May 2011 Archives

PRESIDENT PETERS NAMED TO NCAA TASK FORCE

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NIU President Dr. John Peters is one of three university presidents named today to the NCAA Division I Bowl Licensing Task Force by NCAA President Mark Emmert. 

The formation of the task force was announced by Emmert in April; the 12-member group is charged with reviewing the NCAA Division I football bowl structure, including examining governance and oversight by bowl sponsoring agencies, conflict of interest rules and policies, advertising and title sponsorship standards, and the financial management oversight of the bowl games.

Peters, who has been a member of the NCAA Board of Directors and is the Mid-American Conference representative on the Bowl Championship Series Presidential Oversight Committee, recently served on the BCS task force that reviewed the qualifications of the Fiesta Bowl to remain in the BCS.

The NCAA Bowl Licensing Task Force is made up of leading corporate executives, university presidents, athletics directors and conference representatives.  The task force expects to report findings and recommendations to the NCAA Board of Directors in October.

Read the NCAA's announcement about the formation of the task force and links to the details of its efforts here.

PRESEASON ALL-MAC TEAM

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Progar-Sean-2010-003.jpgThe Northern Illinois University football team had 10 players named to the 2011 preseason All-MAC Team, including five first-team members, and two second teamers.

The NIU offense boasts seven of the 10 Huskies named to the team, with quarterback Chandler Harnish, and offensive linemen Scott Wedige, Joe Pawlak and Trevor Olson garnering first-team honors. Running back Jas Hopkins earned second-team accolades, while wide receiver Willie Clark and offensive lineman Logan Pegram were third-team selections.

Sean Progar headlines the defensive side of the ball. The Huskie defensive end was NIU's lone first-team honoree. Safety Tommy Davis was a second-team choice, while linebacker Pat Schiller rounds out the Huskie selections as a fourth-team pick.

Phil Steele's 2011 College Football Preview hits newsstands June 7.

FOLLOW COACH MONTGOMERY ON TWITTER

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NIU Men's Basketball Head Coach Mark Montgomery has joined the Twitter universe. You can find Coach Montgomery at twitter.com/NIUCoachMonty to keep up with all of the tweets of the new Huskie head coach. Coach Monty has been on Twitter for less than 24 hours but check out his thoughts about the NBA Playoffs.


18 HOLES WITH DAVE DOEREN

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Northern Illinois University head football coach Dave Doeren hit the links with Teddy Greenstein of the Chicago Tribune for Greenstein's 18 Holes of Golf With Dave Doeren. The pair, joined by NIU Associate Vice President/Director of Athletics Jeff Compher, played at Rich Harvest Farms, the home to Huskie Golf and owned by proud NIU alumn Jerry Rich.

During the trio's round, Greenstein interviewed the first-year head coach about a number of topics including Doeren's drive down to DeKalb in the middle of a snow storm, and how he won his golf clubs.

MONTGOMERY CHANGING THE CULTURE

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Early morning workouts and a "boot camp approach." Those things are just a part of the makeover going on with the NIU men's basketball program as chronicled by Steve Megargee of Rivals.com. It hasn't been unusual to see new head coach Mark Montgomery join in the squad while lifting weights or jump into a basketball drill, things that are all a part of bringing a new attitude to Huskie Hoops.


HUSKIE CARAVAN IN ROCKFORD TODAY!

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NIU fans in the Rockford area!  The Huskie Spring Coaches' Caravans are at the Rockford Country Club in Rockford today participating in the Rockford Executive Club's annual golf outing. NIU head football coach Dave Doeren, who is playing at the event, will be speaking at the dinner after golf. New NIU head men's basketball coach Mark Montgomery will be speaking at the event as well. Many of the local TV stations are going to be out there interviewing the two new Huskie head coaches. Be sure to check your local sports broadcasts tonight.

SAYING GOOD-BYE TO COACH GRANT

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Dave Grant-1.jpgThe Northern Illinois University Athletics Department wants to encourage all fans, staff and members of the community to join us at a farewell reception for former NIU head wrestling coach Dave Grant Friday, May 20 in the main lobby of the NIU Convocation Center. The Open House will take place from 3:30-5:30 p.m. with light refreshments available. Admission and parking are free.

