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By Jeff Kolpack, Published January 07 2009

Bison’s Perles may be leaving

North Dakota State is on the verge of not only going 0-for-2 on retaining its coordinators for next year, but possibly seeing a minor overhaul of its assistant coaching staff courtesy of the Mid-American Conference.

Offensive coordinator Pat Perles had no comment Tuesday when asked if he was being courted by both Miami University (Ohio) and Ball State University (Ind.). Both are Division I Football Bowl Subdivision schools that play in the MAC and both recently named new head coaches.

Eastern Michigan, another MAC school that also has a new head coach, may be the destination for linebackers coach Kyle Nystrom. NDSU athletic director Gene Taylor said Nystrom made an appointment to meet with him this morning, something that is not common, especially during the peak of recruiting season.

Perles has been with head coach Craig Bohl since Bohl arrived at NDSU in 2003. He was the offensive line coach the first two years and took over the play-calling duties when Tim Albin left for Ohio University.

“Nobody has contacted me about Pat,” Bohl said. “But typically this time of year, people do move. That may happen on a daily basis.”

Defensive coordinator Willie Mack Garza has already left for the University of New Mexico, although a formal announcement by the Lobos has yet to be made. Garza’s cell phone has already been changed to a 505 area code, which is consistent with the university.

“We’re opening a national search for our defensive coordinator,” Bohl said.

Ball State played in the GMAC Bowl Tuesday night under new head coach Stan Parrish. He replaced Brady Hoke, who took the head coaching position at San Diego State.

Miami introduced Mike Haywood as its head coach last month.

MAC schools are well aware of the Perles name in football. Pat Perles’ father, George Perles, is the chief executive officer of the Motor City Bowl in Detroit, which usually pits a MAC school against a Big Ten Conference bowl-eligible team.

Moreover, Ball State is familiar with NDSU, which plays in the Division I Football Championship Subdivision. In 2007, the Bison defeated the Cardinals 29-24 in Muncie, Ind., which was NDSU’s first win over a FBS team.

Eastern Michigan named Ron English as its head coach last month. Nystrom spent 13 years as an assistant at Western Michigan from 1989-2001.


Readers can reach Forum reporter Jeff Kolpack at (701) 241-5546. Kolpack’s NDSU media blog can be found at www.areavoices.com