FARGO, N.D. (AP) - North Dakota State head football coach Craig Bohl will continue to guide the team though the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs even though he has taken the job at Wyoming, the school’s athletic director said Sunday.
Gene Taylor said Bohl told him he accepted the Wyoming offer after Saturday’s 38-7 victory over Furman in a second-round game at the Fargodome. Taylor said he did not know how many assistant coaches Bohl planned to take with him.
“Quite frankly, guys, I knew this day was coming,” Taylor said. “I know a lot of people are questioning the timing of it. There’s never a good time. But when you look at obviously the dollars that they are going to commit to him and his assistant coaches, whoever those may be … It’s a step up.”
Taylor said he made no effort to keep Bohl “with those kinds of dollars” he’s getting at Wyoming.
Taylor said the players support the decision for Bohl to finish the season with NDSU. He said Wyoming has no problem with Bohl sticking around, which raised the question about why the Cowboys didn’t wait with their announcement.
“Obviously they needed to get the name in place and get somebody hired,” Taylor said. “I don’t know why they didn’t wait, but the way coaching searches go, they wanted to know if Craig was in or out I’m sure; if not, they probably needed to move on to the next candidate.”
Bohl has not been available for comment, but said Sunday morning on his weekly coach’s show on KXJB-TV that he feels he’s taken the program as far as he can and it’s time for someone else to take over the helm of the two-time FCS winners.
Wyoming has scheduled a news conference at 7 p.m. EST Sunday “to make a major announcement.”
Bohl said he planned to travel to Laramie, Wyo., on Sunday and added “there is no perfect time” for a coaching change.
“They’re not easy times,” Bohl said. “North Dakota State is very, very special place in my heart. There’s been 11 years that I invested here.”
Bohl has a 101-32 record with the Bison, including a 10-1 mark in the FCS playoffs and 9-3 showing against Football Bowl Subdivision teams. The Bison knocked off Kansas State this season in what many considered the landmark regular-season victory since the school moved up from NCAA Division II to Division I athletics. He is the winningest football coach at the school.
A native of Lincoln, Neb., Bohl was a reserve in the Cornhuskers secondary from 1977-79 under Tom Osborne and played on the 1979 Orange Bowl and 1980 Cotton Bowl teams. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Nebraska.
Bohl’s first full-time coaching position was as the defensive secondary coach for the Bison in 1984, when NDSU finished second in NCAA Division II ranks with a 12-1 record. Bohl went on to coach at the Division I level for 18 seasons, including stops at five different universities. Before he took over the head coaching job at NDSU, he worked at Nebraska for eight years, the last three as defensive coordinator.
Last season Bohl received the Eddie Robinson Award as the FCS coach of the year.
Taylor said the fan base is upset about Bohl’s departure “because they care and they like him and nobody likes to see change.”
Bohl said fans should trust Taylor’s leadership to put a new coach staff in place. The athletic director said he has not set a timetable to name a new coach, but said it could happen at any time. He said there are some current assistants who deserve consideration, but wasn’t specific.
“Head coaches can come and go, but this institution and the program here stays,” Bohl said on his Sunday show. “NDSU is not about one person.”
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