Jacobson: Coach Dave Doeren has the Huskies rolling at 8-1 and on an eight-game winning streak. We’re approaching the time of the season when speculation swirls around which coaches are on the hot seat.
Doeren certainly isn’t in trouble of losing his job at NIU, but he might be a hot name out there for future coaching vacancies. What do you think the chances are Doeren leaves after his second season in DeKalb?
Nitz: I certainly wouldn’t be shocked if Doeren is at a BCS school next season. He’s certainly done a good job at NIU, and the Mid-American Conference has been a nice breeding ground for head coaches.
However, I think he’ll be back in DeKalb.
Some interesting Southeast Conference jobs should be open (Arkansas, Auburn, Kentucky, Tennessee), but those schools will want a bigger name or a coach with a longer track record than Doeren, who has been a head coach for only two seasons.
We’ll see what jobs open up. I think Doeren would be a good fit in the Big Ten, but at this point the only Big Ten job I can see possibly coming open is Purdue.
Ross, will Doeren be roaming the sidelines at Huskie Stadium next season or will NIU have its third coach in four years?
Jacobson: I agree with you, Steve. I think Huskie fans have at least one more season of Doeren. The reasons you gave pretty much sum it up. Two years isn’t a long enough track record for BCS schools that probably would rather hire a longtime assistant off a rival staff rather than a younger head coach in the Mid-Amercian Conference.
If you look at recent coaches to leave the MAC, Jerry Kill and Tim Beckman each stayed three seasons in the conference. The only notable I can think of that left the MAC after two seasons was Urban Meyer, and he went to Utah, not exactly a destination coaching position.
It all depends on which jobs open up. The SEC coaching carousel will be intriguing to follow.
Do you think it’s at all dependent on whether Doeren wins another MAC championship and bowl game?
Nitz: Winning a MAC title certainly will help his chances. As for the bowl game, a lot of schools like to make hires before the bowl season, so if Doeren’s coaching the bowl game, there’s a good chance he probably is around for 2013 as well.
I’m sure we’ll hear Doeren’s name talked about in the coming weeks as more jobs open up. This isn’t new for NIU. After winning a MAC title and the California Bowl in 1983, Bill Mallory went to Indiana. After going 15-7 his last two seasons with the Huskies, Jerry Pettibone left DeKalb to become the coach at Oregon State after the 1990 campaign. And, of course, Kill left for Minnesota in 2010 after three seasons.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see Doeren take a better job, and who could blame him? If he keeps winning, he’ll probably leave DeKalb eventually. However, I think that move’s at least a year away.