Courtesy: NDSU Athletic Media Relations
North Dakota State head football coach Craig Bohl directed the Bison to the program’s second straight NCAA Division I Football Championship with a 39-13 win over Sam Houston State on Jan. 5, 2013, and the Missouri Valley Football Conference title. NDSU again tied the school record with a 14-1 record including a 7-1 record in the MVFC.
For the second straight season, the Bison had the Fargodome rocking with each of the three home NCAA playoff games, sending the decibel levels off the chart. The NDSU faithful then took Frisco, Texas, by storm again for the national championship game.
Bohl was named the 2012 The Sports Network Eddie Robinson and the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) FCS Coach of the Year. He garnered the Bruce Craddock MVFC Coach of the Year award for the second straight season.
Entering his 11th season, the tireless Bohl has an 89-32 record including a 24-8 record against nationally-ranked FCS teams, a 10-1 record in the FCS playoffs and 6-3 mark against Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) teams over the past seven seasons -- including a 22-7 win at Colorado State in the 2012. His 89 wins are second only to Rocky Hager (91-25-1, 1987-96).
Since making the move to Division I FCS, the football program’s performance on the field with the diverse West Coast offense and hard-nosed, aggressive defense has rekindled the excitement in the Fargo-Moorhead community, state of North Dakota and the region.
NDSU’s average home attendance in the Fargodome has grown from 11,567 in 2003 to a school record 18,516 achieved in 2012. There have been 13 sellouts over the past seven seasons. Capacity is listed at 18,700. The Bison are 52-12 at home over the past nine years.
North Dakota State has been ranked in The Sport Network or FCS Coaches Top 25 for 93 weeks since jumping to Division I in 2004. The Bison held down the No. 1 ranking in the FCS Coaches Top 25 for 11 weeks in 2012, three weeks in 2011, and 10 weeks over the 2007-08 seasons. NDSU was ranked 1st in both Top 25 polls in the final 2012 regular season ranking.
Since his arrival, North Dakota State has had eight players earn 11 Academic All-America team honors. Fourteen different players have received All-America honors. A Bison student-athlete has been selected to the Allstate/AFCA Good Works team six times over the past nine years.
Bohl led the Bison to the program’s first NCAA Division I Football Championship with a 17-6 win over Sam Houston State on Jan. 7, 2012. NDSU went 14-1 to and posted a 7-1 record in the MVFC. The stingy NDSU defense allowed only 27 points in four playoff games, while the balanced offense featured a pair of 1,000-yard running backs and 1,000-yard wide receiver.
Bohl was named to the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Board of Trustees by vote of the membership at the organization’s 2012 convention. A finalist for the Eddie Robinson award, Bohl was named the 2011 AFCA Region 4 FCS and MVFC Bruce Craddock Coach of the Year.
History was made in 2010 when he directed the tradition-rich program to a first-ever NCAA FCS playoff appearance -- dropping a 38-31 overtime decision at eventual national champion Eastern Washington in the quarterfinals. NDSU also hosted its first NCAA postseason game against Robert Morris in the Fargodome.
The Bison compiled a 9-5 record in 2010, a dramatic turnaround from the 3-8 ledger the year before. NDSU finished 4-4 and tied for third in the Missouri Valley Football Conference.
Bohl was again a finalist for The Sports Network’s Eddie Robinson FCS Coach of the Year award. The Bison were No. 9 in the final Sports Network and FCS Coaches top 25 polls.
The 2006 season was magical. NDSU claimed its first league championship in 12 seasons and achieved a top five finish in the national rankings. The Bison were 10-1 overall, just a blocked field goal away from a perfect record.
North Dakota State went 4-0 to win the Great West Football Conference championship -- the program’s first since 1994 when NDSU was a member of the Division II North Central Conference.
The Bison charted an 8-0 record against FCS schools in 2006 including a 3-0 mark against nationally-ranked opponents.
North Dakota State was ranked No. 5 in The Sports Network and CSN Coaches final Top 25 polls. The Bison lost 10-9 to bowl-participant Minnesota of the Big Ten before 62,845 spectators at the Metrodome.
It didn’t go unnoticed. Bohl was selected the GWFC Coach of the Year by vote of the media and coaches. He received 29 first place votes and finished second in the balloting for The Sports Network’s Eddie Robinson Award that recognizes the FCS Coach of the Year. Bohl was selected the Football Gazette FCS National and Northwest Region Coach of the Year.
In 2005, he directed the Bison to a 7-4 record. NDSU was ranked in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches and The Sports Network Top 25 polls for 10-of-12 weeks during the regular season climbing as high as No. 8 in both polls on Sept. 19.
Charter members of the Great West, North Dakota State won its final three league games to finish with a 3-2 record and tie for third place in the standings.
Bohl started his NDSU career with back-to-back 8-3 seasons. The Bison closed out the 2004 campaign with three straight wins including victories over nationally-ranked Northwestern State (La.) and UC Davis.
North Dakota State was ranked No. 23 in the final 2004 ESPN/USA Today and The Sports Network Top 25 polls to highlight their first season at NCAA Division I-AA.
His first full-time coaching position was as the defensive secondary coach for the Bison under Don Morton in 1984 when NDSU finished second in the nation with a 12-1 record.
His seasons at Nebraska included a number of Top 10 defensive national rankings for a team that compiled an 85-18 record including national championships with a Fiesta Bowl win in 1995 and an Orange Bowl win 1997. At Duke, he helped mold one of the biggest turnarounds in college football, working with a program that posted an 8-4 record in 1994 after the Blue Devils had gone 3-8 the year before his arrival. A number of athletes who have played for Bohl while at Nebraska have played or been drafted in the National Football League.
A native of Lincoln, Nebraska, he was a reserve in the Cornhusker secondary from 1977 through 1979 under Tom Osborne and played on NU’s 1979 Orange Bowl and 1980 Cotton Bowl teams. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Nebraska (1982).
Bohl and his wife, Leia, reside in Fargo. He has twin daughters, Mallory and Morgan, and a son, Aaron.