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Free GameDay Parking Available for NIU Students

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Northern Illinois University students will now have better access to some of the best parking at Huskie Stadium on NIU football game days.  Parking on the grass lot on the East Side of the stadium is now free to any Northern Illinois student with a valid OneCard on game day. 

NIU students are invited to tailgate on the east side of Huskie Stadium beginning five hours before every home game for free on a first-come, first-serve basis.  The driver must simply show his or her valid NIU OneCard at the entrance to the lot off of Stadium Drive.  The lot will be available until the 200 spaces allocated for student parking are filled. 

NIU Athletics will also sell a limited number of season student parking passes which will provide a GUARANTEED spot on the east grass up until 30 minutes before kickoff.  Season passes are available for $25 and can be purchased Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. in the NIU Athletics External Office in Suite 213 of the Convocation Center.

All cars must follow Northern Illinois' established guidelines for tailgating regarding parking spaces, music and prohibited items.  For more information, call 815-753-PACK (7225) and press 1 for tickets.   

 

Travis Misner, NIU's new development assistant, was featured in Wednesday's edition of the Kane County Chronicle for his role as the chairman of the NCAA Division III Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. The St. Charles, Ill., native and graduate of St. Charles North High School played baseball at Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa, before taking his current role at NIU. Misner's leadership role also afforded him the opportunity to travel to Taiwan in March 2012 to take part in a conference with student-athletes from over 60 different nations. As a result, he will also head to Kazan, Russia, this weekend for the World University Games.

To read the full article, click here.

NIU ATHLETICS WELCOMES NEWEST HUSKIE

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The Northern Illinois University Athletics gained a new member to the Huskie to the family yesterday, as head wrestling coach Ryan Ludwig and his wife, Jolene, welcomed Hudson Thomas into the world at 1:56 p.m. He weighed 6.2 pounds and measured 18.5 inches.

Huskie fans can give their congratulations to the Ludwig family via Coach Ludwig's Twitter account @IronHuskie.
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Northern Illinois graduate student and Huskie Media Relations graduate assistant Michael Benson returns to ESPN UNITE: The Schwab Wednesday at 11 p.m. CT to take part in the semi-final round.

 
Benson will take on Mississippi's Ryan Smith, the Southeastern Conference's winner, and Penn State's Daniel Smith, the champion from the Big Ten. The winner will receive an all-expenses paid trip to Bristol, Conn., for the finals at ESPN's headquarters.
 
"The semi-finals should be quite a challenge," Benson said. "It was nice to get out of the first round with a win, but now the questions and the competition will be better. I've been doing what I can to prepare, but it ultimately comes down to getting questions that fit your strengths."
 
The sport management major clinched a berth in the semi-finals April 10 by winning the Mid-American Conference title over students from Central Michigan and Western Michigan. Benson got four points out of the first round, which asked the contestants to name the top 15 NFL career leaders in rushing yards. After stumbling on the pop culture question, he all but clinched the win by scoring five points in the college sports round question that asked contestants to name the members of the Pac-12 Conference.
 
"I really struggled in the pop culture and social media rounds the first time out," Benson said. "If I have any chance of moving on to the finals, I'll have to do considerably better in both of those categories."
 
The winner from the third semi-final will take on Michael Smith of Utah and Taylor Smith of Maryland.

Condolences...

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NIU Athletics would like to offer its sincere condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of long-time NIU Football "Sound Guy" Rick Calderon, who passed away Wednesday, May 1, in DeKalb following a long illness.

Calderon, who retired from NIU in 2008, was a fixture at Northern Illinois home and away football games for many, many seasons. In addition to operating the public address and music systems during games, he was responsible for the coaches' headset communications both home and away. At head coach Joe Novak's request, Calderon would set up "music" (often the opposing teams' fight songs, crowd noise and band played on a loop) to be blared at footbal practice during the week to simulate the other team's stadium atmosphere. On road trips, he would spend time illustrating post cards which he would then send to his many friends.

Calderon graduated from Northern Illinois in 1982 and was active in designing, installing and maintaining audio/visual systems around campus in addition to working with the football team. Read much more on Calderon, here. A memorial service was held Wednesday, May 8, in DeKalb.

