Is Bob Nielson the guy?

Despite online reports that the University of South Dakota was nearing the hiring of Western Illinois head coach Bob Nielson as the next Coyotes football coach, no official announcement had been made by USD as of Thursday night.

NCAA Football: Western Illinois at Wisconsin
Bob Nielson

FootballScoop.com, a prominent coaching news website, first reported Thursday afternoon that Nielson was going to be the next USD head coach. The website then later said that Nielson had informed his players of USD’s offer during an evening meeting but “told them he has not accepted that offer at this time.”

The Press & Dakotan could not verify the offer as of Thursday night. I didn’t have anything on the FootballScoop news.

USD athletic director David Herbster had said last week in an interview that he hoped to have the search completed some time soon.

The 56-year-old Nielson guided Western Illinois to a 16-21 record over three seasons, including a 7-6 mark and an FCS playoff appearance this season. Nielson was named the Missouri Valley Football Conference Coach of the Year. The Leathernecks lost to Illinois State in the second round last Saturday.

He was hired at Western Illinois in 2012 after a successful tenure at Minnesota-Duluth, where he guided the Bulldogs to a 100-26 record in 10 seasons, with national championships in 2008 and 2010.

Stay tuned, obviously, on this story.

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