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The Tom Dienhart Show: NIU Head Coaching Candidates

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On twitter, he was the first to report that P.J. Fleck might be the early front runner and then eliminated Scott Shafer from discussion as well.  The man from knows his stuff and came out with this little blurb recently:

Matukewicz is interim coach at Northern Illinois
Northern Illinois linebackers coach Tom Matukewicz will serve as interim coach for the Huskies' Humanitarian Bowl game against Fresno State, but the search is on to find a replacement for Jerry Kill, who left to become coach at Minnesota.


Marvin Sanders
Early names being mentioned are Rutgers receivers coach P.J. Fleck, Nebraska secondary coach Marvin Sanders, Syracuse defensive coordinator Scott Shafer and West Virginia running backs/slot receivers coach Chris Beatty.


Fleck is considered a rising star. He was an All-MAC receiver at Northern Illinois, then became wide receivers coach at NIU from 2007-09 before taking a job at Rutgers. Fleck has a good relationship with Northern Illinois athletic director Jeff Compher.

Sanders is a native of Chicago who played a Nebraska. He also served as defensive coordinator at North Carolina from 2004-06.

Shafer was a Northern Illinois assistant from 1996-2003, serving as secondary coach and defensive coordinator. He also has been defensive coordinator at Western Michigan, Stanford and Michigan before landing at Syracuse in 2009.

Beatty was a Northern Illinois assistant in 2007. He's considered to be an excellent recruiter.

And finally, he just tweeted this little statement as well:

I hear Rutgers' P.J. Fleck, Notre Dame's Chuck Martin and Wisconsin's Dave Doeren are top targets at Northern Illinois.

Finally, we actually have some names to talk about that aren't pure speculation.  Now, speculate!