NIU ATHLETICS TO TAKE PART IN DENIM DAY

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Everybody inside the NIU Athletic Department will be dressing a little less formal Wednesday, April 24, as they take part in "Denim Day." The initiative is hosted by the Victim Advocacy Services of the Women's Resource Center and Sexual Assault Awareness Month to honor victims and survivors of sexual assault.

Began in 1999 in Los Angeles, Denim Day has spread throughout the country as a way to fight back against sexual violence in the Untied States and across the world. The day also helps fight misconceptions about sexual assault.

For more information, visit DenimDayUSA.org.

8th Annual Roger Kalisiak Alumni Lecture

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Dr. Julie Rochester will be the featured speaker for the Northern Illinois Athletic Training Education Program's 8th Annual Roger Kalisiak Alumni Lecture held on Thursday, April 18, at 7 p.m., in the McCaerins Auditorium in the Yordon Center. Dr. Rochester's speech is entitled "Athletic Training" Affirming Our Identity as Heathcare Providers."

Dr. Rochester is a tenured Professor of Athletic Training at Northern Michigan University, where she has been the Director of the Athletic Training Education Program since 1998.

Northern Illinois will also serve as the host of this year's Illinois Athletic Trainer's Student Congress. The congress is scheduled to meet on Sunday, April 21, at noon in the Yordon Center.

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Northern Illinois graduate student and Huskie Media Relations graduate assistant Michael Benson will compete in ESPNU's newest sports trivia show Wednesday as a contestant on UNITE: The Schwab.
 
A regular segment of the nightly "UNITE" show on ESPNU, the UNITE: The Schwab contest is hosted by ESPN sports trivia guru Howie Schwab and UNITE host Reese Waters. Each week, college students from across the country are quizzed in four categories - pro sports, college sports, pop culture and social media - for a chance to advance in the tournament bracket.  Benson's appearance airs Wednesday, April 10 at 11 p.m. CT on ESPNU.
 
Benson will represent Northern Illinois in the Mid-American Conference round of the competition. The winner from Wednesday's round will advance to the semifinals against conference champions from around the nation, including the Big Ten, SEC, ACC and Big 12.
 
"It would be great to say that I am a MAC champion," Benson said. "Not too many people can claim that distinction, granted it is a sports trivia contest and not an actual sport. It's a lot of fun and I'm excited to represent my family and NIU."
 
A native of Morrison, Ill., Benson is a graduate student in NIU's sport management program and serves as the primary media contact for the Huskie cross country, wrestling and track & field teams.

NIU WEEKLY RADIO SHOW RETURNS SATURDAY

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After taking a break in January, the NIU Weekly radio show returns to the air this Saturday on 670 The Score. Fans can listen to the show starting at 7:30 a.m.

This week, NIU Football head coach Rod Carey talks about the new coaching staff and the 2013 recruiting class that was just announced Wednesday.

Northern Illinois University Faculty Athletics Representative Matt Streb was honored Thursday by the National Football Foundation as part of the organization's 2012 Faculty Salute Initiative.
 
Streb was one of 15 FARs from across the country that was recognized for his efforts. The honor was given to the FARs at each of the schools who had an NFF National Scholar-Athlete. In 2011, former NIU FAR Jan Rintala was recognized alongside NIU QB Chandler Harnish.
 
Below is a list of the FARs who were honored:
 
·         Baylor University, Mike Rogers (Nick Florence, QB, 3.79 GPA)
·         Duke University, Martha Putallaz (Sean Renfree, QB, 3.40 GPA)
·         Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Hank Smith (Ethan Peterson, OL, 3.83 GPA)
·         Northern Illinois University, Matt Streb (Nabal Jefferson, DT, 3.78 GPA)
·         Northwestern University,  Robert Gundlach (Patrick Ward, OT, 3.94 GPA)
·         Robert Morris University, Scott Branvold (Nolan Nearhoof, DE, 3.73 GPA)
·         Saint Xavier University (Ill.), Barbara Becker (Shane Zackery, WR, 3.71 GPA)
·         Syracuse University, Mike Wasylenko (Ryan Nassib, QB, 3.57 GPA)
·         Texas Tech University, Brian Shannon (Cody Davis, S, 3.70 GPA)
·         University of Alabama, Kevin Whitaker (Barrett Jones, C, 4.00 GPA)
·         University of Mount Union (Ohio), Scott Mason (Nick Driskill, S, 3.77 GPA)
·         University of Nebraska, Josephine Potuto (Rex Burkhead, RB, 3.43 GPA)
·         University of Notre Dame, Patricia Bellia (Manti Te'o, LB, 3.32 GPA)
·         University of Southern California, Clare Pastore (Matt Barkley, QB, 3.21 GPA)
·         West Texas A&M University, David Rausch (Aaron Mullane, OL, 3.84 GPA)
 
