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NIU OC has responsibilities reassigned due to cancer battle

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You’ve heard us preach on this site before that there are far greater priorities in this world than football. Northern Illinois’ coaching staff understands that to the fullest.

In a release Monday evening, Huskies coach Dave Doeren announced that offensive coordinator Mike Dunbar would have his duties reassigned so that he can focus on his fight against cancer. Dunbar, in his first year with NIU, was diagnosed in February, though the release does not state what kind of cancer Dunbar has. The coach underwent aggressive treatment in the spring hoping he would ready in time for the season.

“Football was never a part of our conversation, this is about Mike Dunbar and what is best for his health,” Doeren said in a statement. “I want his focus and attention to be on battling cancer, not on scoring points. He is a special member of our staff and every ounce of his energy needs to go toward winning this battle right now. Mike is a great man, a good father and an upper echelon coach. We will do everything we can to support him.

“We’ve been dealing with this situation since March, so our staff is well-prepared. We have three former offensive coordinators on our offensive staff in Rod Carey, Bob Cole and Mike Uremovich and I have total confidence in their ability to lead our offense this season.”

Carey ( run-game coordinator) and Joe Tripodi (fullbacks/tight ends) will share Dunbar’s responsibilities.

NIU originally hired former Rutgers assistant P.J. Fleck to be the team’s OC, but he resigned after one day to join Scarlet Knights coach Greg Schiano with the Tampa Bay Bucs.

Obviously, our best wishes go out to Dunbar and his family.

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