College

NIU Promotes Rod Carey To Head Football Coach

Northern Illinois head coach Rod Carey. (Courtesy NIU)

Northern Illinois head coach Rod Carey. (Courtesy NIU)

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DEKALB, Ill. (AP) — Northern Illinois has promoted offensive coordinator Rod Carey to head coach, replacing the departed Dave Doeren.

The school announced the move Sunday — the same day it accepted an invitation to the Orange Bowl. Doeren was hired Saturday by North Carolina State to replace the fired Tom O’Brien after leading NIU (12-1) to Mid-American Conference championships in each of his two seasons.

The Huskies were 23-4 with a 17-1 record in conference play under him. Now, they’re turning to Carey, who will make his debut against ACC champion Florida State in the first BCS appearance by the school and a MAC team.

He has spent two years on the staff and moved up from line coach to coordinator after the first game this year when Mike Dunbar left the team for health reasons.

“When you have a program like this, it’s not about what you can change; it’s about what you can keep,” Carey said in a statement. “We’ve got great players and we want to keep this ball rolling.”

Northern Illinois boasts a Heisman Trophy candidate in Jordan Lynch, who has a single-season record for yards rushing by a major college quarterback with 1,771 and leads the nation with 4,733 yards of total offense. The Huskies’ rushing attack ranks ninth in the country.

“Every opportunity Rod has had to step up and make a difference in our program, he has done it,” athletic director Jeff Compher said in a statement. “Whether developing a young, untested offensive line or stepping in as the offensive coordinator and play-caller in the second game of the season, he has responded with poise and professionalism. I’m confident he will do that again as our head coach.”

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