Launched in 2011 by Fidelity and the NFF, the initiative is an extension of the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards Program that provides postgraduate scholarships for college football's elite student-athletes. Fidelity, which is also the presenting sponsor of the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards, has taken on a leadership role with the initiative as a natural extension of its ongoing support of the scholar-athlete ideal and commitment to higher education nationwide. As part of the initiative, each school with an NFF National Scholar-Athlete receives recognition for their faculty athletics representative, and a $5,000 donation per school ($75,000 total) from Fidelity will be made to support the academic support services for student-athletes at each school.

Northern Illinois Athletics Hall of Famer and long-time college basketball Tom O'Neill was honored by the Atlanta Tip-off Club Wednesday as the 2012 Naismith Men's College Official of the Year.

O'Neill, who played baseball at NIU from 1966-68, has officiated for over 30 years - including over 20 years in the Missouri Valley (30 years), Big 12 (28), Horizon (26) and Big Ten (24). Over his career, the 1968 graduate has officiated games in 13 different Division I conferences and worked 100 games each of the last seven seasons, bringing his career total to over 2,600 games.

He has also officiated in four different Final Fours, working the 1991 and 2007 national semi-finals games and the 1997 and 2009 national championship games. In his entire career, O'Neill has worked 76 games over 26 different NCAA Tournaments. In addition, he has worked milestone victory games for Homer Drew (700th), Denny Crum (600th), Jim Boeheim (500th) and Bob Knight (500th).

On Nov. 30, 2001, O'Neill and two of his sons - Tom,. Jr. and Rick - became the first family to work an NCAA basketball game when they officiated a contest between Marquette and Houston Baptist in Milwaukee, Wis.

O'Neill has also been inducted into the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame and hosts the longest-running basketball officiating camp, "The Tom O'Neill Officiating Camp," which is in its 30th year.

He currently resides in Tinley Park, Ill. with his wife of 43 years, Vicki.

ATHLETICS WELCOMES TWO NEWEST MEMBERS TO THE NIU FAMILY

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The Huskies welcomed two new members to the family this weekend.

IMG College Account Executive Mike Donohoo and his wife, Yesica, welcomed Sophia Donohoo into the world last night. She weighed in at 5 lbs., 9 oz.

Meanwhile, Strength and Conditioning Head Coach Brad Ohrt and his wife, Ashley, are the proud parents of Carson William Ohrt. Carson weighed 9 lbs., 15 oz.

NIU congratulates the Donohoos and Ohrts on their new additions.

MAC TO HONOR 40TH ANNIVERSARY OF TITLE IX

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In preparation for the 40th anniversary of the passage of Title IX, the Mid-American Conference will honor the groundbreaking legislation for women's college athletics with a series of 15 interviews with former coaches, student-athletes and administrators.

The interviews will cover themes such as:
-The importance of this legislation and what this meant to them personally and for women's athletics
-The growth of opportunity for women in athletics
-How the MAC integrated women's athletics into the conference
-Early challenges faced by women in collegiate athletics
-What does the future hold for women's collegiate athletics.

The 15 interviews and five features covering the main themes of Title IX will air in a 20-part video series on MAC-Sports.com from Tuesday, June 19 through Friday, July 14.

