who was fired following six inconsistent seasons and no Atlantic Coast Conference championship-game appearances at the school that hasn’t won the ACC since 1979.
Doeren came to Northern Illinois in December 2010 after five seasons as Wisconsin’s defensive coordinator. He replaced Jerry Kill at NIU and led the Huskies to an 11-win season in 2011 that was capped by a MAC title and a win over Arkansas State in the GoDaddy.com Bowl.
That was followed by an even bigger finish this year. He became one of the up-and-coming names for bigger jobs as he guided Northern Illinois to a school-record 12 wins and a top-20 national ranking.
The Huskies beat No. 18 Kent State on Friday night in double overtime for their second straight league title.
Northern Illinois AD Jeff Compher said Doeren will not coach the Huskies in their bowl game, and that he spoke to the players Saturday after Doeren addressed them. He credited Doeren and his staff for helping Northern Illinois move ”from being a great team to being a great program.
”We will move quickly, as we have in the past, to get the right person to lead this program going forward,” Compher said. ”We are confident there is a high level of interest in Northern Illinois as the incoming staff will take over one of the best programs in the country.”
Doeren helped develop two-way threat Jordan Lynch into a possible Heisman Trophy contender — with nearly 3,000 yards passing and 1,771 yards rushing, he ranks third nationally in total offense – and his Husky teams scored at least 40 points in 16 of 27 games. They average 40.8 points this season and rank in the top 15 in the nation in five offensive stat categories.
The 64-year-old O’Brien was fired after going 40-35 in six seasons in Raleigh, won’t coach the Wolfpack in their bowl game and will receive a buyout of $1.2 million over four years.
His teams were just 22-26 in ACC play and finished with a winning conference record just once, going 5-3 in 2010. He was 1-14 in Atlantic Division road games.
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