Former NIU head coach Dave Doeren was named as one of nine finalists for the Eddie Robinson Award.
Utah State's Gary Andersen, Notre Dame's Brian Kelly, Ohio State's Urban Meyer, Florida's Will Muschamp, Penn State's Bill O'Brien, Stanford's David Shaw, Kansas State's Bill Snyder and texas A&M's Kevin Sumlin's are the other finalists.
Doeren led NIU (12-1) to 12 consecutive victories after a season-opening loss to Iowa at Soldier Field. The Huskies won their second consecutive Mid-American Conference Championship, defeating Kent State, 44-37, in double overtime at Ford Field on Friday.
The Huskies became the first MAC team to make a BCS bowl game when NIU was selected to play Florida State in the Orange Bowl on Jan. 1.
On Saturday, Doeren left NIU to take over as North Carolina State's head football coach.
The Eddie Robinson Award is voted on by the Football Writers Association of America and is given to the Coach of the Year.