The Mid-American Conference Title IX Video Series
Tuesday, June 19 - Marcy Weston, Central Michigan, Executive Associate Director of Athletics
Wednesday, June 20 - Tricia Cullop, Toledo, Head Women's Basketball Coach
Thursday, June 21 - Laing Kennedy, Kent State, Emeritus Director of Athletics
Friday, June 22 - Feature One: What Does This Mean To You & Women's Athletics?
Monday, June 25 - Christine Chiricosta, Bowling Green, Women's Tennis
Tuesday, June 26 - Kelly Andrews, Toledo, Senior Associate Athletic Director
Wednesday, June 27 - Maria Fantanarosa, Miami, Head Women's Basketball Coach
Thursday, June 28 - Feature Two: Examine the Growth of Opportunity for Women in Athletics
Friday, June 29 - Dr. Jon Steinbrecher, Mid-American Conference, Commissioner
Monday, July 2 - Kathy Beauregard, Western Michigan, Director of Athletics
Tuesday, July 3 - Brittany Tyree, Ohio, Track & Field
Wednesday, July 4 - Feature Three: Integration of Women's Athletics in the MAC
Thursday, July 5 - Brad Bates, Miami, Director of Athletics
Friday, July 6 - Karen Fitzpatrick, MAC Hall of Fame, former Ball State field hockey coach
Monday, July 9 - Feature Four: Challenges Faced by Women's Athletics
Tuesday, July 10 - Lindsey Wienckowski, Western Michigan, Gymnastics
Wednesday, July 11 - Sue Guevara, Central Michigan, Head Women's Basketball Coach
Thursday, July 12 - Kaitlyn Vincek, Eastern Michigan, Volleyball
Friday, July 13 - Feature Five:  What Does The Future Hold For Women's Athletics?
Friday, July 13 - Susan Lipnickey, Miami, Faculty Athletics Representative

WELCOME, NEW HUSKIES!

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With summer workouts beginning for most teams, Northern Illinois Athletics would like to welcome the newest student-athletes to campus. The newest Huskies have a chance to acclimate themselves with the campus and DeKalb community, while taking part in classes and getting to know their new teammates before competition starts.

Welcome to NIU and DeKalb!

ATHLETICS WELCOMES TWO NEW HUSKIES

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The Huskies brought in two new members to the family this weekend.

Business Office Account Tech Jake Waddle and his wife, Amy, welcomed Zachary Peter Waddle into the world Friday (May 4) afternoon at 3:20 p.m. He weighed in at 8 lbs., 8 oz. and is 20 inches long. Zachary joins his older brother Levi, who is three.

Meanwhile, NIU Football Graduate Assistant Joe Tripodi and his wife, Rachel, are the proud parents of Emma Sarah Tripodi. Emma was born Sunday (May 6) at 11:38 p.m., weighing 8.1 lbs. and measured 20 inches long.

NIU congratulates the Waddles and Tripodis on their new additions.

HUSKIES EARN STUDENT CHOICE AWARDS

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For the first time, Northern Illinois Athletics was included in the annual Student Choice Awards event that was coordinated by the NIU Student Association.

NIU head coaches Dave Doeren (football) and Connie Teaberry (women's track and field) were on hand along with volleyball's Kristin Hoffman, Adam Kiel of football and several members of the Huskie football team as the awards were presented on Tuesday, April 10 at the Duke Ellington Ballroom. Doeren was named Coach of the Year while the Huskie football team was the SA's Team of the Year. Hoffman accepted the award as Athlete of the Year, and Kiel was honored for his dedication as a campus leader in the area of community service. The women's track and field team won the award for Most Improved Team on campus, which Teaberry accepted on behalf of the Huskies. 

Congratulations to these award winners and thanks to the Student Association for recognizing YOUR Huskies!

COMPHER SPEAKING TO BUSINESS LEADERS

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NIU Director of Athletics Jeff Compher is one of the featured speakers at today's Daily Herald Newsmakers' Forum on the Business of Sports, which will be held at The Meadows Club in Rolling Meadows, Ill. 

Compher and his fellow panelists, Dan Migala (The Migala Report), Vince Pellegrino (Western Golf Association), Andy Viano (Schaumburg Boomers Baseball Club) and Roger Wexelberg (Chicago Rush) will address "How to Score with Your Sports Marketing Dollars" to the 100-150 attendees representing small businesses from throughout the region. 

The session, presented by the Chicago Rush and the NIU College of Business MBA program and put on by the Daily Herald Business Ledger, includes a lunch in addition to the presentations by the presenters and the panel discussion.

