Feb. 2, 2012
DeKALB, Ill. - After introducing 31 new Huskies Wednesday on National Signing Day, NIU Head Coach Dave Doeren announced Thursday that Mike Uremovich, a native of New Lenox, Ill. who spent the past seven years as head coach at the University of St. Francis in Joliet and previously worked as a graduate assistant at NIU for former head coach Joe Novak, has joined the staff as running backs coach and special teams coordinator.
Uremovich was a part of the Huskies' tradition in the early years of this century as well as he began his coaching career as a graduate assistant on Novak's staff in 2001 and 2002 for teams that each won MAC West Division titles. Three years later, Uremovich took over as head coach of the NAIA University of St. Francis team. In 2011, he led the Saints to their most successful season in school history as USF won a school-record 10 games and claimed their first win over an NCAA Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) team when they defeated Georgia State. The Saints advanced to the NAIA Playoffs for the first time in 24 years and captured their first playoff victory. USF also posted seven-win seasons in 2008 and 2010 as the program was built under Uremovich.
Doeren was happy to bring a coach with Uremovich's coaching experience, ties to NIU and relationships with local high schools, to his staff.
"I have had my eye on Mike since I interviewed him last year," Doeren said. "He's a guy that has worked his way up in the profession. He has coached every position on offense and every unit on special teams so he brings a lot of experience. He's a guy that has built and run his own program and turned it in to a winning program. He brings a great sense of pride about being a Division I coach here, and we want to welcome Mike, his wife, Katie, and their children, Ella, Mikey and Drew to the Huskie family."
Uremovich, who attended Providence Catholic High School, believes his experience as a head coach in the state for the last seven years can benefit the Huskies.
"Being a head coach in the state of Illinois for the past seven years has allowed me to build great relationships with high school coaches," he said. "We had 60 players from Illinois on our roster from St. Francis and I think I have a great relationship with high school coaches throughout the state.
"I had a great experience working with Coach Novak here as a graduate assistant, and the opportunity to come back as a coach on Dave's staff is something I'm really excited about," Uremovich continued. "I've gotten to know Dave over the course of the last year and have a great respect for him and how he's run his football program. When the opportunity arose for me to come and be a part of it here, I jumped at the chance."
Doeren has now filled two open spots on his coaching staff with Uremovich joining former NFL wide receiver and NIU player Frisman Jackson, who was most recently an assistant coach at Akron, as the newest staff members.
"It was important to me not just to find the right coaches but to find three coaches that want to be here and want to be a part of this community and this university," Doeren said. "They have an understanding of Northern Illinois, how we operate and what we're looking for."
The Huskies open spring football practice March 28 with the 2012 season opener set for Saturday, Sept. 1 versus Iowa in Chicago's Soldier Field.
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