ESPN college football reporter Adam Rittenberg — who reported earlier Thursday that Carey, 47, had emerged as the top candidate for the Temple vacancy — said in a tweet that the deal was done.
Former NIU great Thomas Hammock, currently the Ravens running backs coach, would be among the candidates to replace Carey, Rittenberg said. Hammock, 37, had a pair of 1,000-yard rushing seasons for the Huskies in 2000 and ’01 and served as running backs coach in DeKalb in 2005 and ’06.
The Temple job was open for the second time this winter and the third time since the 2016 season. Geoff Collins, who succeeded Matt Rhule in 2017, took the Georgia Tech job in December. The Owls named Miami defensive coordinator Manny Diaz as Collins’ replacement, but Diaz went back to Miami as head coach 17 days later after Mark Richt retired.
Carey was 52-30 at NIU — second to Joe Novak for most wins in program history — after taking over for Dave Doeren before the 2013 Orange Bowl. In his six full seasons, the Huskies won four Mid-American Conference West Division titles and a pair of MAC championships, including this past season’s. They also beat four Big Ten teams on the road.
The 2018 conference title had triggered an automatic one-year extension of Carey’s contract through June 2023.
Carey came to DeKalb in 2011 as Doeren’s offensive line coach. He was promoted to offensive coordinator the following season and took over as head coach when Doeren left for North Carolina State after the 2012 regular season.
In his first full season in charge, the Huskies went 12-0 with wins at Iowa and Purdue before losing in the MAC title game and Poinsettia Bowl. They won the MAC championship the next year and added a second conference title under Carey with a 30-29 comeback victory over Buffalo on Nov. 30.