CBS affiliate WFMY in North Carolina reports NC State is set to hire Northern Illinois head coach Dave Doeren. Doeren led Northern Illinois to its second MAC championship in his two years there on Friday night, outlasting No. 17 Kent State in overtime. Doeren is 23-4 in his two years since taking over for Jerry Kill, who left for Minnesota after leading the Huskies to the first of three consecutive 11-win-plus campaigns in 2010.
NC State fired Tom O’Brien last Sunday after a 7-5 regular season. The Wolfpack scored a marquee win over Florida State, but ultimately suffered through a disappointing 4-4 ACC slate. O’Brien was 40-35 in his six seasons as NC State head coach.
Doeren’s rise through the coaching ranks has been meteoric. In 2010, he helped Wisconsin to the Big Ten championship and Rose Bowl with a 41.5 point per game offense. Doeren accentuated quarterback Scott Tolzien’s strengths in the passing game, while giving Montee Ball and James White a balanced load of carries. The multifaceted approach made the Badgers difficult to contain.
At NIU, he retained the dual threat quarterback philosophy that Kill installed. Chandler Harnish flourished under Doeren last season, and Harnish replacement Jordan Lynch has earned considerable Heisman buzz. Should he employ a similar philosophy if he goes to NC State, Doeren would be the latest addition to the ACC moving toward a more spread-oriented philosophy. NCSU rival North Carolina brought in Larry Fedora before the 2012 season.