In addition to Compher, several members of the athletic staff, including Associate Athletic Director Shelley Binegar, Director of Marketing Ryan Harris, Director of Ticket Operations Eric Schultz and General Manager of NIU IMG College Robert Heck will attend the seminar on behalf of Northern Illinois.

UNIVERSITY WOMEN'S CLUB HELPS NIU TRACK & FIELD

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Teaberry_UWC.JPGThe Northern Illinois University Women's Club presented NIU Director of Track & Field and Cross Country Connie Teaberry with a $1,000 check to support the women's track & field and cross country program. The donation will go toward the purchase of additional equipment for the track & field team in preparation for their upcoming outdoor season.
 
The University Women's Club has given similar monetary gifts to other NIU women's sports programs in the past for the purchase of team uniforms or equipment. The UWC also presents academic scholarships to NIU women students each year to assist them in meeting the financial needs for their education.

On behalf of Huskie Athletics and NIU Track & Field, THANK YOU, University Women's Club!

HAPPY HALLOWEEN

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The day started off with a bang, no not because my second bicuspid was exploding with pain from all the candy floating around the NIU Athletics office, but because of a man oozing with patriotism on All Hallows' Eve.


The day had not even started yet. I walked into the office with my coffee, sat down in my chair and opened my bag to unload my laptop and began my Monday. Before I could even open my email to check the abundance of messages sent in the past couple hours, the door to the sports information offices opened and a distinctive "woosh, woosh" sound promptly followed, followed a low pitched "hum" that grew closer.


When I quickly turned around to investigate, all I saw was a red, white and blue blur darting towards the end of the office and past my cubicle entry way. That blur was none other than Captain America, who quickly got into a ready fighting stance in front of Assistant Media Relations Director Joe Summins and asked (jokingly) if he "was ready to throw down!?!" Before he could finish laughing, Summins snapped back that his "shield looked like a dinner plate." So ended the confrontation and the smiles kept radiating.


The man behind the mask was Head Women's Gymnastics Coach Sam Morreale, who made his rounds in athletics to remind everyone that today was halloween and show us his spirit. So from all of us in the Northern Illinois Athletics, including Captain America, we wish you a happy and safe Halloween.


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VICTOR E. HUSKIE HEADS TO THE JOB FAIR!

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Victor E suit.jpgNIUHuskies.com caught Victor E. Huskie on his way to the job fair that is being held at the Convocation Center today.  Victor E. is probably going to get a lot of "don't quit your day job" responses from the prospective employers but good luck, Victor E!

HALL OF FAME WEEKEND IS NEARING

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Northern Illinois Hall of Fame Weekend is rapidly approaching and the Huskies will be honoring their 30th induction banquet Friday Oct. 7 and introducing the Hall of Famers at halftime of Saturday's contest against Kent State. Kickoff is set for 2:30 p.m.


As part of Colleges Against Cancer and in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month, Northern Illinois will be handing out Pink Huskie Buff's, made popular by the hit CBS show "Survivor", to all fans upon entrance to the game.


And finally, this weekend will be the start of NIU Foundation's "Huddle With Faculty," a pre game social that will occur before every home football game at the Barsema Alumni and Visitors Center in 2012. The inaugural "Huddle with the Faculty - Better Living Through Mannequins," will take place Saturday.


For more info on "Huddle With Faculty," click here


HUSKIES CREATE THEMED LEARNING COMMUNITY

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Continuing to bring its motto to life, NIU Intercollegiate Athletics has taken its "Developing Champions" attitude even further with the implementation of a Themed Learning Community (TLC).  This year, 25 select freshman student-athletes from nearly every Huskie athletic program are participating a TLC named "Developing Champions: In the classroom, in competition and in life."  The focus of the group is on leadership and social justice.  For more information about the TLC, click here to ready today's article from NIU Today.  

ATHLETICS WELCOMES NEWEST HUSKIE

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Congratulations to Northern Illinois' Associate Athletic Director for Major Gifts Mark Muhlhauser and his wife, Jill, as they welcomed daughter Brooklyn Mackenzie Muhlhauser to the world last night (Sept. 26) at 9:52 p.m.

The newest addition to the Huskie Family weighed in at 8 lbs., 5.5 oz. and is 21 inches long.  She joins big brothers Osten (7) and Jake (3), who were excited to meet their baby sister at the hospital earlier today. 

