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Sports

Bond might become a Hurricane

DeKALB - The annual exodus out of the cramped Huskie Stadium football office is gaining steam. Last month, former NIU assistant head coach and offensive line coach Sam Pittman left town to take the offensive line coaching job at North Carolina. It might come as a surprise to diehard Huskie followers, but offensive coordinator John Bond could become the second assistant coach to depart. Last year, the Huskies lost four assistant coaches to BCS schools, including wide receivers coach Marquis Mosley to Miami. According to the Miami Herald, Bond is a leading candidate for the Miami offensive coordinator's position. &#8220I politely, very politely would rather not comment,” Bond told the Miami Herald on Tuesday. Miami defensive coordinator Randy Shannon was hired on Dec. 8 to take over the head coaching duties for the fired Larry Coker. The Hurricanes need a change of direction on offense after finishing 87th in total offense (313.4 ypg.), 62nd in passing offense (197.5), 87th in scoring offense (19.62 ppg.) and 84th in rushing offense (116.0). Bond gained notoriety for helping lead the Huskies to the 2004 Silicon Valley Football Classic and the 2005 Mid-American Conference Championship game. The Huskies, with tailback Garrett Wolfe, quarterback Josh Haldi and future NFL players Brad Cieslak and Sam Hurd leading the offense, set a single-season school record for points scored (421) and touchdowns (53) in Bond's first season in 2004. In Bond's second year, the Huskies netted a school-record 5,329 yards and scored 52 touchdowns. However, the Huskies fell short of expectations in 2006. Northern Illinois, picked to win the MAC Championship by the conference media, ended the season with a disappointing 37-7 loss to TCU in the Poinsettia Bowl. The Huskies ended with a 7-6 mark after starting the season with a promising 3-1 start. Bond received plenty of criticism for his play-calling late in the season. Wolfe led the country in rushing, but the Huskies weren't able to capitalize on Wolfe's talents. The Huskies amassed just 60 yards against TCU's highly-ranked defense on Dec. 19. Even with Wolfe dominating NIU's offensive totals - registering 90 percent of its rushing yards, 46 percent of the total yards and 52.7 percent of the touchdowns - the Huskies lacked firepower and weren't able to combat opponents stacking the box. Before arriving in DeKalb, Bond spent four seasons as the offensive coordinator and quarterback coach at Army. Bond and Mosely coached one season together on the Army staff. Bobby Narang can be reached at bnarang@daily-chronicle.com.

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