I now present Part II of my conversation with new NC State coach Dave Doeren, who discusses his offensive philosophy and why he believes he has reached a destination job. If you missed Part I, you can read it right here.
In terms of your offense, you’ve had dual-threat quarterbacks at Northern Illinois, but NC State has been a place with more of a pro-style offense. What’s your philosophy on the offense you want to run?
DD: I’ve got to recruit some quarterbacks that fit the other system if we’re going to go in that direction. I’d like to see who my offensive coordinator is before I tell you what I’m going to do. I’m working the phones on coaching staffs and recruits at the same time. I love what we did offensively at Northern but it also fit our personnel. So if we’re going to go that route with the spread option, multiple formation and motion type system that I like, then obviously I’ve got to find a couple key people to fit it.
You were able to elevate a good football program into a championship program. You’ve got a good program here. What does it take to elevate a good program into a championship program?
DD: It takes a couple things. 1. You’ve got to have a united coaching staff that’s guiding your team the same way. I like to say that every guy in the room is the head coach at his position and your job is to get my message to those kids and get them to do it the right way. That’s what I want. I felt like we were nine strong at Northern. I thought our assistants were fantastic coaches and good men and leaders, and they fit. Now it’s my job to do the same thing here. Some of those guys from there possibly could be coming this way and some of them may stay. But at the end of the day I’ve got to surround the team with assistant coaches who are great teachers and men. Secondly, it’s the chemistry of your football team. How do we get from 7-5 to nine, 10, 11, 12 wins, in today’s society trying to get the guys to understand the team matters more than themselves is a huge deal. That will be my goal here, is to provide that leadership and help them get there.
You have got very formidable competition in the Atlantic with Florida State and Clemson. I have to think your 17-1 conference record in the MAC was a huge selling point, given how NC State has fallen short in that regard. How do you begin to challenge those two teams at the top?
DD: Well, obviously you’ve got great competition. I’m assuming that the body of work I had there helped me. I know there were a lot of things that were important to the school and to Debbie Yow the athletic director. It seemed like we saw eye to eye on a lot of those concepts. Obviously if you want to get to the championship game, you have to win your side of the divisional race. With Florida State being the returning champs and Clemson having the year they did, we’ve got our work cut out for us.
You called this a destination job in your news conference. Why do you feel that way?
DD: It’s a place, quality of life-wise, that I just love. We vacation in North Carolina, we’ve brought our kids out here to fish. It’s a place I really like. You can recruit in-state. You don’t have to go far. We’ll obviously go to Florida because of my ties there, but the North Carolina, South Carolina regions are rich regions for players. When you can say that you’re in a great conference that has a great place to recruit to, and you like the geography of the state and you have great support, as long as I’ll continue to get the same support that I’m getting now, why would you leave? That’s just how I feel. There’s a lot of hard work ahead of us here, there’s no doubt. But I just feel like it’s a place I can attract not just players but assistant coaches to want to be part of for a while.