Posted at: 12/19/2012 11:08 PM
By: Dan Williamson
UMD is now looking for a head football coach and athletic director. Whether it ends up being one person or two to replace Bob Nielsen, the people he's coached and coached with say there's just no replacing him.
At his press conference on the campus of Western Illinois in Macomb, Illinois; he was introduced not as a rising star....but as a rock star and Bob Nielson is singing the same tune he's always sung: one that lead to two National Titles and 100 wins in 10 seasons during two stints coaching at UMD.
"This is a great opportunity and a great challenge and great challenge always brings with it great opportunity and I believe that the future of Western Illinois Football is bright and we can accomplish much," says Nielson.
The new leader of the Leathernecks leaves behind the Bulldogs.
"For the past thirteen years, it has been great people that kept me in Duluth, Minnesota," says Nielson.
But he also leaves a lasting legacy.
"I have always thought he was overqualified to still be coaching Division Two, especially with his resume and if he has a couple of good years, I wouldn't be surprised if he continues to move up in the ranks," says former Bulldog Quarterback Chase Vogler.
"They (WIU) are getting a guy who is going to give everything he has got into his job and that is going to be winning football games," says former Bulldog Defensive Back Cameron Harper.
"He's built a tremendous football program here and recruited some really good kids and we are excited to move forward as a football program...but saddened that he's gone," says UMD Offensive Coordinator Curt Wiese.
His move to Division I is bittersweet for the Bulldogs. But, it is also bittersweet for Bob.
"They go by so fast, 13-14 years of your life in a place which it did at Duluth and that was emotional. I went and told my team I was leaving...but at the same time, I am excited to be here and can't wait to meet the team at Western Illinois," says Nielson.