With mom and baby Brooklyn both doing well, Muhlhauser can turn his attention back to his next "baby" - the Chessick Indoor Facility.
   

BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR THE HUSKIE CAR!

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Be on the lookout for the newest addition to the Huskie fleet!  Earlier today, NIU Director of Communications and Marketing Brad Hoey stopped by the Convocation Center to show off his ride to Saturday's NIU-Wisconsin football game.  Complete with nearly every Huskie decal imaginable, the car will be on display at Soldier Field tomorrow, and many other locations in the very near future.  Keep your eyes peeled!  See if you can find the car tomorrow at the game!

GETTING READY FOR THE SEASON

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Inside Huskie Stadium, the Northern Illinois football team is hard at work getting ready for the 2011 season, which opens Sept. 3 with a home game versus Army.  If you haven't been reading our series of preseason position previews, and watching the accompanying video on Huskies' All-Access, you have some catching up to do!

There is also action on the outside of Huskie Stadium as the beams on the West Side are being repainted for the first time in several years.  First, all of the beams were power washed and as of Monday, the painting was about halfway done.  The difference is clear in the photo above.

The team is ready, the stadium is almost ready...how about you?  Have you bought your season tickets yet?  There is still time!   Click here for all the information and to purchase tickets! 



TICKETS ARE IN THE MAIL

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With Northern Illinois playing its season opener at Huskie Stadium for the first time since 2003 (a certain victory over No. 15 Maryland that some may recall), the NIU Ticket Office has worked hard to make sure Huskie fans have their season tickets in hand well before the Huskies kick off 2011 versus Army on Saturday, Sept. 3 at 6 p.m.

Today, the Ticket Office reports that all current season ticket orders have been mailed and everyone who has ordered tickets so far should have received, or be receiving, their season tickets in the next few days.  This includes all mini-plan orders. 

In addition, if you ordered home single game tickets, the Ticket Office is caught up on those as well as those orders have been mailed.  Of course, Soldier Field Showdown II tickets were mailed as far back as June and continue to be sent out as those orders are received.

Northern Illinois has NOT received all of its tickets for its 2011 away games yet so if you ordered tickets to the Kansas, Central Michigan, or any away game through us, you will be receiving those separately soon.  The ticket office hopes to have all of those tickets in DeKalb so that they can be mailed beginning next week.

While season tickets in the past have been available for pick-up at the preseason NIU Family Fun Day, the turnaround time between this year's Family Fun Day on Saturday, August 20 and the date of the home opener was too tight to hold the tickets at NIU. 

Don't worry, Huskie fans, there will still be a Family Fun Day with the cheerleaders, Victor E. Huskie, a football scrimmage, autographs, posters, schedule cards and more.  The football team will take the field for the scrimmage at 11:35 a.m. and all are invited to attend.  More details on Family Fun Day will be available soon on NIUHuskies.com, but for now, look for your tickets coming to a mailbox near you.

And a reminder, if you HAVEN'T ordered your season, single game or Soldier Field Showdown II tickets yet, there is STILL time!  Order online through the Tickets link at NIUHuskies.com or call us at 815-753-1923.

September 3 is just around the corner!  All season tickets ordered after August 22 will have to be picked up at the NIU Athletics Ticket Office in the Convocation Center or at Will Call on game day.  Don't wait until the last minute.  Get your tickets today.

HUSKIE CAMPERS BEATING THE HEAT

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Despite the steamy temperatures that have been in the DeKalb area this week, summer sports camps are continuing all across the NIU campus. NIU tennis coaches Ryun Ferrell and Patrick Fisher are among those currently running camps on campus, as you can see the tennis campers are full of smiles at the beginning of another day on the courts. There are still a few camps left this summer at NIU, information on the remaining camps can be found here.

BERNOUDY LEADS NCAA FORUM

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Last week in Indianapolis, the NCAA held its annual Career in Sports Forum which gives student-athletes from across the country the opportunity to explore their interest in athletic careers upon graduation. For the second consecutive year, NIU Associate Athletic Director Monique Bernoudy was selected as one of the 16 facilitators for the four-day conference. During the event, student-athletes developed their skills in a number of areas, including communication, networking, recruiting, managing diversity, crisis management and budgeting.

