Dec. 22, 2011
DeKALB, Ill. - Northern Illinois has extended the contract of Head Football Coach Dave Doeren by one year and will raise Doeren's salary by nearly $50,000 after the first-year head coach led NIU to its first Mid-American Conference Championship in 28 years and secured the school's second straight 10-win season, NIU Associate Vice-President and Director of Athletics Jeff Compher announced Thursday.
The extension means that Doeren's contract now runs through June 30, 2017, while his annual salary increases from $371,000 to $420,000. NIU also made adjustments to Doeren's buyout amounts in future years. The raise puts the Huskie head coach's salary in the top three in the MAC, according to the most recent figures available.
"We feel like we have the best coach in the MAC and we wanted to be sure his contract reflected that," Compher said. "According to the data we have, this increase will make him the third-highest paid coach in the MAC. It's important for us to be at the top of the league as we continue to build on this championship season and move our program forward. In addition, we want to do everything possible to keep Dave as our head coach, and feel the additional compensation is an important part of that effort."
Doeren, 40, said he is appreciative of the support of the NIU administration, including Compher and Northern Illinois President Dr. John Peters.
"I'm really grateful to Jeff Compher and President Peters for extending my contract and making me feel very special here at NIU," Doeren said. "I feel the warmth that they've shown to me and my family and how much they want us to be a part of what's going on here. To reward us, in tough economic times, shows their dedication to not only me and my staff, but the work that we've done in a short year. I really appreciate it and look forward to what's ahead."
Doeren is the winningest first-year head coach in Northern Illinois history and the Huskies' 23-20 comeback win over Ohio in the Marathon MAC Championship game on Dec. 2 secured NIU's first MAC title since 1983. Doeren is the only first-year head coach who was not affiliated with his current team a year ago as an assistant to win 10 or more games this season.
Compher said the fact that Doeren was able to come into a completely new situation and excel was unique.
"What he was able to do this year, in his first season, where he had to bring in a staff and capture the team from both an emotional and a competitive standpoint, has been the smoothest transition I have ever seen," he said. "He led us to a championship, and that has not been done here for 28 years. This has been a special year for our program."
Doeren said the contract extension sends the right message about the future and direction of the program to fans and to recruits.
"It shows they want to have another championship instead of waiting," he said. "Anytime you can have continuity within your coaching staff, which we're trying to do not just with me, but with the assistant coaches, it helps the process. It shows recruits that the administration is happy with what we've done this year and they want to continue the trend. For our recruits to see that they've extended my contract to five years just helps reinforce what I'm telling them - that we're here, we're excited about being here and the administration is excited about us being here."
Northern Illinois (10-3) will play Sun Belt Conference champion Arkansas State (10-2) in the 2012 GoDaddy.com Bowl in Mobile, Ala. on Sunday, Jan. 8 at 8 p.m. on ESPN. The Huskies are making their fourth consecutive bowl trip and are the winningest FBS program in the state of Illinois since 2000.
-- NIU -
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