Tim Polasek, who helped coach North Dakota State to back-to-back national championships and three playoff appearances in the last three seasons, was named Northern Illinois’ tight ends and fullbacks coach by NIU head coach Rod Carey Thursday.
Polasek has spent the past seven seasons at NDSU, where he was also the special teams coordinator for the last three years. The Bison won NCAA Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) titles in both 2011 and 2012, and advanced to the quarterfinals in 2010. North Dakota State won the 2012 championship game 39-13, over Sam Houston State to finish 14-1 for the second straight season.
In 2012, North Dakota State ranked 21st in the country in rushing offense (FCS) and had two players rush for over 1,000 yards for the second straight season.
Carey said Polasek’s championship experience and Midwest recruiting ties will benefit the Huskies.
“We are really excited to have Tim on board,” Carey said. “He brings an unbelievable coaching background, and a great recruiting base in Minnesota and Wisconsin. He’s going to be a great teacher of fundamentals, toughness and detail. Obviously we’ve won a lot of football games here and he comes from a program that’s won the last two national championships, so he knows how to take that next step. We’re excited to welcome Tim and his fiancée, Jill, to the Huskie family.”
Prior to taking over as tight ends/fullbacks coach, Polasek served as running backs coach for the Bison from 2007-2009, where he helped North Dakota State continue a tradition of 1,000-yard rushers that now dates back 10 seasons. NDSU backs Tyler Roehl, Pat Paschall, and D.J. McNorton were added to that list under Polasek’s watch, with Paschall leading the FCS in rushing in 2009 to earn All-America honors.
Polasek began his coaching career at Division III Wisconsin-Stevens Point, where he served as an assistant coach for three seasons. The Iola, Wisc. native held several roles for the Pointers, where he coached wide receivers and tight ends (2003-04), defensive backs (2005) and even quarterbacks (spring 2003), as well as coordinating the special teams (2004-05) and the passing game (2003-04).
Polasek said he is looking forward to taking the next step in his career with one of the Midwest’s winningest Football Bowl Subdivision programs.
“I am extremely excited to take the next step in my life and in my career at Northern Illinois,” Polasek said. “It’s a great move for me, not only moving up to [FBS], but moving to a championship program like NIU with what they’ve been able to do over the last three years and especially coming off of the Orange Bowl appearance.
“After what we’ve been able to accomplish the last three years here at North Dakota State [two national championships], you want to be at a place where winning championships is a part of the culture, and NIU has that, so this is a great fit. I’m going into a situation where maintaining the level of success and continuing to push toward championships is the goal. It’s a great situation for me and I’m excited to get started.”
Polasek played quarterback at Concordia (Wisc.) University, where he set many of the school’s passing records. He set Concordia single game, single season and career records for touchdown passes, passing yards, completions and completion percentage. He was named the 2000 Badger-Illini Conference Player of the Year and was a three-time all-conference selection, earning first team honors in 2000 and 2001.
He earned his bachelor’s degree in physical education from Concordia in 2002 and a master’s degree from Wisconsin-Stevens Point in 2005.
Polasek is the fourth new member of the Huskie coaching staff for 2013. Assistant coaches Roy Manning (running backs), Brett Diersen (defensive line) and Thad Ward (wide receivers) have already joined the NIU staff, with one more assistant coach still to be added.