DEKALB, Ill. — Northern Illinois reached into the Big Ten as it completed a whirlwind search Monday for its new head football coach.
Wisconsin defensive coordinator Dave Doeren was introduced as the school’s 21st head coach at an afternoon news conference, just eight days after former coach Jerry Kill departed for Minnesota.
“I’m very fortunate to be walking into a place that has the pride and the success and the facilities and the expectations and the academic integrity that this university has,” Doeren said. “I know [former coach Joe] Novak and coach Kill, and I know what they stand for. I’m very, very proud to stand on what they’ve created. I’m not walking into a rebuilding job.”
A Wisconsin assistant since 2006, the 39-year-old Doeren has been defensive coordinator the last two seasons and will coach the Badgers against TCU in the Rose Bowl next month.
“I felt like I was part of a five-year process to get them to that point and I want to finish that journey,” he said. “I also feel like it’s great publicity for this university and for our recruiting efforts to have a Rose Bowl coach on national television.”
NIU (10-3) is preparing for next week’s Humanitarian Bowl game in Boise, Idaho, against Fresno State. Linebackers coach Tom Matukewicz is serving as interim head coach for that game.
Kill announced Dec. 3 that he’d take over at Minnesota.
“I knew he wanted the job because yesterday he spent two hours digging himself out of his driveway,” NIU athletic director Jeff Compher said. “Then he drove two hours through a blizzard to get here.”
Doeren will coach against his former team when NIU plays Wisconsin on Sept. 17, 2011, at Soldier Field.