Fill in the blank: Rod Carey’s time at NIU has been …


By Northern Star Sports Staff

Jayce Eustice | Sports Editor

… better than expected.

Rod Carey didn’t exactly blow people away during his time at NIU, but a 52-30 record in his time with the Huskies is nothing to take lightly. His biggest mark as a head football coach is that he is 0-6 in bowl games, something his two MAC Championships help cover up.

Average NIU fans will yell until they are blue that Carey should have been fired long ago; looking deeper into things he was a pleasant surprise.

His 38-10 lifetime conference record shows he kept the Huskies competitive even during down seasons. His ability to keep a college football team consistent is something that will be missed.

Carey’s legacy at NIU will be tarnished by his seeming inability to call plays and create yards through his coaching alone.

At Temple, Carey will have the chance to flourish with a scenery change and maybe, finally, get his first bowl victory.

James Krause | Reporter

… a mixed bag.

Carey’s career at NIU can easily be argued as a massive success that created, as Athletic Director Sean Frazier called, “a championship tradition.” Others can easily turn around and say Carey wasn’t good enough to take NIU further.

While some Huskies fans can look at the success of five winning seasons under Carey, his detractors could point to his 0-6 bowl game record with the school.

One fact that has gotten lost in the shuffle of Carey’s career is that NIU was first his head coaching job at any level.

Winning at the FBS level with consistency in your first job is no small feat, even with mistakes in his first tenure as a head coach.

While his time at NIU may be the subject of debate for some, it may be looked back on as the start of the career that will be remember fondly. That, however, is for Carey to make happen, at Temple or elsewhere.

Khobi Price | Assistant Sports Editor

… underappreciated.

Detractors can, and have, pointed to Rod Carey’s shortcomings as NIU’s football head coach for seven seasons to poke holes in his résumé: winless in six bowl games with a 25-point average margin of loss, conservative offensive approach and not taking the program to the “next level.”

Carey wasn’t a perfect coach, but his success at NIU shouldn’t be overlooked. The Huskies won four Mid-American Conference West titles and two MAC championships under Carey.

The team had five seasons with eight or more wins in a six-year span. His 52-30 overall record is the second best winning percentage —minimum five games coached— in the football program’s history.

Carey’s 38-10 conference record demonstrates the consistent success NIU experienced in the MAC with him at the helm. If NIU’s next football coach accomplishs the same thing as Carey, they would be viewed as a success. Carey’s tenure at NIU should be viewed as the same.