The final two candidates for the UND Head Coaching Position have been announced. Former UND Defensive Coordinator (DC)/Current Southern Illinois DC Kyle “Bubba” Schweigert and former Sioux Falls Head Coach/Current Southern Illinois OC Kalen Deboer are now locked in a ‘Saluki-Shootout’ to see who is the next head coach in Grand Forks.
We fully expect the new head coach to be named by Monday, December 23rd, at the very latest. Frankly, there is no reason for it to go past Christmas. The only concerning thing timeline wise is that Schweigert is not due on campus for his formal interview until this weekend with Deboer coming sometime soonafter (we assume). That means Deboer could be leaving the same day that they announce the new head coach. Or maybe he will be staying for the press conference, who knows. Why they couldn’t have had the interviews today and tomorrow are a real mystery to us. If there were issues with getting plane tickets, I know of a handful of university-owned planes about 10 miles west of town that could easily have picked them up.
Bubba Schweigert File
Current: Defensive Coordinator at Southern Illinois.
Schweigert is known by all UND football fans. He was the longtime secondary coach/defensive coordinator at UND from 1985-2003. Schweigert led some of the best defense’s in UND history, including the national championship defense in 2001. After UND Schweigert took over the reigns as head coach at Minnesota-Duluth from 2004-2007. His career record at Duluth was 22-21, including an NCC championship and playoff berth in 2005. Many give credit to Schweigert for recruiting the majority of the players that ended up winning the national championship at Duluth just one year after he left, with a second national championship only 2 years after that.
At Southern Illinois, Schweigert’s defense’s have been decent overall, not dominating but not bad either. This past year they finished 5th in scoring defense in MVFC, giving up 25.2 per game. Their best year was in 2009, giving up 15.2 pts/game.
Schweigert will bring a face to the program and even more importantly, he will bring discipline and standards. We love the fact that he has been a head coach before and has gone through the growing pains that come with learning how to lead your own program. He has a deep understanding and respect for how the state of North Dakota works and operates. Schweigert understands the culture and high school coaches across the region will have an instant connection.
Kalen Deboer File
Current: Offensive Coordinator at Southern Illinois.
Like Schweigert, Deboer has also won a national championship – three, to be exact. Prior to be heading to Southern Illinois, Deboer led his alma mater, Sioux Falls College, to the NAIA National Championship in 2006, 2008, and 2009. Most UND fans will reluctantly remember Sioux Falls as the team that came in to the Alerus Center in 2009 and beat UND 28-13. Deboer had a career record of 67-3 at Sioux Falls. He spent his entire coaching career there, beginning in 1997 as an assistant and then taking over as the OC in 2000 until becoming the head coach in 2005. Deboer took over for longtime HC Bob Young, who built the program into a national NAIA powerhouse.
At Southern Illinois, Deboer’s offense’s have been a mixed bag. 2010 was his best year as the OC with his offense averaging 30 pts/game. Deboer’s offenses have typically finished in the middle of the pack in the MVFC.
The question regarding Deboer is how he can perform under ‘normal’ NCAA restricions standards as a head coach. We all know about the academic standard and scholarship advantages he had as an NAIA Head Coach. Can he recruit and be successful on and off the field in that environment? Probably. But it is an issue anytime a coach jumps from NAIA/JC to the NCAA environment.
OUR CHOICE: Given all the variables, and regardless of how the flawed process played out in the end, it is our opinion that the Zeeland, ND native is the best man for the job at UND. Bubba Schweigert has our endorsement and support.