Doeren Was Country Before Country Was Cool

Brett Friedlander

NC State football coach Dave Doeren may be a child of the Midwest, having been born in Shawnee, Kan. But when it comes to his musical tastes, he's as Southern fried as they come.

That was revealed on Wednedsay in a survey taken by the website Stadium, in which college football writer Brett McMurphy asked all 130 FBS coaches and major conference commissioners to name their favorite musical artist or group.

Doeren's choice was Merle Haggard. 

It's an old-school country selection whose roots Doeren traced back to his youth.

"When I was painting houses in high school, my basketball coach was our boss and he had this big old jukebox," Doeren said. "He pulled the knob off so you couldn't change the channel and left it on country radio. So there were two kinds of music growing up -- country and western. You knew every word of every song."

Of all those songs, Doeren liked the ones sung by Haggard the most.

"I love Merle. I love everything about him," Doeren said. "His voice, his songwriting, what he's talking about ... just all of those that are outlaw country music singers, I enjoy that style of music."

Doeren isn't alone among his ACC coaching colleagues in his affinity for country music. Three others -- Clemson's Dano Swinney, UNC's Mack Brown and Louisville's Scott Satterfield also picked country acts as their favorite.

Swinney is partial to Garth Brooks while Brown and Satterfield picked North Carolina native Eric Church. 

As for the favorites of the other ACC coaches, they're as eclectic a mix as the schools they represent.

Duke's David Cutcliffe, for instance, chose John Mellencamp -- whose son played for the Blue Devils a few years ago. The usually buttoned down Dave Clawson of Wake Forest is a Talking Heads fan while Dino Babers like grooving on some James Brown. ACC commissioner John Swofford, listed Oliver as his favorite artist. That makes sense, since Oliver -- best known for his 1969 song "Good Morning Starshine" from the musical Hair -- is Swofford's older brother.

Here's the entire ACC list:

Commissioner John Swofford – Oliver
Steve Addazio, Boston College – James Taylor
Dabo Swinney, Clemson – Garth Brooks
David Cutcliffe, Duke – John Mellencamp
Willie Taggart, Florida State – Tupac
Geoff Collins, Georgia Tech – Stick Figure
Scott Satterfield, Louisville – Eric Church
Manny Diaz, Miami – U2
Mack Brown, North Carolina – Eric Church
Dave Doeren, NC State – Merle Haggard
Pat Narduzzi, Pitt – AC/DC
Dino Babers, Syracuse – James Brown
Bronco Mendenhall, Virginia – Jack Johnson
Justin Fuente, Virginia Tech – Dave Matthews Band
Dave Clawson, Wake Forest – Talking Heads