Coach Doeren’s Road to NC State

Here’s a really good article with some very interesting insight into new NC State head football coach Dave Doeren’s path into coaching, as well as to NC State, from earlier today by Chip Alexander….

For Doeren, a long road to N.C. State (

Doeren, 41, has been a head coach only two years. But those who know him best say not to underestimate him.

That includes Dan Waters, the track and field coach at Alabama and one of Doeren’s best friends.

Doeren and Waters grew up in Shawnee Mission, Kan. All but inseparable, they once caddied together at Kansas City Country Club, picking up $12 a bag, often toting mornings and afternoons, in good weather and bad.

“We started in the fourth or fifth grade, and I guess that was our first opportunity for any real work,” Waters said, laughing. “Putting the carts back, cleaning clubs, we did it all. And Dave was always an incredibly hard worker.”

Doeren and Waters later played high school football and golf together at Bishop Miege High. Doeren was the big kid in a small school, Waters said, capable of playing all the positions on the offensive line including tight end.

As a golfer, Doeren was a much better player than Waters, and one day they were paired together in a match against a twosome from a rival school. Waters said he was playing “tragically bad,” to the point the two opponents started mocking him.

“Dave stuck up for me and soon words were spoken and there was some pushing and shoving,” Waters said. “Remember, this was a golf match.”

After the brief scuffle, Doeren played great golf. They won the match.


Doeren was on track to be a doctor which he said thrilled his mother until the summer of his junior year. He had taken the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) and was back home when his former coach at Bishop Miege asked him to run a seven-on-seven football league.

“I did that, and when I left I went home and said, ‘I’m not going to be a doctor, I’m going to be a coach,'” Doeren said. “From that point on, that was it I was going to be a head coach. I just didn’t know how long it would take me. It’s in my blood.”

There was the not-so-small matter of telling his parents that he wouldn’t be Dr. Doeren.

“My mom was mad,” he said, smiling.


For Doeren, his first head coaching job wasn’t just about football. To help promote the program, he jumped out of an airplane from 14,000 feet, saying he enjoyed the sky-dive. He drove a stock car. He did whatever was asked of him.

And he won, big, going 23-4 the past two seasons. The Huskies, with dynamic Jordan Lynch at quarterback operating the spread offense, averaged 40 points a game this season. The defense was physical, effective.

ESPN college football analyst Tom Luginbill said he spent time with Doeren at Northern Illinois when the ESPN crew went to DeKalb, Ill., to prepare for a few game telecasts.

“People say teams emulate their coach’s personality and he’s very even-keel,” Luginbill said. “He’s mild-mannered, a matter-of-fact, single-minded person. He has a nice attention to detail and great work ethic, which serves him well.

“He’s also well-versed in recruiting in places where it’s not easy to recruit. Ever been to Dekalb? At N.C. State it should be easier.”

Doeren, who has Internet savvy, said he researched N.C. State on the Internet before taking the job offer. Asked if he knew how close he was to Chapel Hill and the Pack’s biggest rival, North Carolina, he quipped, yep, he Goggle-mapped it.


Also, it seems Coach Doeren is a bottom line kind of guy who knows what he’s dealing with in Raleigh…..

Now, Doeren must hire a staff. He must recruit. He’ll go to the Music City Bowl in Nashville, Tenn., on New Year’s Eve for the Pack’s game against Vanderbilt, but only to observe.

He knows the expectations he faces as he tries to build a team worthy of inspiring fans to want to storm the field. He also knows how long it has been since the Pack last won an ACC title.

“Thirty-three years,” he said, correctly.

For more talk about Coach Doeren and all things NC State, be sure to get over to the SFN Forums and make your voice heard there.

About Wufpacker

A 2nd generation alumnus and raised since birth to be irrationally dedicated to all things NC State. Class of '88 and '92.

Dave Doeren NCS Football

4 Responses to Coach Doeren’s Road to NC State

  1. LRM 12/12/2012 at 7:27 AM #

    … Luginbill said. “He’s mild-mannered, a matter-of-fact, single-minded person. He has a nice attention to detail and great work ethic, which serves him well.”

    Ironically, you could say the exact same quote about TOB and never change a word.

    I’m pleased with the hire. Now go beat Carolina and win the ACC.

  2. vtpackfan 12/12/2012 at 10:03 AM #

    When I think of the good side of “mild mannered, even keel”, I fondly remember that he was at the helm of a remarkable comeback vs Terps last year, a gutsy fight to the finish against FSU, and 4 ( almost 5) nail biter W’s over our rival.

    For Dorean the challenge will be to keep that even keel, fight to the finish type mentality going with the program while eliminating the hum-dum humilitiating starts that were the mild mannered manifestations of TOBs demise.

    I think DD has the upside and capability to achieve these results based on his ability to communicate more effectively to today’s football scholar athlete is a way that doesn’t compromise the old school approach that there are no short cuts, and hard work each and every time a team/individual gets the opportunity can produce fantastic results.

    Looking forward to following the progress of filling the remaining coaching positions. Like he clearly stated in pressed, he would rather be slow and right than fast and wrong in choosing these vital components.

  3. mikeak01 12/12/2012 at 12:01 PM #

    So he gets better after a scuffle?

    Doeren – YOU SUC. Doeren – YOU CAN’T RECRUIT in the South!!!!

    hopefully that helps 🙂

  4. saigonwolf 12/12/2012 at 9:51 PM #

    ^I don’t care where our recruits come from as long as he can win football games with them.

    Regarding DD’s personality, based on the video of him posted here a few weeks ago coaching the sidelines and practices, I think he’ll relate to the players much better than TOB did. In the entire time he was here, I never saw TOB do anything other than stare stoically at the field with his arms folded.

Leave a Reply