Grant is leaving NIU after serving as head wrestling coach for the past 15 seasons. He sent 33 Huskie wrestlers to 40 NCAA Championships appearances, sending two this past season.
Brad Dieckhaus took home the 2011 MAC Championship at 184.

Three Former Huskies Make Joliet Slammers Squad

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Former NIU Huskie baseball players Andy Deain (2006-10), Chuck Lukanen (2009-10) and Brian Smith (2005-10) all made the Opening Day roster for the Joliet Slammers of the Frontier League.  The Slammers begin their season tomorrow night at 7:05 p.m. CT at home against the Washington Wild Things.  To follow their progress, check out the team's website by clicking here.
NIU volleyball incoming freshman MacKenzie Roddy was recently featured on TheBackSet.com as she is getting ready for Southern California Volleyball Association's Regionals with her club team, Rancho Valley Volleyball Club.  Click here to read the article.

A BUSY DAY AT THE TRACK

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After weather on Friday forced an alteration to the schedule for the MAC Outdoor Track and Field Championships, Saturday becomes a busy day with action beginning at 8 a.m. Two of the Huskies to watch are Rasheta Butler and Jenner Sio. Michael Brown of the Daily Chronicle profiled Butler earlier this week; she will begin action at 12:10 p.m. in the 4x100-meter relay. Jay Taft of the Rockford Register Star spotlighted Sio, an NIU record-holder and 4.0 student. Sio will compete in the triple jump at noon.

A reminder for fans coming to the championships today, due to commencement spectators are urged to avoid Convocation Center parking. Check here for information on parking alternatives.  

HUSKIES GOING MOBILE

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Too early for bowl predictions? We think so too, but that's not stopping us from posting CollegeFootballNews.com's Way-Early Bowl Picks. CFN.com has the Huskies facing Arkansas State in the GoDaddy.com Bowl in Mobile, Ala. We think this predeiction will change at least 10 times before the season opener against Army Sept. 3.

VOTE TODAY!

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Harnish-Chandler-throwing.jpgNIU quarterback Chandler Harnish needs your vote! ESPN.com's Andrea Adelson is conducting a poll to find out the 2011 Non-AQ Offensive Player of the Year and the Huskie signal caller is one of the five players fans can vote for. Adelson identified Harnish as one of the Non-AQ Players to Watch in her blog post Wednesday. So, show your support for Chandler and vote today!

HARNISH GARNERING NATIONAL ATTENTION

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Harnish-Chandler-passing.jpgChandler Harnish had an amazing season in 2010, becoming the first NIU quarterback to earn first team all-conference honors and the first Huskie signal-caller to make an all-MAC team since 1983 Vern Smith Award winner Tim Tyrell garnered second-team honors in 1983. Harnish completed 65 percent of his passes (189-of-292) for 2,530 yards and 21 touchdowns in 2010 and ranks second on the Huskie team in rushing with 836 yards and seven scores. He brokethe Huskies' single season total offense record with 3,366 yards. He was listed as one of the Non-AQ Players to Watch this season by ESPN.com's Andrea Adelson in her latest blog post today.

NON-AQ POWER RANKINGS

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ESPN.com blogger Andrea Adelson released her post-spring Non-AQ Power Rankings late yesterday. The Northern Illinois University Huskies cracked the top 10 in large part to the return of Chandler Harnish. The only Mid-American Conference school on the list, NIU bumped Miami (OH) out of the list due to the uncertainty at the quarterback position.

NIU FOOTBALL SPRING RECAP

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Chandler Harnish.jpgESPN.com's Andrea Adelson posted her spring review of the NIU football team in her Non-AQ Blog today. The offenseive side of the ball dominates much of the post, highlighting the Huskie wide receiving corps, running back battle and Chandler Harnish's performance this spring. Dave Doeren's first year as a head coach , the running back rotation and the defensive side of the ball, specifically defensive line and middle linebacker, provide the questions heading into fall.

Adelson will be conducting a live chat at 1 p.m. CT today. Be sure to send in your questions about the Huskies.

MEN'S BASKETBALL IN THE NEWS

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The most recent signee for the NIU men's basketball program, Andre Henley, was recently named as the third-best in-state recruit likely to make an immediate impact by ESPN Chicago's Scott Powers. Powers talked about the skill set that Henley will bring to NIU that isn't seen often in the MAC. Elsewhere, Ryan Wood of the Daily Chronicle checked in with head coach Mark Montgomery on the progress that has been made since his hiring in late March.  


