These things move quick in college football these days. With Kansas State announcing the hiring of Chris Klieman late Monday afternoon, it’s already time to shift to the “who’s next?” phase of NDSU football. First, a timeline. NDSU spokeswoman Laura McDaniel said today an NDSU football coaching hire is subject to follow the same stipulations of any university hire, meaning there is a mandatory posting period. There is no difference if it is an external or internal hire. But NDSU President Dean Bresciani has the authority to waive it based on timing considerations and McDaniel said, “the president is likely to grant an exception in this case because of the time demand.”
NDSU athletic director Matt Larsen is addressing the media at 2 p.m., but it’s expected to be a short statement. My guess: Larsen says the focus in on the Friday semifinal with South Dakota State. On Saturday, the Bison will (they should) introduce their next head football coach. Time is of the essence. The NCAA recruiting dead period starts Monday and national signing day is next Wednesday. By hiring a guy on Saturday (make it an early morning press conference), it allows the head coach and the assistants on board to take a two-day mass recruiting trip to every verbal commitment they can. The same thing happened in the Klieman situation when he was hired in 2013; his first trip was to Omaha, Neb., to the Stick house. It’s also the advantage of having the Friday night semifinal game; it allows most of the day Saturday for recruiting.
In this scenario, that would make defensive coordinator Matt Entz and offensive coordinator Courtney Messingham as likely candidates. Based on past NDSU hires and the success the school has had with defensive-minded head coaches (Craig Bohl, Klieman), Entz seems to be the favorite. Don’t rule out former NDSU offensive coordinator Tim Polasek (the offensive line coach at Iowa) as a contender. Some have put former Bison assistant Brent Vigen out there. Here’s the issue: it’s not like Larsen has a lot of time to make this hire, so the known commodity would be the safer bet.