NC State, Doeren agree to deal through 2022

Head coach Dave Doeren leads N.C. State on to the field against Syracuse on Sept. 30, 2017. (Jeff Reeves/CBS North Carolina)

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina State and Dave Doeren have agreed on a new five-year contract after the coach had talked with Tennessee officials about the school’s opening.

Financial terms of the deal, which runs through the 2022 season, are $3 million annually. It is unclear if Doeren was formally offered the Tennessee job to replace fired coach Butch Jones.

N.C. State officials had said earlier this season they were working on an extension for Doeren.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because N.C. State hasn’t publicly announced the agreement. School spokesman Fred Demarest did not return messages seeking comment.

Doeren’s decision to remain at North Carolina State continues Tennessee’s frustrating search for a coach following the Nov. 12 firing of Jones, who went 34-27 in five seasons.

The N.C. State Board of Trustees approved the deal on Friday afternoon.

“My heart is at N.C. State, my family and I are truly grateful to Chancellor (Randy) Woodson and Athletic Director Debbie Yow for the opportunity to continue to build on the momentum we have here in Raleigh,” said Doeren. “We’re building a championship culture, we have first-class facilities, incredible fan support and I’m honored to continue to lead the Wolfpack.”

Volunteers fans unhappy with how new Tennessee athletic director John Currie has conducted this coaching search chanted “Fire Currie” on a handful of occasions Wednesday night during the men’s basketball team’s victory over Mercer.

A potential agreement between Tennessee and Ohio State defensive coordinator and former Rutgers coach Greg Schiano fell apart Sunday amid a public backlash. Reports over the past few days have linked Oklahoma State’s Mike Gundy and Purdue’s Jeff Brohm to Tennessee’s vacancy, but like Doeren, they have stayed put.

Doeren’s decision will make Wolfpack fans happy.

The coach, who turns 46 on Sunday, is 33-30 in five seasons in Raleigh. He is preparing for the team for its fourth straight bowl appearance.

“Dave has made significant strides in developing a complete program at N.C. State, and this new contract continues our commitment to his leadership,” said Yow. “We want to support the continued growth of the program under Dave, the culture he has established, the competitive and academic gains he’s helped us achieve and his continued progress in recruiting.”

North Carolina State had been looking to lock up Doeren, whose existing contract runs through 2019, with athletic director Debbie Yow saying last month that school officials “want Dave here a long time and appreciate the progress that has been made.”

Doeren had faced an uncertain future late last season before beating rival North Carolina in the regular-season finale, after which Yow said he would return for 2017.

His career record of 56-34 also includes two years at Northern Illinois. He’s 15-25 in conference play at N.C. State, and his 6-2 record against ACC teams this season was by far the best of his tenure in Raleigh. The Wolfpack (8-4) are unranked in the AP Top 25 but are No. 24 in the latest College Football Playoff rankings.

Earlier this season, North Carolina State made its first appearance in the national rankings since 2010, climbing to No. 14 in the Top 25 during a 6-1 start that was followed by back-to-back losses to top-10 teams Notre Dame and Clemson. Wins over Boston College and rival UNC sandwiched a tight loss at Wake Forest.

AP Sports Writers Aaron Beard in Raleigh and Steve Megargee in Knoxville, Tennessee, contributed to this report.

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