Mike Dunbar to run NIU's offense

Updated: February 8, 2012, 9:56 PM ET
By Scott Powers | ESPNChicago.com

Mike Dunbar was named Northern Illinois offensive coordinator on Wednesday.

Northern Illinois had originally hired P.J. Fleck to the position last week, but he resigned after one day to become the Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receivers coach.

Dunbar has 35 years of college coaching experience. He was out of coaching in 2011 and was New Mexico State's offensive coordinator in 2010.

"I am very excited to bring Mike Dunbar to Northern Illinois as our offensive coordinator," coach Dave Doeren said in a statement. "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.

"Mike is a guy that has tremendous passion for the game of football. 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 was previously an assistant coach at Toledo (1992-1996), Northwestern (2001-2006), Arizona (2006) and Minnesota (2007-2008) and head coach at Central Washington (1987-1991) and Northern Iowa (1997-2000).

"It's a great opportunity and an honor to join such an outstanding program and staff," Dunbar said in a statement. "Knowing the history of the school with coach [Joe] Novak, coach [Jerry] 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.

"I am very familiar with Northern Illinois, going back to my days at Toledo and then more recently at Northwestern and Minnesota," he continued. "I've worked with guys that played and coached at NIU, so there are a lot of common threads, which gives me an understanding of what a great place this is."

Scott Powers covers high school and college sports for ESPNChicago.com and can be reached at spowers@espnchicago.com.

Scott Powers is a general reporter for ESPNChicago.com. He is an award-winning journalist and has been reporting on preps, colleges and pros for publications throughout the Midwest since 1997.