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NIU coach Dave Doeren leaving for North Carolina State, won’t coach bowl

Northern Illinois coach Dave Doeren holds Mid-American Conference championship trophy after his team defeated Kent State 44-37 double overtime FridDetroit.

Northern Illinois coach Dave Doeren holds the Mid-American Conference championship trophy after his team defeated Kent State 44-37 in double overtime Frida in Detroit. | Carlos Osorio~AP

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Updated: December 1, 2012 7:30PM

The biggest victory in Northern Illinois history also will be the last at the school for coach Dave Doeren, who has been named the coach at North Carolina State, the school announced Saturday.

“I am honored and excited to join the Wolfpack,” Doeren said in a statement released by the school. “N.C. State has world-class facilities and fans that are second to none. I want to thank Chancellor Woodson and [athletics 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 [John] Peters and [athletics director] Jeff Compher.”

Losing coaches to bigger programs has become the price of success at NIU, which defeated Kent State 44-37 on Friday to win its second consecutive Mid-American Conference championship. Jerry Kill left the Huskies for Minnesota after three successful seasons, paving the way for Doeren to be named coach after the 2010 season.

The former Wisconsin defensive coordinator went 23-4 in two seasons in DeKalb. The MAC title game marked NIU’s 17th win in a row against a conference opponent.

The Huskies (12-1, 9-0 MAC) will learn their bowl fate Sunday. Doeren will not coach in the game, and the search for his successor already has begun.

“We will move quickly, as we have in the past, to get the right person to lead this program going forward,” Compher said. “We are confident there is a high level of interest in Northern Illinois as the incoming staff will take over one of the best programs in the country.”

The Huskies will receive a berth in one of the marquee bowls if they finish in the top 16 of the BCS standings, which will be announced Sunday. Kent State was ranked 17th and NIU 21st in the BCS entering Friday. No. 16 UCLA’s loss to Stanford in the Pac-12 Championship Game on Friday helps the Huskies’ cause.

“What Dave has done here in two seasons has been unprecedented,” Compher said. “His record on the field speaks for itself, and the family atmosphere and culture of hard work he has fostered have led directly to our success. Under Dave and his staff, Northern Illinois has gone from being a great team to being a great program.”

Doeren replaces Tom O’Brien, who was fired last week after six seasons at North Carolina State.

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