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Western Illinois hires Nielson as coach

Dec. 19, 2012 at 12:34 PM

MACOMB, Ill., Dec. 19 (UPI) -- Bob Nielson, who won two Division II titles and 100 games during the last 10 seasons, has been hired as head football coach at Western Illinois.

Nielson, 53, replaces Mark Hendrickson, who was fired last month as Western Illinois finished the season 3-8 overall and 1-7 in the Missouri Valley Conference.

The Leathernecks were in the NCAA FCS playoffs after the 2010 season but are 5-17 (2-14 conference) since then.

Nielson built a 100-26 record in 10 years at Minnesota-Duluth. His teams won NCAA Division II championships twice, claimed five Northern Son Intercollegiate Conference titles and were 11-0 in the regular season three times.

He previously coached at Wartburg (Iowa), Ripon (Wis.) and Wisconsin-Eau Claire. His record in 20 seasons as a head coach is 170-59-1.

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