NC State landed its No. 1 choice Saturday. Northern Illinois coach Dave Doeren will be introduced Sunday as the Wolfpack's next football coach in replacing Tom O'Brien.
NC State athletic director Debbie Yow flew to meet with Doeren Saturday and closed the deal.
Doeren is fresh off of winning the MAC title game Friday night in overtime against Kent State in Detroit. The two-year coach compiled a 24-4 record at NIU, including 17-1 in the MAC. The Huskies are currently ranked No. 18 in the country and could rise in the rankings Monday.
"Coach Dave Doeren is a highly motivated overachiever who shares our goals to pursue aggressively a high level of achievement in the classroom and on the field of competition," said Yow in a press release.
Doeren is a finalist for the 2012 National Collegiate Coach of the Year Award, sponsored by the Maxwell Football Club.
Doeren led the Huskies to a school-record 12-win season that came on the heels of an 11-win season in 2011. With his win over Kent State, he captured his second MAC championship. NIU is the only NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision team to win 21 of its last 22 games.
Doeren's prolific offense scored 40 points or more 16 times in 27 games the last two years. The program scored 40.8 points per game this season and is in the top 15 nationally in fourth-down conversions (2nd), rushing offense (9th), scoring offense (10th), 3rd down conversions (15th), and total offense (15th).
"I am honored and excited to join the Wolfpack. NC State has world-class facilities and fans that are second to none," Doeren said. "I want to thank Chancellor [Randy] Woodson and 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 Jeff Compher [athletic director]."
Doeren has mentored Heisman Trophy candidate Jordan Lynch, the most productive dual-threat quarterback in the nation, who gained 2,962 passing and 1,771 rushing yards with 43 TDs. Lynch currently ranks third nationally in total offense.
For the second straight year, the Huskies rank among the top five FBS teams in student-athlete Academic Progress Rate (APR), the national metric used by the NCAA to gauge a team's academic success.
Doeren's dedication to academic excellence is unmatched. Northern Illinois is the only school in the nation to have a player win the National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete Award in both 2011 and 2012. Huskies' two-year starting noseguard, Nabal Jefferson, was named one of 15 winners of the 2012 NFF Scholar-Athlete Award, and is a candidate for the 2012 William V. Campbell Trophy, awarded to the best scholar athlete in the nation. Additionally, Northern Illinois join Duke, Penn State and Nebraska as one of only four schools in the country to place four players on the 2012 Capital One Academic All-District Team for its region.
Doeren served a five-year stint from 2006-2010 at Wisconsin as the co-defensive coordinator, linebackers coach and recruiting coordinator. He finished his last three years as defensive coordinator and his defenses were consistently ranked in the top 25. During Doeren's time there, Wisconsin posted a 49-16 record and played in five bowl games (Rose Bowl, Outback Bowl, Capital One Bowl and twice in the Champs Sports Bowl).
Doeren arrived at Wisconsin after four seasons (2002-05) at Kansas. He was the linebackers coach and recruiting coordinator for three seasons before being promoted to co-defensive coordinator. The Jayhawks led the Big 12 Conference and ranked No. 3 nationally in rushing defense in 2005 and were 11th nationally in total defense.
Doeren coached the secondary at NCAA Division I-AA (now Football Championship Subdivision) power Montana for two seasons in 2000 and 2001 and was the Grizzlies' recruiting coordinator for one year. Montana won the I-AA national championship in 2001 and went 28-3 with two conference titles in Doeren's two seasons there.
He started his college coaching career as an assistant at Drake from 1995-97, where he coached linebackers before adding defensive coordinator responsibilities in 1997.
A four-year letterwinner at Drake (1990-93), Doeren earned Academic All-America honors as a senior and graduated with a bachelor's degree in pre-medical biology and a master's degree in educational leadership.
He and his wife, Sara, have three sons, Jacob, Luke and Connor.