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MAC Coaching Rumors: Northern Illinois, Kent State, Ball State

We need coaches. Three of the 13 spots in the MAC are vacant. Fill them, Internet rumors!

NORTHERN ILLINOIS — Via Red and Black Attack,'s Tom Dienhart has a juicy list of three men to replace Jerry Kill:

  • P.J. Fleck, Rutgers' wide receivers coach. the NIU tie is that he was a wideout for the Huskies from 2000-03, so he was a senior when they had that neat 7-0 start and peaked at No. 12 in the rankings. If they want to go young, this is your man, because he sounds like one of those fast risers. I don't know if he's ripe enough to take on the top spot at his alma mater ... although I bet NIU fans would be patient as he grows into a seasoned coach.
  • Chuck Martin, defensive backs coach/recruiting coordinator. This is probably the smartest choice. He led the second-wave of the Grand Valley State dynasty (two Division II national championships) after Brian Kelly departed for his Division I. I thought Martin was viable to replace Lloyd Carr at Michigan three years ago. So you'll bet your sassy tuchus that he'll be a fine fit for Northern Illinois.
  • Dave Doeren, Wisconsin defensive coordinator. Well, UW isn't exactly known for their defense, but it is a pretty strong one. His pedigree is probably the snazziest of the three, but other than coaching the next state over, he has no mid-major ties. And why not? Minnesota takes one of theirs, they snap up one of Wisconsin's. In the end, the Curling Belt ends up even-steven.

KENT STATE — Nothing substantive, but per the Record-Courier, some some of the leading candidates include:

  • Jeff Mullen, is West Virginia offensive coordinator/QB coach. Probably the ideal situation: he is an Ohio native and saw coaching time at OHIO and Wake Forest. They probably need an offensive mind in Kent to go with the solid defensive talent they already have.
  •  Bobby Kennedy, Texas wide receivers coach. He's been at his current position since they won the 2006 Rose Bowl and has seen some fine wideouts come through Austin. I don't know where this name arose, but he's more of a mountain time zone sort of fella, and there's nothing wrong with this, but why pluck a positional coach half a country over?
  • Everyone else is wild speculation. Please do this until they hire somebody. Lou Holtz! Joshua Cribbs! This mysterious mustached "Moug Dartin!"

BALL STATE — Probably the least desirable of the three, The Star Press's Doug Zaleski speculates in a world where little is known.

  • Brian Polian, Stanford's special teams coach, who happens to be the son of Indianapolis Colts own Bill Polian. His theory: the name will bring some much-needed buzz around the program. Well, yeah, it would. He was the special teams coordinator at Notre Dame who wasn't kept around when Brian Kelly showed up to town, but Polian does have some MAC experience when he coached special teams in Buffalo about 10 years ago. Is it a sensible promotion? Perhaps. But it seems more like a theorem than a possibility.
  • Matt Canada, Indiana offensive coordinator. Word is he's been contacted by Ball State. Hey, Indiana's offense is better than Ball State's. That's about all you can say. Canada coached a bit at NIU before heading to Bloomington. And if they bring him in, I'm already jam-packed with a set of "Blame Canada" headlines if he can't get it done. It's unfair but the reality of the situation.

Note: all this information will probably be outdated in 15 minutes. So please digest carefully.