You said last week this was going to be a quick process. Did you have intermediaries that helped the process?
Well we worked with Dan Parker Search Firm out of Atlanta. He was the search firm of my hiring, he was the search firm of Chancellor Woodson.
I've known him for a long time. We talked to him about Dave and I would also talk to Jordan Bazant (agent) about Dave. They both knew me and kept coming back saying it's a good fit.
And the first time you had direct interaction with Coach Doeren was?
I can't do that, I'm not saying anything about the whole process in terms of who interviewed, exactly when we talked to them, because once I go down that road I'm going to end up with some of them, they didn't want their names to be out.
But you did have a face-to-face meeting with Dave?
Absolutely, absolutely. I went to get him. I was in Dekalb, Ill. yesterday. That is where I spent my Saturday. On Friday, I was watching NIU on TV, being harassed.
You talked last week about wanting to get somebody to reinvigorate the program. What does he bring that will do that not only on the field?
Energy, focus, all of the things I said when I spoke a while ago. I really thought through that. He's a player's coach. He's pretty special in that way.
He met with the players on the field, I introduced him to them before practice at noon and he spoke just briefly to them there and then he met with them at 2 pm in a private session. I told my administrative staff, no administrators are allowed in that room, this is just him and them, nobody else.
When you knew there was a fit with Doeren, was there some relief?
Was it like a blind date that goes well?
It went really well, we got married. I was very concerned about the SEC school that was interested, the Pac-12 school that was interested, and the Big Ten school that was interested. A couple of those places have pretty deep pockets, so yes I was concerned. I was consistently present with Jordan and Dan Parker.
Did you guys talk much about his schemes and philosophies?
No, and I don't do that even in basketball, which was a sport I coached. I didn't do that with Mark in any significant way. They've been doing what they do for a long time. We talked a little bit, of course, but it wasn't a factor. I liked that NIU won and I appreciated the double overtime game.
Nobody has asked about numbers and it's not in the release, so what can you tell us?
(The contract) is $1.8 million, and five years. There is a contingency, if we finish in the AP top 25 or USA Today Coaches Poll top 25 in year one or year two, there is an automatic 2-year extension. It's very similar to something that was in Coach Gottfried's contract.
When you first sat down after making your decision, how big a list of candidates were you realistically looking at?
I had a larger group, of course, but narrowed it very quickly to four guys. I felt like we wouldn't be in bad shape if any one of the four came. I felt like each one of them brought something special to the table, but Doeren was at the top of the list.
What is it about Doeren off of his resume that made you realize he was a coach you wanted to have?
He is a smart guy. He's creative. He's not wed to a system, he's going to do what he has to do to match up what talent we have with what he's trying to do. That's what I mean by smart. That's a really important trait for any coach.
Some don't do that, some coaches say, 'This is my system and we're going to run it' when the players might not have the talents to run that system well.
You have always talked about having a top 25 program, but talk about the value he brings in having been a part of several championships?
There is no substitute for having experienced, as a staff member or a player, what it is to win championships. It's one of the things I tell the coaches here in meetings, it's that I've been a part of 20 national championships. It's really special, and we can get there, but we have to keep plowing ahead. I don't think there is a way to express how important it is to have been there and done that.
He talked a lot about fishing, do you feel like you landed the big fish?
I did hook a big fish. I should have said that in my speech. He told me right up front about the fly fishing thing. He said they were at Lake Lure last year and I said Bill and I were there last summer.
I appreciated the fact that he had some frame of reference for the state of North Carolina, and when I sat down with him in about the first 10 minutes I was trying to sell, and he just said, 'Debbie, I want this job if you want me.'
Was he your first interview and were all the other candidates working from behind?
I can't talk about who interviewed first, second, third or fourth, but we did talk to four people in person.
We approached it the same way we did with Coach Gottfried, this is it, we can't pay you as much as maybe somebody else can right now but if you prove yourself we'll do well by you.