North Carolina State has reportedly narrowed their coaching search down to two finalists to fill the position previously held by Tom O’Brien.
Louisiana Tech head coach Sonny Dykes and Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris have emerged as the two finalists to lead the Wolfpack.
Each would bring an offensive influence to NC State.
Dykes has a 22-15 record in his third season in Rustin and his team leads the nation in points per game with more than 50 points per game, ranks fourth in passing yards per game, while also having a top-20 rushing attack.
He would stand to receive a significant boost in his salary if he gets the job in the ACC and leaves the WAC. He currently makes less than $1 million, but conceivably could see that figure double at NC State.
O’Brien made just shy of $2 million in his final season, and that could be the starting point for each candidate.
Morris is one of the more highly-compensated assistants in the nation, making $1.3 million per season, so he could be more expensive than Dykes, despite the lack of head coaching experience.
However, Morris is one of the best offensive minds in the nation, and his Clemson offense was one of the more balanced units this season. The Tigers ranked 13th in passing offense, 32nd in rushing, and sixth in points per game. At one point this season, the Clemson offense scored 37 or more points in 10 straight games.
I think either would be a fine choice for NC State, but I would put my money on Morris getting the job because of his familiarity with the conference.
UPDATE: NC State has hired Northern Illinois coach Dave Doeren one day after his Huskies won the MAC title for the second straight year with a double-overtime win over Kent State. He was 23-4 in two seasons at NIU.
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Patrick is a diehard Chicago sports and an avid college football fan, and the host of “The Wake-up Call,” a weekly sports show on Sportstownchicago.com airing live on Wednesday mornings from 8-10. View his show’s website here.