The Humanitarian Bowl preview will be released tonight/tomorrow morning, but there are more pressing issues at hand, my friends.
First of all, retaining Tom Matukewicz on the staff (as linebackers coach at minimum) was a WIN for new coach Dave Doeren. The announcement resounded with cheers from the team after Wednesday's practice. This is a win for quite a few reasons.
He will be able to add some continuity to this past year's success and bring things along more smoothly had he not been kept on the staff. He knows the personnel and how things were done before and will be an invaluable resource to Doeren. Tuke is also a big-time recruiter and his main area of expertise is the land of speed in Florida. Cheers to Doeren for making this crucial move to take a guy that's pretty much earned it, especially if the Huskies come away with a victory on Saturday.
"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.
But that's not all folks.
Canada is a throw back to some of the glory years NIU had at the beginning part of this past decade. He was RBs coach from 1998-2000, QB coach from 2001-02 and OC in 2003.
2003 was the landmark year in Northern Illinois football history in which the Huskies went 10-2 and almost became the original BCS busters before late season injuries resulted in two conference losses and no postseason play. This is the same OC that figured out a way to beat nationally ranked Maryland and Alabama teams. 2003 was also Michael Turner's senior year.
NIU at the time didn't have enough money to retain Canada and he went to Indiana, where he would remain for seven years. In 2004 he was QB coach, 2005-06 he was passing game coordinator and from 2007-10 he was offensive coordinator, all while retaining his position coaching QBs. Canada didn't have a job after Bill Lynch was fired after a 5-7 season.
While Indiana has struggled mightily these past few years, the one thing that they could hang their hat on usually was having a potent offensive attack and I'm excited to see what he can do for the Huskies next season. We'll have more analysis of this hire post-bowl game, but right now I'm excited.
That's two straight moves by Doeren that have been nothing short of excellent, but were pretty logical at the same time. Time to party like it's 2003: