Friday’s coaching talk turns to the MAC

As Debbie Yow spends her first week of the NC State coaching search casting a net of intelligence gathering designed to narrow in on a replacement for Tom O’Brien, two potential candidates for the job take center stage tonight in the Mid-American Championship game. To bring you to speed quickly, the N&O posted the following late this afternoon

Northern Illinois faces Kent State in the Mid-American championship game tonight (7 p.m., ESPN2) in Detroit. N.C. State’s next football coach could come from one of those schools.

The Wolfpack’s coaching search has turned to the young MAC coaches, Dave Doeren of Northern Illinois and Darrell Hazell of Kent State. Both teams are 11-1 and both are ranked in the top 25 in the AP poll.

N.C. State athletic director Debbie Yow has said she wants Tom O’Brien’s replacement to have the Wolfpack in annual contention for the top 25 and to regularly compete for the ACC title.

Doeren, who turns 41 on Monday, led the Huskies to a MAC title in his first season in 2011. Doeren, a former assistant at Kansas and Wisconsin, has a 22-4 record headin into tonight’s conference championship game.

Hazell, a former Ohio State assistant, has turned the Golden Flashes around in two seasons. Hazell, 48, led the Kent State to a six-game improvement in his second season. Kent’s 11-1, and 8-0 in the MAC, after 5-7 debut in 2011.

N.C. State’s search, which began on Sunday, started with Louisiana Tech coach Sonny Dykes and Clemson assistant Chad Morris, who both interviewed for the job, and has progressed to the pair of young MAC coaches.

Either MAC coach would be in for a significant raise if he lands the N.C. State job. Hazell makes $300,000 a year, according to USA Today, and Doeren makes $423,300.

Dykes, who makes $760,200, has reportedly also been courted by California in the Pac-12. Dykes’ father, Spike, said Thursday night he wasn’t sure which teams had contacted his son.

“There’s so many rumors in college football today,” said the elder Dykes, a former Texas Tech coach. “I swear, it’s hard to keep up with what’s going on.”

Morris, who’s the highest-paid assistant coach in the country, would probably cost N.C. State the most money to hire. Morris has a $1.3 million deal to be Clemson’s offensive coordinator.

Both Doeren and Hazell are considered hot commodities with openings still at Purdue, Boston College, Arkansas, Auburn, Tennessee and Cal.

The winner of tonight’s game has a chance to qualify for a BCS bowl game. Kent State is ranked No. 17 in this week’s BCS standings and NIU is No. 21, if either finishes in the top 16, and ahead of one of the six automatic qualifying conferences, it would clinch an at-large bid.

Both teams are ranked ahead of the highest-rated Big East team in this week’s standings. The Golden Flashes beat Rutgers, the Big East co-champ, earlier this season.

I’m not buying that the search has ‘progressed’ from one set of candidates to another (Sonny Dykes & Chad Morris to Doeren and Hazell). But, more on that semantic in the future. For now, let’s genuinely highlight Doeren and Harzell since they will be showcasing their programs tonight.

Darrell Hazell is just another ‘overnight’ coaching success who was an assistant for almost 25 years (at places like Ohio State, Rutgers & West Virginia) before turning Kent State around in just two short seasons.

I personally think that Hazell not only fits the profile of a football coach laid out by Debbie Yow laid in Sunday’s press conference; but that he also fits the profile of coaches that Yow has hired to NC State over the last two years. Think about her hirings in soccer, wrestling, softball, et al — the one thing they all have in common is that the coach was succeeding at a level disproportionately higher than the resources that his/her previous school provided. That trait, coupled with Hazell’s energy and strong interpersonal communication ability (that usually translates into recruiting success) places the Kent State coach on my radar even moreso than Northern Illinois’ Dave Doeren, who has been referenced as a major candidate by some blogs. I also have reason to believe that some coaching dominoes are yet to fall that will significantly impact Doeren’s potential availability.

For a little more on Hazell you can read this article – Kent State buys into Hazell’s belief system.

No matter what, Kent State is headed to a bowl game for the first time since the 1972 season. It’s a team that, since a 33-point loss at Kentucky in its second game, has won a school-record 10 straight, including its first victory over a ranked opponent, No. 15 Rutgers, on Oct. 27.

