The Wolfpacker

January 2013

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

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Page 19 of 79

The Right Man For The Job New Football Coach Dave Doeren Is A Perfect Fit To Lead The Wolfpack N By Ryan Tice C State's search for a new football coach came to a quick conclusion after just six days on Dec. 1, 2012, when the school announced that Dave Doeren, who led Northern Illinois to its second straight Mid-American Conference championship the night before, would be the Wolfpack's new leader. It was all part of a whirlwind couple of days for Doeren, a finalist for the 2012 National Collegiate Coach of the Year Award. He coached his team to the MAC title with a thrilling 44-37 win in double overtime Nov. 30, and they received a berth in the Orange Bowl, the league's first BCS bid, the following day while Doeren was still meeting with the media in Raleigh. The new coach quickly began calling the Pack's verbal commitments after he finished the introductory press conference, and he celebrated his 41st birthday the following day. "I knew my agent had been contacted by people and I asked him to hold it off as long as he could for me, so I could concentrate on the championship game," he said. "When we got off the field, I had a 'call me ASAP' kind of deal and I did. I found out the conversations were going to happen very quickly. He asked which ones I wanted to have, and NC State was the one I wanted to have. "My job is to do everything I can to make this team a champion. I don't know how long that is going to take me, but that's what I'm going to do." Fast Riser Doeren was a four-year letter winner at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, where he played tight end and was named an Academic All-American as a senior. The Shawnee Mission, Kan., native earned a bachelor's degree in pre-medical biology and expected to become a doctor. He was on track to accomplish that goal, and even took the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT), but when he returned home after his junior year of college he helped coach a seven-on-seven league for Bishop Miege High School and was immediately hooked. "I did that, and when I left and went home, I said, 'I'm not going to be a doctor. I'm going to be a coach. That is the funnest three hours I've ever had in my life,'" he noted. "From that point on, that was it. It was in my blood for sure." Doeren got his first collegiate coaching job at his alma mater in 1995, mentoring the team's linebackers. The team went 8-1-1 and won the Pioneer League championship in his first year on staff, and he quickly ascended to the defensive coordinator position in his third year with the program. The coach then served as a graduate assistant for two seasons at Southern California under head coach Paul Hackett, before he moved on to the role of defensive backs coach at Montana, which he helped to a pair of Football Championship Subdivision national title games. After helping the FCS powerhouse win the crown in 2001, Doeren became the recruiting coordinator — a title he also held in both years at Montana — and linebackers coach at Kansas. After the Jayhawks went 2-10 in Doeren's first year on Mark Mangino's staff, the team went 6-7 and played in the Tangerine Bowl against NC State the following year. Doeren became the co-defensive coordinator for his final two seasons under Mangino before taking the same gig at Wisconsin. The Badgers went 12-1 in 2006 with the former Drake coach on staff, and Doeren took over sole defensive coordinator duties in his final two seasons — the team went 21-4 during that span — before he got his chance to call the shots at Northern Illinois. BCS Buster Doeren took over a Northern Illinois program that had gone 11-3 in 2010, although they were just 29-34 in the five years before, and the team won back-to-back conference championships in his two years at the helm. After an 11-3 debut as the head man, when the team claimed its first league crown since 1983, the Huskies went 12-1 this fall and successfully burst the BCS bubble by finishing 15th in the country and qualifying for an Orange Bowl bid behind dualthreat quarterback Jordan Lynch. The 6-0, 216-pound signal-caller passed for 2,962 yards with 24 touchdowns and five interceptions, and he also rushed for 1,771 yards and 19 scores in his first year as a starter. The Huskies' only loss of the year was a 18-17 defeat at the hands of Iowa in the season opener at Soldier Field in Chicago, and the only conference game the school dropped under Doeren was a 48-41 loss at Central Michigan in the coach's first game against a league foe. His teams have never lost a game at home and the only defeat by more than one score was a 49-7 loss to Wisconsin, then-ranked seventh in the nation and led by former NC State star Russell Wilson. Although he hopes to be able to take in the Huskies' Orange Bowl berth against ACC champion Florida State as a fan, Doeren noted that his complete focus is now on NC State. "This is my team now," he said of the Pack. Reeling In The Big Fish Given the coach's impressive track record, NC State athletics director Debbie Yow knew there would be competition for the Kansas native, even though he's been a college head coach for just two years. She knew of at least three other competitors for Doeren after what he accomplished at Northern Illinois. "I was very concerned about the SEC school that was interested, the Pac-12 school that was interested and the Big Ten school that was interested," she admitted. "A couple of those places have pretty deep pockets, so I was concerned." Yow's victory in securing Doeren with a five-year contract was likely helped by the coach's interest in the Tar Heel State. The avid fisherman and his family have vaIn two years at Northern Illinois, Doeren compiled a 23-4 record, two Mid-American Conference championships and the school's first-ever BCS bowl berth. photo by Ken martin 20  ■  the wolfpacker 20-25.Dave Doeren.indd 20 12/11/12 1:27 PM

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