Hawkeyes' new deputy AD made Bison sports big

North Dakota State became a winner under Gene Taylor's watch

Gene Taylor
Gene Taylor

Maybe new University of Iowa deputy athletics director Gene Taylor should be made the overseer of the Hawkeyes’ football and men’s basketball programs.

I’m kidding. Totally kidding. The Hawkeyes’ have able coaches for those teams.

But the point I am making is this: North Dakota State has done very, very well in those two sports lately with coaches Taylor hired. The coaches — Craig Bohl in football and Saul Phillips in basketball — have taken the Bison to places the vast majority of schools would like to go in athletics.

North Dakota State has won the last three FCS national-championships and posted a record of 43-2 in that time, including wins over FBS teams Minnesota, Colorado State and Kansas State.

You know how good that is? Really, really, really, really good.

Craig Bohl, who put up a mark of 104-32 in his 11 years at NDSU, slipped off to Wyoming after last season. He will be missed.

In men’s basketball, the Bison did something last season that no Iowa team has done since 2001. Namely, they won an NCAA tournament game when they upset Oklahoma.

Their coach, Saul Phillips, left NDSU after the season to become the coach at Ohio.

You can be an absolute wizard at the things Taylor was hired specifically to do at Iowa, which the school says include overseeing implementation of the department’s strategic plan, providing vision and leadership in the formulation and implementation of departmental policy, and overseeing the department’s financial, information technology, and human resources.

But ultimately, your legacy as an AD is determined by who you hired to coach your revenue sports. Taylor’s reputation at North Dakota State will forever be golden. He made Bohl the football coach and let Bohl do his job.

What followed was highly unlikely and totally remarkable: North Dakota State established a national name for itself in football.

And it had a pretty good night in basketball last March when it defeated Oklahoma in overtime.

Give us feedback

We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.