Iowa v Northern Illinois

NIU’s Doeren admits he’d ‘have to listen to’ other schools


Normally when a head coach employed by one school is asked about interest in employment elsewhere, especially in-season, that coach is quick to shoot down the speculation regardless of where the truth or his intentions may lie.

Dave Doeren is not one of those coaches.

In his second season at Northern Illinois, Doeren has compiled a sparkling 20-4 mark.  With a win over Toledo tonight, the Huskies would clinch their second consecutive MAC West title under Doeren and third straight overall.

That success has made Doeren a hot commodity as the latest spinning of the coaching carousel revs up, with his name being attached to places where there aren’t even official openings (yet), places such as Cal, Purdue and Kentucky.  When asked in a generic sense what his tack would be if another school came a courtin’, Doeren was about as honest as an individual in his profession can be.

“If something comes along that I know if better for me and my family, I’m going to have to listen to it,” the coach said during an interview on SiriusXM radio Tuesday.

As candid as Doeren was when it comes to listening to potential suitors, he was just as adamant that he’s not pulling up stakes in DeKalb for another job just because others think a bigger conference is automatically better.

“I’ve lived by (the idea that) if you do a great job where you are and opportunities come your way, and it may not be the right one,” Doeren said. “I think that’s really important. I have a great job, my family is happy, I like the kids I coach, and they take care of me here.

“I’m not leaving here for something that I don’t think is better than what I have.”

Regardless of whether it’s this year or next, Doeren likely isn’t long for Northern Illinois.  A coach with a resume’ such as Doeren’s will remain a hot commodity for BcS-level schools with the financial resources to throw a contract at coaches like Doeren worth two or even three times what they are making at a lower-level conference.

It may not be all about the money, but it’s a lot about the money.  And coaches such as Doeren are about to get paid in very short order.

To his credit, at least Doeren’s willing to cop to an open ear.

Steve Spurrier discusses retirement; Gamecocks name Shawn Elliott interim coach

Steve Spurrier

Odds are pretty good Steve Spurrier has coached his final game as the Head Ball Coach, but Spurrier let it be known he is not going to go away quite as easily as you might think. Spurrier addressed the media today as South Carolina made its transition between coaches official. Spurrier noted he is resigning as head coach, but he is not necessarily retiring. As previously reported, Shawn Elliott will take on the role as interim head coach of the Gamecocks effective immediately.

The first thing Spurrier wants to remind everybody is he is not retiring. This is simply a resignation from his current position. Spurrier left the door open to possible options down the road for him in his post-coaching career. The idea of Spurrier walking away from the football world never to be heard from again is a startling one, so it is good to know he is not going to let that happen.

“College football is a game of recruiting, as well know,” Spurrier said when assessing why it was right for him to leave his job now. “That’s another reason I need to move on. I don’t know if coaching is completely over or not. It is fun being on a team. I might be a consultant for someone. I doubt if I’ll be a head coach again, but who knows?”

Spurrier said he realized Sunday the time to walk away was now and explained he always knew he would need to step aside the moment he saw himself holding the program back. That echoes the sentiment he has shared over the years, especially when asked about coaches like Joe Paterno and Bobby Bowden as they each got up in the years. This season South Carolina is off to a 2-4 start, so the writing was on the wall for Spurrier, who also said it was in the best interests for all if an inevitable change was handled immediately.

“We’ve slipped. It’s my fault. I’m the head coach,” Spurrier said of South Carolina’s recent struggles.”We haven’t lost it. We’ve got a dang good team.”

“Our team is not in shambles despite what some might say,” Elliott said when he was given a chance to speak to the media. “We’re going to do everything we can to make the University of South Carolina proud of this football program.”

Elliott will now have the rest of the season to show what he can do as a head coach, and he knows this will be a bit of an open audition for the job as South Carolina starts searching for its next head coach.

Mark Dantonio quickly tosses aside South Carolina discussion

Mark Dantonio

Michigan State has become a national power under the coaching of Mark Dantonio. The grizzled and confident coach has put together a master plan in East Lansing and has taken the Spartans to the top of the Big Ten along the way, capturing a Big Ten title and victories in the Cotton Bowl and Rose Bowl as well as in-state dominance over the Michigan Wolverines. Danotnio is preparing his Spartans to take on the Wolverines this week, but with the new vacancy opening up at South Carolina following the sudden retirement of Steve Spurrier, Dantonio has already been presented with the question about his thoughts on coaching at South Carolina.

He did not seem all that interested in discussing the vacancy when meeting with Michigan State media this morning.

“Coach Spurrier’s had an outstanding career there, it’s alma mater, and we’re here to talk about Michigan,” Dantonio said when asked about it today. Video below from the Big Ten Network

Dantonio played defensive back for the Gamecocks in the mid 1970s, which helps make Dantonio an interesting name to mention in any coaching future discussion out of Columbia. While Dantonio may have played at South Carolina for Jim Carlen, Dantonio grew up in Ohio and has coached the bulk of his career within Ohio and the Big Ten. He is also one win away from picking up his 100th career coaching victory, 81 of which have come at Michigan State.