Dunbar hired as NIU’s offensive coordinator

By Northern Star Staff

Mike Dunbar will join NIU football as offensive coordinator, head coach Dave Doeren said in a press release Wednesday.

The decision to hire Dunbar came less than a week after P.J. Fleck abruptly stepped down one day after getting hired as the Huskies’ offensive play-caller.

“I am very excited to bring Mike Dunbar to Northern Illinois as our offensive coordinator,” Doeren said. “Mike brings 25 years of play-calling experience, coupled with 12 years of head coaching experience. I had to compete against Mike four different times as a defensive coach – twice at Kansas and twice at Wisconsin – and I always came away with a great appreciation and respect for how good of an offensive coach he truly is.”

During his 35 years of college coaching, Dunbar made stops at Northwestern, Toledo, Northern Iowa, California, Minnesota and, most recently, New Mexico State.

“Mike is a guy that has tremendous passion for the game of football,” Doeren said. “He has coached at every level from high school to NCAA Division II, FCS, MAC and BCS programs. He’s worked with guys that are playing in the NFL today and developed some very successful offenses.”

Dunbar said he has some understanding of the background of the NIU football program.

“It’s a great opportunity and an honor to join such an outstanding program and staff,” Dunbar said in a press release. “Knowing the history of the school with Coach Novak, Coach Kill and now Coach Doeren, especially with what he’s been able to accomplish in his first season, I am really looking forward to coming in and working with the players and coaches.”

Dunbar coached three players that currently play in the NFL: Seattle Seahawks’ running back Marshawn Lynch, Denver Broncos’ wide receiver Eric Decker and New Orleans’ Saints offensive tackle Zach Strief.

With Dunbar’s experience of coaching, Doeren said his players and the rest of the Huskies’ coaching staff can learn a thing or two from him.

“I feel really fortunate to have a coach with the experience and talent of Mike Dunbar joining our staff,” Doeren said. “Not only will he make our players better, he will make our coaches better. We’re excited that he and his wife Linda will be moving here from Washington to join the Huskie family.”