April 6, 2009
DeKALB, IL - Time to revisit your personal priorities this month, eh? Let's see.
NCAA Final Four, check. Opening Day, check. The Masters, check. Income taxes, check.
And, finally, 2009 Northern Illinois University Athletics Hall of Fame nominations by Friday, April 24, check.
Yes, the process for the next induction class begins with nominations this spring. Any all-time Huskie great---be it a former student-athlete, head coach, assistant coach, administrator, athletics trainer, equipment manager, etc., you name it---can be put in nomination by the April 24 deadline.
Founded in 1978, the Northern Illinois Athletics Hall of Fame celebrates its 28th induction class this fall and its storied roster currently boasts 179 individuals and 14 teams. The group represents a virtual "Who's Who of Huskie athletics" featuring early program pioneers, All-America picks, national champions, Top 20 teams, All-Pro athletes, and prominent sports-related figures.
Criteria for induction includes "...outstanding contributions to intercollegiate athletics at Northern Illinois University." According to the Hall of Fame by-laws, former NIU student-athletes and teams are eligible for nomination 10 years after the final year of their respective intercollegiate athletics competition while coaches, administrators, and staff can be nominated five years after their departure or retirement from the university.
Letters of nomination with documentation of each candidate (individual or team), photostatic copies of newspaper or magazine press clippings, yearbooks, or scrapbooks can be forwarded to committee chair Mike Korcek, NIU's Sports Information Director Emeritus. Any vintage, personal materials will be returned once they have been photocopied for the committee's perusal.
"Every year, this is the ultimate Huskie event," said Korcek, who has covered Northern Illinois athletics since the mid-1960s. "That is no exaggeration. You can literally see and feel the Huskie pride, nostalgia, and fellowship at the social hour and banquet. It's a trip to our illustrious past. To hear the stories about middle-class kids winding up in the NFL or playing in the NCAA Tournament or becoming highly successful in their post-NIU years, it's awe-inspiring. The ceremony oozes Cardinal and Black. This is our tradition, our Northern Illinois athletics legacy."
As mentioned, the process starts in the spring and concludes at the annual Hall of Fame Induction Banquet in October at the Duke Ellington Ballroom in the Holmes Student Center. The exact dates and times will be released at a
"This is an open process. Last spring, the committee examined and evaluated over 125 nominations," Korcek added. "We strongly encourage our community, NIU alums, fans, and friends to be involved and forward their nominations. This is also a tough, lengthy, and extremely competitive process. It literally is the best of NIU's best. But to be inducted, first, you have to be nominated. Everybody's help is always appreciated."
In 2008, the Northern Illinois Athletics Hall of Fame induction class included the 1972 baseball team, Jeremy Goeden (wrestling in 1996-98), Tammy Hinchee (basketball in 1986-90), Anne Mucci (Iwinski) (soccer in 1995-98), and Larry Satchwell (track and field in 1974-75).
The charter NIU men's Hall of Fame induction occurred in 1978. After a five-year hiatus, it resumed on an annual basis in 1983. The women's Hall of Fame originated in 1986. The two halls were combined in 1988.
Korcek and the HOF Selection Committee can be contacted via (1) regular mail (Convocation Center, 1525 West Lincoln Highway, NIU, DeKalb, IL 60115), (2) telephone (AC 815-753-9559), and (3) e-mail .