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.
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.
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.