They have come a long way since Hazell’s debut as a coach in 2011, when he took his team into the lair of eventual national champion Alabama and lost 48-7. But the belief started midway through the latter part last season, when Kent State put together a five-game winning streak.

“You could definitely feel things were changing,” Hazell said. “And you knew you were going to get some additional help this year (in terms of the players he had recruited). But I thought we started playing with much more confidence the end of last year.”

His former boss Jim Tressel wasn’t surprised . In their years together at Ohio State, where Hazell, the receivers coach, had risen to assistant head coach, Tressel took note of Hazell’s rapport with his players.

“Darrell always keeps first and foremost the needs of the team and the kids in mind,” Tressel said this week.

What the Golden Flashes needed more than anything, Hazell decided, was belief, and now that they have it, he said, the idea tonight is to lean on it.

“I told our players that this week all we have to do is the things we have been doing all year, but just do them a little bit better,” Hazell said.

I will leave you with a brief pre-season interview of Kent State’s Darrell Hazell.

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37 Responses to Friday’s coaching talk turns to the MAC

  1. PackPearl 11/30/2012 at 5:34 PM #

    Dave Doeren…22-4, 15-1 in Conf., Conf. Champ, WON Bowl.
    DC at Wisconsin B-4.

    Darrell Hazell…16-8, 12-4, in Conf.
    WR coach at OSU under Tressel B-4.

    Both 2 seasons in the MAC as HC’s.

    A Defensive background & better record > an Offensive backgrouds, not as good records & 6 years cheating under Tressel.

    Dave Doeren best option(over Morris, Dykes, or Hazzell) if we can’t get a “known”.

  2. eas 11/30/2012 at 5:37 PM #

    Hazell sounds like an interesting fit. Now that things have slowed a little I have to say Dykes is also not a bad fit. His Mike Leach style offense would be fun to watch. He has some weak spots though.

  3. eas 11/30/2012 at 6:28 PM #

    If we hire Hazell will he bring the bell?

  4. Primewolf 11/30/2012 at 6:31 PM #

    One has to make a matrix of attributes and risk factors and assess each coach’s achievements, aproach, and predicted performance. You can put weights on the attributes and produce a score. That is the best way to make multiattribute decisions. Dominance is when one option is better than all others for each attribute that is important in the decision.

    I don’t see a dominant candidate, but I do like Doeren and Dykes. I liked what Hazell was saying but not sure if he has IT. Will let you know after the game.

  5. gotohe11carolina 11/30/2012 at 6:33 PM #

    I’ve been screaming doeren to anyone who would listen. Glad something may come of it…

  6. PackPearl 11/30/2012 at 6:37 PM #

    gthcarolina……AGREED ! More after the game tonight.

  7. Wulfpack 11/30/2012 at 7:15 PM #

    I think you gotta go Hazell over Doeren.

    Really don’t know what to think of the search right about now. Thought it would be wrapped up from all the Dykes reports. Obviously not true, or a big wrinkle somewhere along the line.

  8. eas 11/30/2012 at 7:48 PM #

    It sucks that there are 4 other coaching jobs open that are going to take the top coaches (well at least 3 of them anyway). UT, Ark, Aub and Purdue. Obviously the first 3 are the big money & top candidate jobs. I don’t know of any of the 4 we are looking at would even make the cut at those SEC schools so I guess that is good and bad. Good because we should be fine even if it does drag out. Bad because we are not going to have a chance at a top tier coach. I get the angle here and I am cool with it. A young, hungry and passionate coach. Just hope with luck up with the right one!

  9. Pacobee 11/30/2012 at 8:01 PM #

    Ok…non related. Is anyone else hearing that ACC teams plan to jump to other leagues? I thought this would quiet down with the lawsuit against Maryland. Tonight I hear from a lawyer friend working in compliance that Ga Tech will announce something shortly after the ACC Championship. After than, he expect UNC and UVA to bolt for the Big10. I saw something similar on another thread about a week ago. Hearing it from someone “close” to the situation has me wondering again.

    As far as the coaching thing goes…in Yow I trust. A post on Pack Pride says Yow is playing for HC/OC/DC in one announcement. Seems risky unless the HC is inked. Guess we’ll see. I’m betting this is over by Friday…the question is which one.

