Friday night, Dave Doeren was busy leading Northern Illinois to its second consecutive Mid-American Conference championship.
Sunday afternoon, he was being introduced to the media in Raleigh, N.C., as North Carolina State’s new coach. Doeren takes over for Tom O’Brien, who was fired last week after going 40-35 in six years as the Atlantic Coast Conference school.
At his introductory news conference, Doeren said he had a conversation with his agent after he got off the field after the Huskies’ 44-37 win over Kent State in Detroit, and was asked which schools he would like to have discussions with.
“My agent had been contacted by some people,” Doeren said. “I just asked him to hold it off for as long as he could for me so that I could focus on the championship game.”
Doeren’s conversations with N.C. State began the next morning in DeKalb, and Doeren, after having discussions about the opportunity with his family, decided pretty quickly he would be headed to Raleigh.
“It didn’t take me very long,” Doeren said. “I knew the job was open and so we had kind of done some research on our own, kind of knew what we wanted to do if the job was right, and it was.”
Doeren, who went 23-4 in his two season at NIU, met with the Huskies in DeKalb Saturday, and called it the hardest meeting he’s ever had as a coach. He congratulated the team on all they accomplished before saying goodbye.
“It was difficult,” Doeren said. “I loved that team. They gave everything to me and I gave everything to them. We had a lot of fun and a lot of wins. I think there’s a lot of mutual respect.”
Doeren called N.C. State a destination job. He said he felt N.C. State is a school that’s close to getting to the next level.
One of the first orders of business Doeren has is putting together a new staff, and he indicated he will bring some coaches over from NIU. The first thing he wants to do is get his coordinators hired.
“I’ve got I call it a two-deep, it’s really about five deep, by position, of guys that I respect in the business. Some of them are currently on my staff that will come with me at some point,” Doeren said. “Some of them aren’t, they’re guys I may have worked with and guys that I’ve just grown up in the business with.”
Doeren is leaving behind a team headed for a BCS bowl game, as NIU will play Florida State in the Orange Bowl Jan. 1. Doeren will not coach the team in the bowl game. He added that he thinks NIU athletic director Jeff Compher will promote from within when it comes to hiring a new coach.
Before the reports saying the Huskies were headed to Miami started circulating, Doeren said his old team deserved the bid.
“NIU, if they get a BCS bowl it’ll be fantastic,” he said. “That was the goal when I went there. ... At 12-1 I believe they deserve that opportunity and I hope they get it.”