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Kyle Schweigert is new North Dakota football coach

AP - Sports

GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) -- Southern Illinois assistant Kyle ''Bubba'' Schweigert was hired Tuesday as the football coach at North Dakota, returning to the school where he was the defensive coordinator when it won the 2001 NCAA Division II national title.

He inherits a team that went 3-8 this year and succeeds Chris Mussman, who was fired after six seasons. Schweigert will be introduced at a news conference Friday.

Schweigert said in a statement he wants to solidify relations with fans, alumni, the community and the students as ''we strive to win the Big Sky Conference championship and, ultimately, reach the pinnacle of FCS football.''

''Coach Schweigert brings a wealth of coaching experience, is a proven recruiter, an effective communicator and has an incredible passion for the game,'' North Dakota athletic director Brian Faison said.

Schweigert was the defensive coordinator at Southern Illinois, where he has been for six years. He worked under coach under Dale Lennon and coached three first-team All-Americans.

His defensive standouts included linebacker Jayson DiManche, now with the Cincinnati Bengals, and cornerback Korey Lindsey, a 2011 Bengals draft pick.

Schweigert was the head coach at Division II Minnesota Duluth from 2004 to 2007, guiding the Bulldogs to their first North Central Conference title. That came after 15 seasons as an assistant at North Dakota. He was part of eight NCAA playoff teams and six NCC title squads at North Dakota.

Schweigert began his coaching career at his alma mater, Jamestown University, from 1985 to 1988.

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