The move reunites Homolka with newly hired Huskies defensive coordinator Kevin Kane. The two played linebacker together at Kansas from 2002-03.
The 2015 season was Homolka's seventh as Ottawa's defensive coordinator. His unit ranked seventh in the NAIA in total defense (292.2 yards per game) and 15th in scoring defense (19.7 points per game). It also was eighth in rushing defense (108.6 yards per game) and 20th in pass defense (183.6 yards per game).
Prior to working at Ottawa, Homolka spent two seasons at Dakota State, the first as the defensive backs and defensive line coach and the second as the defensive coordinator. A Claflin, Kan., native, he served as an assistant secondary coach at Pittsburg State from 2004-05 following his playing days with the Jayhawks. His brother, Josh, who is now NC State's director of player personnel, was a graduate assistant at NIU in 2012 and was also a teammate of Kane's at Kansas.
Northern Illinois went 8–6 last season under head coach Rod Carey and reached its sixth consecutive MAC championship game. Carey has a 31–12 career record with the Huskies and captured a league title in 2014.