Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- Bob Nielson has agreed to leave the University of Minnesota-Duluth (UMD) and take the head football coaching position at Division I Western Illinois University (WIU), sources inside the UMD athletic department confirmed on Wednesday morning.
Nielson interviewed for the position on Monday as one of three initial finalists, but that group was whittled down to two when one withdrew his name from consideration.
Several former players of Nielson's at UMD tweeted their congratulations upon hearing the news on Wednesday morning.
"Congrats to Coach Nielson," outgoing senior quarterback Chase Vogler tweeted. "Did a lot for the Bulldog family and will be missed! WIU scored one heck of a football coach!"
The 53-year-old Nielson has been with UMD since 1999, serving both as football coach (1999-2003, 2008-12) and athletics director (2003-12) in that time.
He's compiled a record of (100-26) in his time as football coach, including winning two NCAA Division II championships (2008, 2010).
Sources at UMD aren't sure when Nielson actually accepted the position, but they say official word spread throughout the department around 8:45 a.m.
Nielson left campus shortly after 9:30 a.m. to board a plane bound for Macomb, Ill., where the official announcement will happen later Wednesday afternoon on the WIU campus.
Continue to check back at nncnow.com for further updates on this ongoing story.