NC State introduces Doeren as new football coach
Posted December 2, 2012
Updated December 3, 2012
RALEIGH, N.C. — Dave Doeren wanted to go somewhere he could have an impact.
That's one reason the new North Carolina State football coach said taking over the Wolfpack program is "a great opportunity."
"There was a long line of people that want to be in my shoes today," Doeren said. "I'm standing here in the ACC right now and I'm jacked up about it."
The school held a news conference to introduce Doeren Sunday, a day after announcing Doeren would leave Northern Illinois to replace Tom O'Brien as coach. Doeren's contract will pay him $1.8 million annually for five years and he has incentive bonuses that could tack on another $1 million.
"It seemed like a place that was very close to getting to the next step," Doeren said. "I feel like I can make a difference here. That was the one thing I wanted to be able to do."
Doeren took the job less than a day after leading Northern Illinois to a second straight Mid-American Conference championship. It was announced Sunday that Northern Illinois will face Acc champion Florida State in the Discover Orange Bowl on New Year's Day.
Doeren was 23-4 in two seasons as Northern Illinois coach, including a 17-1 in conference play. He won't coach the No. 16 Huskies in their bowl game.
"This is my team now. If NIU gets a BCS bowl, that would be fantastic," Doeren said at the press conference. "At 12-1 I hope they get that opportunity."
Doeren also commands a lot of his players in the classroom as NIU posted an Academic Progress Rate (APR) in the nation's top 5.
"I do believe in the student athlete," Doeren said. "I think you can have both. I believe in the balance a student needs to have in his life."
N.C. State athletic director Debbie Yow said Doeren was their first choise as a head coach and described Doeren as an overachiever who follows NCAA rules with a relentless work ethic.
"He brings to N.C. State the total package of skills and values that will be required to elevate our program to national prominence over time," Yow said.
Doeren was alongside Yow at NC State's practice on Sunday and addressed the team afterwards. He would not elaborate much on what was said but did indicate to them that this was a destination job for him and a place he wants to be for a long time.
"I told them, they didn't pick me. I picked them," Doeren said. "My goal is to help them. I'll do everything in my power to make them the best players."
Doeren said he began making calls Saturday night to recruits who verbally committed to play for the Wolfpack under O'Brien.
"At the end of the day, the kind of football you are going to see is very aggressive," Doeren said. "The goal is to be in a bowl game in January. It’s my job to get 18-22-year-old kids to become men and put aside the distractions for a common goal."
He takes over a program in need of a spark. The school hasn't appeared in the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game and hasn't won a league title since 1979.
The school fired O'Brien last week after six seasons. He went 40-35 in his six seasons in Raleigh and 5-1 against rival North Carolina, but his teams were just 22-26 in ACC play and 1-14 in Atlantic Division road games.
Before taking over at Northern Illinois, Doeren spent five years as an assistant at Wisconsin, where he served stints as defensive coordinator and recruiting coordinator.
Doeren, who turns 41 on Monday, also worked as an assistant at Kansas, Montana and Drake — his alma mater.
At Sunday's press conference, Doeren said that the first thing that he wants to do is get his coordinators hired. He said that the collection of coaches will consist of current assistants on the Northern Illinois staff but that he will also sit down and talk with current NC State assistants and other assistants he has worked with in the past.
"The people who touch our players every day have to be the right people," Doeren said. "I'd rather be slow and right than quick and wrong."
Doeren helped develop two-way threat Jordan Lynch into a possible Heisman Trophy contender — with nearly 3,000 yards passing and 1,771 yards rushing, he ranks third nationally in total offense — and his Husky teams scored at least 40 points in 16 of 27 games. They average 40.8 points this season and rank in the top 15 in the nation in five offensive stat categories.
AARON BEARD, AP Sports Writer, contributed to this report.