"The NCAA Forum is an exceptional opportunity for student-athletes to enhance their skill set, become more self-aware, explore athletic careers and meet student-athletes, coaches and administrators from across the country," said Bernoudy. "It is a joy to work with them and watch them blossom in four days."

DR. STEINBRECHER GETS EXTENSION

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Mid-American Conference commissioner Dr. Jon Steinbrecher received a two-year extension to lead the league the MAC announced today.

Cleveland, Ohio - The Mid-American Conference announced today that the Council of Presidents has extended the contract of Commissioner Dr. Jon Steinbrecher for two additional years through the 2015-16 academic year.  Steinbrecher began as MAC Commissioner in May of 2009 with an original five-year contract and only two years into the agreement, the conference Presidents unanimously rewarded Steinbrecher with a two-year contract extension. MORE


YORDON RINGS THE BELL

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Yordon at NASDAQ.jpgCongratulations to Huskie supporter Jeff Yordon as he rang the bell at the NASDAQ yesterday. Yordon, the Chief Executive Officer of Sagent Pharmaceuticals Inc, donated $2.5 million to the Jeffrey and Kimberly Yordon Center and is a fixture on the sidelines at NIU football games.

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.

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.


HEAR NIU LIVE TONIGHT AT 11 P.M.

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Northern Illinois head coaches Dave Doeren and Mark Montgomery join NIU Associate Vice President and Director of Athletics Jeff Compher and host Andy Garcia for tonight's installment of "NIU Live." It's the last show of the 2010-11 academic year and the crew had plenty to talk about, including Saturday's Spring Football Game and Montgomery's first basketball recruiting class.  Tune in to 670 AM The Score tonight (Wednesday, April 20) at 11 p.m. for the final NIU Live of the season!

"NIU LIVE" TONIGHT

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Tune into 670 AM "The Score" tonight at midnight as NIU Vice President/Director of Athletics Jeff Compher and host Andy Garcia are joined by head women's basketball coach Kathi Bennett and Associate Athletics Director for External Affairs Shelley Binegar. Bennett gives Huskie fans an update on the women's hoops season, while Binegar discusses the football season ticket packages that were announced today.

Diem, Turner, Wolfe Advance to NFL Playoffs

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The NFL regular season may have ended yesterday, but for three Huskies the season will continue with the playoffs.  Ryan Diem and the Indianapolis Colts will host the New York Jets Saturday night.  Michael Turner and the Atlanta Falcons snagged the top seed in the NFC and await the results of Wild Card Weekend for their Divisional Round opponent.  Garrett Wolfe and the Chicago Bears received the No. 2 seed in the NFC and are in the same boat as the Falcons, waiting for their next foe.  Congrats and good luck to our Huskies!

FINALS WEEK WISHES

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The mission of NIU Athletics is to Develop Champions In the Classroom, In Competition, and In Life. Today our student-athletes, along with all students at NIU, start their finals. We wish them the best of luck with their upcoming exams, presentations and projects! Go Huskies!

YOUR SUPPORT MAKES FOOD FOR FAMILIES A SUCCESS

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NIU Athletics would like to thank the Northern Illinois Huskie coaches, student-athletes, fans and the Sycamore and DeKalb communities for joining in Northern Illinois' CHAMPS and SAAC's Food For Families Drive.

With the support of our Huskie family, SAAC collected grocery bags filled with food (pictured above) and donated them to the local DeKalb Salvation Army. Congratulations to the men's basketball team who, with your support, had the most bags filled and returned. Also, congratulations to women's golf and women's soccer who came in a close second with the number of bags they had filled and returned.

On behalf of CHAMPS and SAAC, Thanks to everyone's support in making the Food for Families Drive benefiting the DeKalb Salvation Army a great success and we look forward to making next year's event an even bigger success.

"NIU LIVE" TONIGHT

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Be sure to catch "NIU Live" tonight at 11:30 p.m. on 670 AM "The Score." Join host Andy Garcia, Associate Vice President/Director of Athletics Jeff Compher and their guests NIU head football coach Jerry Kill and head wrestling coach Dave Grant. The quartet preview NIU's upcoming football game with Ball State, the NIU wrestling team and all the goings on at Northern Illinois.