RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – N.C. State head coach Dave Doeren was passing the time on the phone recently with his long-time friend Chris Ash, who he coached with at Drake and Wisconsin, when the conversation turned to Doeren’s tenure with the Wolfpack.
“Dude, you’re almost at a school for a decade,” Ash reminded his friend who is in his 9th year leading the Wolfpack.
The moment was not lost on Doeren.
“I still look at myself as somewhat of a young coach,” said the 49-year old Pack head coach. “Now I’m the third oldest in the league (ACC) and second-longest standing in the conference. It’s kind of crazy.
“It’s a blessing to be here for this long for one. You’re not always wanted as long as I’ve been able to stay.”
There have been years that have tested Doeren’s longevity.
In 2013, his first season in Raleigh, State finished with a 3-9 record.
That team went 0-8 in the ACC.
And two years ago, the Pack finished 4-7 after posting back-to-back 9-4 campaigns.
Doeren was able to survive those rough spots and now he’s on hollowed ground when it comes to his years of service at N.C. State.
“It’s rare to be somewhere as long as I am,” Doeren admitted. “Football has been played here, I don’t know if it’s 138 or 139 years now here at N.C. State and to be second on the list of tenured coaches at this university says it all.”
Doeren has a ways to go to catch Earle Edwards 17 year stay in Raleigh, but if it were up to his players, the Kansas native would be here for as long as he wants to stay.
“I think the one thing we see from coach Doeren is kind of the same thing every day,” said Wolfpack linebacker Payton Wilson. “He’s very consistent, very motivated every day and he’s going to bring the same energy to the table.”
In 2017, Doeren was offered the head coaching job at Tennessee but turned it down.
Now four years later, Doeren is more than content to stay where he is.
“It’s a total blessing that Sara (Doeren’s wife) and I have been able to be here this long and our children have been able to stay in their schools as long as they have,” said Doeren.
“We hope that we’re here for the duration.”