HUSKIES EARN No. 3 SEED AT MAC SOFTBALL TOURNAMENT

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NIU Softball Team.jpgThe Northern Illinois University softball team earned the No. 3 seed in the 2011 Mid-American Conference Softball Tournament at Firestone Stadium in Akron, Ohio. The Huskies (26-25, 13-7), who finished second in the MAC West, open the tournament against Central Michigan Wednesday, May 11 at 6:30 p.m. Central Time. You can follow all the action live on the MAC's Tournament Central page. Look for a complete preview of the 2011 MAC Softball Tournament tomorrow on NIUHuskies.com.

2011 NIU FOOTBALL WALLPAPER

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2011 NIU Football Wallpaper.jpgThe 2011 edition of the Northern Illinois University football team's wallpaper is up on NIUHuskies.com and available for fans to download to their computer. Simply follow the instructions on the page and select the size that best fits your computer screen.

Show your Huskie pride! Download it today.


COFFMAN ON THE END OF BIN LADEN

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Coffman-Jake 2.jpgLike all Americans, former NIU football player and Marine Corps veteran Jake Coffman was happy and excited about the demise of Osama bin Laden. Coffman, who joined the Marines out of high school because of the 9/11 attacks. He shared his thoughts and emotions with Ryan Wood of the Daily Chronicle when hearing the news the world's most wanted man was finally brought to justice.

VICTORS CELEBRATION SET FOR TONIGHT

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"The Victors," NIU's annual awards ceremony will be held tonight as student-athletes, coaches and staff celebrate the accomplishments of the Huskies from the past year. Tonight the Huskies will find out who the Northern Illinois Student-Athlete Advisory Council (SAAC) selected as the winners in 23 different categories, including the Male and Female Athlete of the Year. Also announced tonight will be the winner of the Play of the Year, as voted on by the fans at NIUHuskies.com.

You can see a complete list of the nominees for this year's Victors awards here, and check back with NIUHuskies.com tomorrow for a full recap of this evening's festivities.


OUT AND ABOUT ON CAMPUS

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The weekend before the final week of classes at Northern Illinois saw Huskie Athletics well-represented at several campus events.  On Friday evening, NIU mascot Victor E. Huskie successfully completed his first 5K as he ran the "5K the Night Away" race staged by the Grad Sport Society in just over 31 minutes.  Victor E., who underwent an intense workout regimen for his "make-over" last summer, has obviously remained in tip-top shape throughout the year.  The course began in one of the Convocation Center parking lots and circled throughout campus.  Congrats Victor E.!

Meanwhile, NIU Head Coach Dave Doeren took part in another big event on Saturday afternoon as he opened the TUGS finals on the east grass of Huskie Stadium by flipping the coin at the start of the competition. TUGS is the annual tug-of-war competition between NIU fraternity teams.  Saturday's final came at the end of a nearly week-long tournament and months of training by the teams.  Doeren along with several of his assistant coaches stayed around after the coin flip to watch the finals of the historic Northern Illinois competition.


HUSKIE DRAFT CONNECTIONS

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Although former Northern Illinois running back Chad Spann and several other 2010 Huskie seniors will have to wait for free agency to determine their professional football futures, last week's National Football League Draft did have several NIU ties.

Five players from NIU Head Coach Dave Doeren's former school - Wisconsin - were selected, including defensive end J.J. Watt.  Watt was chosen by the Houston Texans with the 11th overall pick in the draft.  Watt is the sixth UW defensive player to be drafted during Doeren's tenure in Madison.

A last name that should be familiar to Huskie fans was called in the sixth round on Saturday when Louisville's Byron Stingily, a 6-5, 315-pound offensive tackle, was selected by the Tennessee Titans with the 10th pick in that round, the 175th choice overall.  Stingily, a native of Romeoville, Ill., is the older brother of NIU sophomore linebacker Cameron Stingily.   

If Byron can earn a roster spot of any kind with the Titans, Cameron Stingily will become the second Huskie with a brother playing in the NFL as offensive lineman Ryan Brown's brother, Patrick, was on the Minnesota Vikings roster at offensive tackle in 2010.