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Crookston Times - Crookston, MN
  • Editorial: Yes, Bohl’s leaving, but Bison Nation remains strong

  • There are quite a few enthusiastic NDSU Bison football fans in and around Crookston. One of them was recently asked in lighthearted fashion, after the Bison smoked yet another opponent to wrap up an undefeated regular season, if all the blowout victories ever get, you know...boring.
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  •     There are quite a few enthusiastic NDSU Bison football fans in and around Crookston. One of them was recently asked in lighthearted fashion, after the Bison smoked yet another opponent to wrap up an undefeated regular season, if all the blowout victories ever get, you know...boring.   
        With a no-nonsense, matter-of-fact stare and 100 percent seriousness in his voice, he said. “No, it doesn’t.” Then, with a grin, he added, “It never, ever gets old.”   
        Apparently, it got a little old for the Bison’s super-successful coach, Craig Bohl, who announced Sunday, one day after the two-time defending FCS national champions opened the playoffs with another lopsided win, that he was leaving Fargo to become the head football coach at the University of Wyoming. There, his annual salary will be about quadruple what it was at NDSU. Bohl said he’s taken the Bison football team as far as he can, and it’s time to for someone else to coach them.   
        Sounds pretty logical, but it’s a little bogus, too. That’s not a rip on Bohl, either, it’s just the reality of the college coaching profession.   
        Bohl has made the Bison the model FCS division program that can beat even much bigger FBS division teams like Kansas State once in a while. All the Bison do is win, win and win some more, and Bohl feels it’s time for him to take his talents to a program, the Wyoming Cowboys, that typically loses more than it wins.   
        Even though Bison Nation is beside itself with grief, the news of Bohl’s departure is long overdue. This is what successful college football and basketball coaches do. They’re always looking to move up to the bigger programs and the bigger bucks. At each level, if they build a winner, they get plucked by a program at a higher level, and even bigger bucks and greater prestige and increased exposure follow. Even when they’re coaching a storied program that’s a traditional powerhouse year after year, the coaches are always looking at the next potential step, which is often coaching the pros.   
        Bohl is likely a few steps from reaching that pinnacle, but people have wondered for years why he’s stayed in Fargo so long. It just seemed so natural, so expected, for him to depart for greener pastures before this. It became almost a fairy tale story, which in the end it kind of was...simply too good to be true. He’ll go to Wyoming and probably take his lumps. But, eventually, you’ll probably be hearing good things about the Cowboys as Bohl transforms them into a winner, too, and starts getting courted by bigger and better college football programs.   
    Page 2 of 2 -     It’ll be OK, Bison Nation. You’ll probably win another national title in a few weeks, as Bohl sticks around long enough to try to end his tenure at NDSU in storybook fashion. The hard work, as NDSU went from Division II to a fledgling Division I college football program and is, now, the program every FCS team wants to be, has already been done. A quality coach will be hired, the talented recruits will keep coming, and the Bison will still be seen as the team to beat.
        

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