The Wolfpacker

January 2013

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

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Doeren said of NC State, "This job is a destination job for me. I had a great job at my last school, and I wasn't going to leave it for a place that I didn't think was special. I felt that way about NC State." photo by larry blankenship NIU Assistant Ryan Nielsen Follows Doeren To NC State Northern Illinois co-defensive coordinator, recruiting coordinator and defensive line coach Ryan Nielsen will follow former Huskies head coach Dave Doeren to NC State and serve as the Wolfpack's defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator. "Ryan is one of the best technicians on the defensive line that I've ever been around," Doeren said of the former All-Pac-10 defensive lineman at Southern California. "He played the game at a very high level and learned to coach from a number of great defensive minds. He has great energy and passion for his players and is a tireless and energetic recruiter." Nielsen was in DeKalb, Ill., for both of Doeren's campaigns as the head coach at Northern Illinois, adding codefensive coordinator duties in his final year. Prior to that, he served as the special teams coordinator and defensive line coach at Tennessee-Martin for a year. He has also coached at Central Connecticut State, where he served as the defensive coordinator for two years and also coached defensive line and linebackers during his time with the team. From 2005-07, the Los Angeles native coached the defensive line at Mississippi after he logged time as an administrative assistant at Idaho and a volunteer assistant at his alma mater. The 33-year-old received his B.S. in public policy from Southern Cal in 2002 and signed as an undrafted free agent with the Philadelphia Eagles. Nielsen played at USC while Doeren was a graduate assistant from 1998-99. "I am very thankful to be joining the Wolfpack football family," he said. "I am looking forward to building on the football tradition here at NC State and want to thank Dr. [Debbie] Yow and Coach Doeren for the opportunity of a lifetime to join this staff. Having worked with Coach Doeren in the past, I'm honored and humbled to join him here at State. I can't wait to begin working." — Ryan Tice used them as a stepping-stone to success on the big stage. Doeren said that he has parlayed his two-year stint into a destination job with the Pack, and he sees himself standing at the peak of a long journey. "This job is a destination job for me," he said. "I had a great job at my last school, and I wasn't going to leave it for a place that I didn't think was special. I felt that way about NC State. "A long line of people that would want to be in my shoes today. I didn't take any shortcuts to get here. I've been coaching 18 years on the college level and I've lined the field, drove the bus. I've been a [graduate assistant] and coached high school. I've been a I-AA non-scholarship and a I-AA scholarship coach. I've been an assistant coach, a co-coordinator, a recruiting coordinator, a head coach at a mid-major, and now I'm standing here in the ACC. I'm jacked up about it." Doeren experienced NC State football first-hand while on a losing end of a 56-26 game in the 2003 Tangerine Bowl against Philip Rivers, while he was the linebackers coach and recruiting coordinator at Kansas. "Unfortunately, I got to see his best side that day — great player and a great team," he remembered. "There was a ton of NFL talent on that team. Having to defend that offense, and loving the state the way we do, I've always watched from afar. "It seemed like a place that was very close to getting to the next step. I felt like I could make a difference here." Doeren did not get to watch much of NC State this season, but will watch the team's preparations for the Music City Bowl while he assembles a coaching staff. Although he was obviously focused on his Northern Illinois team, the coach noted that he frequently TiVos football games from around the country so he did catch a couple halves of NC State football, and made sure to watch the Pack's win over No. 3 Florida State Oct. 6. He met with the players the day he was hired and had a simple message for the team after introducing himself. "I told them, they didn't pick me, I picked them," he recalled. "I understand that I didn't recruit the players in the room, but I told them all that I was here for them now and my goal was to help them. I'd do everything in my power to make them better players and guide them through their path, and through their adversities. I asked them to give me their best because I would give mine. "I'm not sure what all the challenges are at State, but I do look forward to all of them. As a new coach, there are fires every day to put out, and I look forward to those fires." ■ January 2013  ■  25 20-25.Dave Doeren.indd 25 12/11/12 1:30 PM

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