  10. Wulfpack 11/30/2012 at 8:08 PM #

    Yes, plenty of chatter out there about GT leaving.

  11. gotohe11carolina 11/30/2012 at 8:10 PM #

    let’s get doeren and see if he,d like to work with tedford as an o.c. he’s the original Oregon ducks o.c. when they were just coming up in the early 2000s

  12. lawful 11/30/2012 at 8:27 PM #

    I checked with my source again this evening as (obviously) nothing has happened yet. He said that nothing has changed, as far as he knows…not that he would be the 1st to get a call one way or the other. He did say that he was not the “end all be all”. I suppose it’s possible to through even some of their biggest donaters off the scent. I’m not backing down from what I said earlier but I guess if they want to through up a thorough smoke screen, they have to include everyone.

  13. eas 11/30/2012 at 8:32 PM #

    Please give us a recap on what you said earlier.

  14. gotohe11carolina 11/30/2012 at 8:40 PM #

    I’ll be happy when this musical chairs finally stops and we get 4 football only super conferences and all the other sports can go back to more traditional alignments.x

  15. eas 11/30/2012 at 8:57 PM #

    Lawful, I went back and found what you said about your guy in “in the know” saying Dykes was a done deal. I couldn’t remember originally.

  16. motorhead 11/30/2012 at 9:00 PM #

    Well then, hopefully we have a quarterback who can through the ball next year.

  17. eas 11/30/2012 at 9:03 PM #

    Throw, scramble and run!

  18. eas 11/30/2012 at 9:11 PM #

    Kent State’s defense looks terrible! Doeren’s Husky’s look very good.

  19. PackPearl 11/30/2012 at 10:24 PM #

    Dave Doeren 2 seasons
    23-4
    16-1 Conf.
    2 Conf. Championships
    WON Bowl
    Going to Bowl

    That being said, both NIU & Kent St. looked awful.
    Doeren > Hazell or Dykes.

    None seem to be big hits. Doeren’s OC & DC appear to have weak resumes.

  20. 61Packer 11/30/2012 at 10:28 PM #

    Have been saying all along- Dave Doeren.

  21. MISTA WOLF 12/01/2012 at 1:20 AM #

    We must not always look at the records folks. Doeren inherited a hell of a football team. What you guys are forgetting is that Northern Illinois has been a good football program now for 15 years. They’ve won the MAC quite often in that span and dominated what’s been a pretty shittastic conference minus 2 or 3 teams. Kent St. on the other hand has been irrelevant and is going to their first bowl game since the 70′s I believe. Hazell was able to duplicate his successors record in his first season at: 5-7. This year on the other hand they’ve been stellar. 11-2 is nothing to laugh at. He obviously( and the other coaches) has turned that football program around. They’ve won their first road non conference game in 5 years and developed into a fairly decent football team for what they have. I like the helmet stickers too. I’ll take Hazell in this discussion but honestly will be happy with whoever Debbie decides to hire.

  22. MISTA WOLF 12/01/2012 at 1:21 AM #

    We must not always look at the records folks. Doeren inherited a hell of a football team. What you guys are forgetting is that Northern Illinois has been a good football program now for 15 years. They’ve won the MAC quite often in that span and dominated what’s been a pretty crappy conference minus 2 or 3 teams. Kent St. on the other hand has been irrelevant and is going to their first bowl game since the 70′s I believe. Hazell was able to duplicate his successors record in his first season at: 5-7. This year on the other hand they’ve been stellar. 11-2 is nothing to laugh at. He obviously( and the other coaches) has turned that football program around. They’ve won their first road non conference game in 5 years and developed into a fairly decent football team for what they have. I like the helmet stickers too. I’ll take Hazell in this discussion but honestly will be happy with whoever Debbie decides to hire.

  23. GoldenChain 12/01/2012 at 3:00 AM #

    So Sonny Dyke’s dad is named Spike?
    Spike Dyke? (!)

  24. PackerInRussia 12/01/2012 at 4:37 AM #

    ^ I think it’s spelled with an “s,” so Spike Dykes. Yeah, what a name.
    —————————————————————————–
    “& 6 years cheating under Tressel.”

    Ah, good. That means he has experience where it counts in college football.

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