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LBs Coach To Lead Northern Illinois In Bowl Game

DeKALB, Ill. (AP) - Northern Illinois linebackers coach Tom Matukewicz was named the team's interim head coach on Tuesday as it begins preparation for next week's uDrove Humanitarian Bowl.

The 37-year-old Matukewicz takes over for Jerry Kill, who was named head coach at Minnesota late Sunday.

``I have complete confidence in Tom Matukewicz and what he is going to bring to our team beginning today and continuing through the bowl game in Boise,'' athletic director Jeff Compher said. ``He's a coach who brings tremendous enthusiasm every day. The team knows and likes him, and he'll be a great leader for our team during this time.''

Matukewicz, who also coached with Kill at Emporia State and Southern Illinois, will oversee at least 10 current assistant coaches as the Huskies prepare to meet Fresno State in the Dec. 18 bowl game.

Northern Illinois players are expected to resume practices on Thursday following final exams this week.

The Huskies (10-3) were ranked No. 24 in the country until falling to Miami 26-21 in the final seconds of last Friday's Mid-American Conference championship game in Detroit.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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