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Tom Miller / Forum News Service, Published December 18 2013

UND narrows its coaching search to two candidates

GRAND FORKS – The candidate pool for the University of North Dakota head football coaching job has been narrowed to two, and the finalists happen to work in the same building.

Southern Illinois defensive coordinator Bubba Schweigert and Salukis offensive coordinator Kalen DeBoer are the last two in the running to take over for Chris Mussman, whose contract was not renewed in late November.

The candidate pool started at more than 70 names, which went through a screening process that began on Dec. 10. The screening process resulted in nine remaining candidates.

UND hasn’t announced a timeline to name a new coach, although indications are the school would like to have someone in place before Christmas.

Both Schweigert and DeBoer, who work under SIU head coach and former UND coaching legend Dale Lennon, are familiar to regional football fans.

Schweigert, who is also associate head coach at SIU, is in his sixth season with the Salukis. Previously, he was head coach at NCAA Division II Minnesota-Duluth where he compiled a 22-21 record.

Prior to Duluth, Schweigert spent 15 seasons at UND and helped the program to six North Central Conference titles. He was also part of UND’s Division II national title in 2001. He was Lennon’s defensive coordinator from 1999-2003.

Schweigert received his undergraduate degree from Jamestown College. He was defensive coordinator at his alma mater from 1985-88. He also has a master’s degree from UND.

UND fans will remember DeBoer from 2009 when his NAIA University of Sioux Falls team beat UND in the Alerus Center.

DeBoer was hired as the SIU offensive coordinator after that season. He also coaches the wide receivers for the Salukis.

DeBoer compiled a 67-3 mark during five seasons at Sioux Falls, where he guided the program to three national championships. He is a three-time NAIA national coach of the year.

DeBoer is a graduate of Sioux Falls and was an all-American wide receiver (1993-96). He worked his way up at Sioux Falls as a student assistant (1997), offensive coordinator (2000-04) and finally head coach in 2005. He was 32 when he led Sioux Falls to the 2006 national championship.


Miller writes for the Grand Forks Herald