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Doeren leaves for N.C. State, Huskies' BCS chances improve

Dave Doeren has left NIU for North Carolina State.
Dave Doeren has left NIU for North Carolina State.

One day after leading Northern Illinois to its second consecutive Mid-American Conference championship, Huskies head coach Dave Doeren is off to greener pastures.

North Carolina State announced that it will hire Doeren as its next head football coach. A press conference will be held on Sunday at 3 p.m. CST. Doeren will not coach NIU's bowl game.

Doeren went 23-4 in his two seasons in DeKalb. The Huskies beat Kent State, 44-37, in Friday's Mid-American Conference Championship Game in Detroit and are ranked 19th in the country. NIU is on a 12-game winning streak.

Doeren had a base salary of $420,000 at NIU. His contract has a $750,000 buyout.

According to a report in the Raleigh News & Observer, Doeren signed a five-year deal with N.C. State worth $1.8 million.

"I am honored and excited to join the Wolfpack. N.C. State has world-class facilities and fans that are second to none," Doeren said in an N.C. State news release. "I want to thank Chancellor Woodson and (athletic director) Debbie Yow for this tremendous opportunity. My family and I can't wait to get to Raleigh and become Wolfpackers. While I look forward to our future at State, I want to acknowledge and thank the Northern Illinois players and fans for their support the last two years, especially President Peters and (athletic director) Jeff Compher."

N.C. State fired Tom O'Brien after he went 40-35 in six seasons in Raleigh. The Wolfpack were 7-5 this season, and finished third in the ACC Coastal Division.

On Twitter Saturday afternoon, Huskies quarterback Jordan Lynch tweeted: "Best of luck to coach Doeren! at NC State!! #Greatguy #bestofluck

Sophomore linebacker Michael Santacaterina was another player who mentioned Doeren on social media, tweeting: "Nothin but respect for Coach D. Best of luck."

Earlier this week, NIU athletic director Jeff Compher admitted that he expected schools would be interested in his second-year coach. Just a few days later, Doeren is no longer with the Huskies.

Compher told the Daily Chronicle Doeren spoke to his team Saturday in the McCareins Auditorium at the Yordon Center to give them the news he was headed to Raleigh.

"It didn't come as a surprise that he would be a sought after coach," Compher told the Daily Chronicle Saturday night. "He and I have very good communication. I knew that there would be some quick decisions and conversations going on, so I was prepared for it."

When it comes to hiring Doeren's successor, Compher said he would move quickly without rushing. He hasn't yet made the decision on who will coach NIU in the bowl game.

Should the Huskies finish in the top 16 of the BCS standings, are the highest-ranked non-AQ champoin, and are ahead of a conference champion from one of the six automatic-qualifying leagues, NIU will be headed to a BCS bowl game. The Huskies, ranked No. 21 in the latest BCS standings, should finish ahead of the Big East champion.

Saturday, NIU was helped out by No. 18 Texas' 42-24 loss to No. 6 Kansas State, and No. 12 Nebraska's 70-31 blowout loss to Wisconsin. Friday night, No. 16 UCLA lost 27-24 to No. 8 Stanford in the Pac-12 Championship Game, another game which helped the Huskies' cause.

In the end, NIU needs to jump five teams in the BCS standings, and will pass No. 17 Kent State after beating the Golden Flashes Friday. In addition to Nebraska, UCLA and Texas, the Huskies could also jump No. 20 Boise State, who beat Nevada 27-21 Saturday, and idle No. 19 Michigan.

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