Dec. 15, 2010
BOISE, Idaho - New Northern Illinois head football coach Dave Doeren announced Wednesday that Tom Matukewicz, who is serving as NIU's interim head coach for the 2010 uDrove Humanitarian Bowl, will remain with the Huskies as linebackers coach, the position he has held at the school for the past three seasons. Matukewicz gave the team the news following Wednesday's practice in Boise.
"Tom is a natural leader, a worker, and a proud Huskie," said Doeren from Madison, Wisc., where he is continuing as Wisconsin's defensive coordinator and preparing the Badgers' for the Rose Bowl versus TCU. "I know he is excited and driven to continue to work for NIU. I know he has the players' respect and is an excellent recruiter and evaluator of talent. I am looking forward to working with Coach Tuke.
"He is `all in' when it comes to this football family. I am so grateful he is staying and I look forward to having his wife, Lenna, and daughter, Georgia, here too."
Matukewicz has been a member of the defensive staff that has turned the Huskie defense into one of the top units in the Mid-American Conference over the past three years. NIU led the MAC in total defense in 2008 and 2009 and is currently No. 1 in the league and tied for 16th in the country in scoring defense. Two of Matukewicz' linebackers, senior Alex Kube and sophomore Devon Butler, earned all-MAC recognition in 2010.
Like Doeren, a native of Kansas, Matukewicz is looking forward to remaining with the players he has recruited and helped to develop at Northern Illinois over the past three years while also working with a new staff and learning a different system.
"My last 11 seasons with Coach Kill have been amazing," Matukewicz said. "Being a head coach has always been my goal and I feel like I have learned Coach Kill's system for developing winning programs over our 11 seasons together. It will be a great growing experience to learn Coach Doeren's system now. Every coach needs a broad scope to draw from. Every coach needs to do what is best for his family. Lenna and I are so glad Coach Doeren has invited us to join his team. He is a proven difference maker and I know we are both going to work our hardest to continue the upward momentum of the Huskies."
Northern Illinois Associate Vice-President and Director of Athletics Jeff Compher, who tabbed Matukewicz to serve as the Huskies' interim head coach for the uDrove Humanitarian Bowl believes that Matukewicz will make the transition easier for Doeren and his new coaching staff.
"This is great for our team and our program that we have some continuity in our coaching staff," Compher said. "Coach Tuke will be able to share not only knowledge of our current team and our university, but of our recruits. I want to thank him for what he is doing with the team during this transition period and I am very happy he's going to continue with the Huskies."
Northern Illinois (10-3) takes on Fresno State (8-4) in the uDrove Humanitarian Bowl in Boise, Idaho on Saturday, Dec. 18 at 4:30 p.m. (CT)/3:30 p.m. (MT) on ESPN. The game will be heard in the Chicago area on WSCR AM 670 the Score as well as on NIU flagship station WLBK AM 1360 in DeKalb.
For more news, video, photo galleries and updates on Northern Illinois' activities during their bowl week in Boise, click on "Bowl Central" at www.NIUHuskies.com.
-- NIU -