The NDSU football team had a whole new coaching staff one day after winning its third straight FCS national championship. New head coach Chris Klieman introduced four new assistants to his staff on Jan. 5, including Tim Polasek, Matt Entz, Randy Hedberg and Jamar Cain.
Klieman, who was NDSU’s defensive coordinator, was named the new Bison head coach on Dec. 15 after Craig Bohl announced he and a majority of his staff are going to Wyoming. Assistants Nick Goeser and Conor Riley remained on staff with Goeser coaching the defensive line and Riley taking the offensive line coaching duties.
Klieman’s additions to his staff had the new head coach excited. He introduced three of his new coaches at a Jan. 6 press conference.
Polasek, who spent seven seasons at NDSU until going to Northern Illinois last season, will return as the offensive coordinator. Polasek went from a graduate assistant in 2006 to running backs coach in 2007 and also served as the special teams coordinator and was the fullbacks and tight ends coach in 2012.
“This is a job that I’ve wanted for two or three years, not to step over (Brent) Vigen or anything,” Polasek said. “When Coach Bohl left, the wheels started spinning pretty good.”
Entz will be the defensive coordinator and linebackers coach. He was on Klieman’s staff at Northern Iowa in 2010. Entz was the defensive line coach in 2011 and took on coordinator duties in 2012 before being the associate head coach and defensive line coach Western Illinois in 2013.
“There’s only two things that our kids can control and that’s their attitude and their effort,” Entz said. “If you bring both of those things to practice you have the ability to have a good day, you have the ability to improve and those are the things that I expect out of our kids.”
Hedberg was named the quarterbacks coach. He coached the quarterbacks at Southern Illinois this year. Hedberg was the head coach at St. Cloud State for nine seasons (1999-07) and at Minot State for eight seasons (1982-89). With four year starter Brock Jensen graduating, Hedberg will have the duties to prepare Carson Wentz for his starting role next season.
“When I clicked the film on of Carson Wentz as a senior at Century, I turned to Coach Lennon and I said that’s a no-brainer man. We have to offer him and we did,” Hedberg said. “Now he’s a Bison and he did well. I like a quarterback, and coach Polasek touched on this a little bit, if he gets back in the pocket and the pocket breaks down, he can make a play and I think Carson’s that way.”
Cain will be the defensive ends coach after one year at Wyoming. He coached defensive line and was promoted to defensive coordinator at Wyoming in November. Cain was the defensive ends coach at Missouri Valley Football Conference opponent Missouri State from 2006-08.
Klieman now has six assistants on his staff.
“I know how special Bison football is and so I wanted to make sure I had the right fit,” Klieman said. “To me, staff chemistry, we had an unbelievable staff chemistry the last three years and we need to continue that. That is paramount for me, to have guys that have tremendous character, tremendous value systems and who are really looking out for the kids. And I know I’ve hit home runs.”