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Huskie Happenings


By Joe Summins | Posted at 3:43 pm on Friday, July 10, 2009

Show your Huskie spirit! The latest NIU football wallpaper is available now at Download it today! 


By Donna Turner | Posted at 3:00 pm on Friday, July 10, 2009

It's a sure sign that football season is on its way.  As of a few minutes ago, die-hard fans, and even just casual observers, can now find the UPDATED 2009 Northern Illinois Football roster on-line at See the newest names added to the roster, including some non-scholarship players currently in summer school and working out with the team and a couple of transfers.  In addition, check out the updated weights on the returnees, and see the latest number and position changes. 

Who will be wearing Larry English's number 51?  Which Huskie linebacker made the move from 29 to 53?  Who earned a letter last season? The roster is, of course, constantly changing, but this major change-over - from the spring roster to the preseason listing - is always highly-anticipated. Next week, the player and coaching staff bios will be updated. We'll give you a heads up when that project is completed so be sure to check back when the time comes. 


By Russell Houghtaling | Posted at 9:07 am on Friday, July 10, 2009

The Solheim Cup, the women's golf equivalent of the Ryder Cup, is right around the corner. The tournament is hosted at Rich Harvest Farms, home of the Huskie golf teams, and goes from Aug. 17-23. Today, the Daily Chronicle featured this story on preparations for the event. Several Huskie golfers will be volunteers, getting to rub elbows with some of the best golfers in the world.



By Brett McWethy | Posted at 9:24 pm on Thursday, July 9, 2009

Congratulations to former Northern Illinois men's basketball player Bryson McKenzie (2002-03, 2004-06), who was named to the NBA's Dallas Mavericks' 2009 Summer League Team.  The Summer League, featuring 21 NBA teams, runs from July 10-19 at the COX Pavilion on the campus of UNLV. The Mavs' Summer League schedule and results, averages and league totals can be tracked HERE.  Of course, we'll be doing game-by-game recaps of McKenzie's progress during the month of July. Stay tuned and interested! 


By Joe Summins | Posted at 2:50 pm on Thursday, July 9, 2009

Huskie Fans, tune into Comcast SportsNet Chicago TONIGHT at 5:30 p.m. as head coach Jerry Kill is slated to appear on "Chicago Tribune Live" with host Dave Kaplan. Kill will discuss the upcoming season, what Huskie players to watch this year and take a look at the 2009 schedule. If you can't catch the show tonight, catch the replay on Comcast tomorrow (Friday) at 11 a.m.

TOP MOMENTS OF 2008-09 - No. 1

By Joe Summins | Posted at 2:39 pm on Thursday, July 9, 2009

The wait is finally over! We've seen outstanding team achievements and incredible individual performances during our countdown of the top moments of the 2008-09 Northern Illinois athletic season.  We've now come to No. 1. And while it didn't occur on the field of competition, there was no louder cheer by Huskie fans everywhere.

Just hours after joining his 2008 Northern Illinois teammates on the Huskie Stadium sidelines for NIU's spring football scrimmage at the Yordon Center, where the team was presented with their 2008 Independence Bowl rings, Huskie defensive great Larry English became the highest draft choice in school history when he was selected 16th overall by the San Diego Chargers in the 2009 NFL Draft.  

Larry's selection was one of those moments I'll never forget. All of us in the media relations department were in the office wrapping up our coverage of the 2009 Spring Football Preview when the Charger's took him with their first pick in the draft. We all let out a big cheer and began high-fiving each other. It was a special day Larry and his family and for anyone associated with NIU. 

So there you have it, the Chargers' No. 1 selection of the 2009 NFL Draft fittingly is the No. 1 moment of the 2008-09 NIU athletic season. 


By Russell Houghtaling | Posted at 10:06 am on Thursday, July 9, 2009

It's a big day for us in Huskie Media Relations, because we are wrapping up the 2009 Football media guide. It is an all-office project, so we're in battle mode with finals edits and corrections. We owe you the Top Huskie Moment of 2008-09, and promise it by the end of the day, so keep your eyes on Huskie Happenings!


By Brett McWethy | Posted at 9:28 am on Thursday, July 9, 2009

All football, all the time. had this list, breaking down 2009 Mid-American Conference football "By the Numbers."  The Huskies were one-of five MAC teams that went bowling last year, tying a league record.  Also, Chandler Harnish's 1,528 passing yards marked the eighth-best effort in league history for a freshman.   

TOP MOMENTS OF 2008-09 - No. 2

By Russell Houghtaling | Posted at 3:13 pm on Wednesday, July 8, 2009

I was never one for English classes, so I'm not sure if it's irony or just coincidence that our No. 2 Moment of 2008-09 is the Huskie men's soccer team beating the No. 2 team in the country.

The Huskies were unbeaten through six matches at 4-0-2, while SMU entered the match 5-0-1. The Huskies dominated the match on the stat sheet, laying 12 shots on goal to SMU's two. But neither team found the net through 90 minutes of regulation. Northern Illinois finally broke a 0-0 stalemate 1:52 into the first overtime period, as Luis De La Cerda found Brad Horton in front of an open goal for the win.


By Brett McWethy | Posted at 12:06 pm on Wednesday, July 8, 2009

As promised, the DeKalb Daily Chronicle's John Sahly was asked a plethora of questions, and he has provided the answers.  He covers everything from football games at Soldier Field to attendance at men's basketball games, to incoming track and field recruits.  Click HERE to read it all!  


By Brett McWethy | Posted at 11:08 am on Wednesday, July 8, 2009

We've touched on the upcoming (July 24) Brigham-Novak Gridiron Classic a couple of times on "Huskie Happenings," but today came the official announcement.  Single and foursome slots are still available.  Make sure to gather your team and support the Huskie football program!


By Zach Peters | Posted at 10:18 am on Wednesday, July 8, 2009

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Alex Jones represents the KC Bandits on the J's All-Star squad.  Photo credit: Chris Oberholtz, The Kansas City Star.

NIU baseball's Alex Jones (Kansas City, Kan./Piper) enjoyed a stellar beginning to his Huskie career by having a very productive freshman campaign this past season with a .327 batting average, 35 runs, 55 hits, nine doubles, four triples, three home runs, 33 RBI, and nine steals in 47 games.

Jones has continued his success during summer competition back home in Kansas City's Ban Johnson Baseball League as he was selected to the all-star team in the wooden bat league's 82nd season.  On Monday, the 40th annual Ban Johnson all-star game was played at Kauffman Stadium, home of Major League Baseball's Kansas City Royals.

In the game, Jones' team, the J's, came up short to the B's 3-1, but he was responsible for his team's only run as he led off the bottom of the first inning with a double and scored on an error.  He finished 1-for-2 on the day.

Check out the full game recap from The Kansas City Star.


By Russell Houghtaling | Posted at 9:16 am on Wednesday, July 8, 2009

DeMarcus Grady" src="" alt="DeMarcus Grady" width="450" height="300" />

DeMarcus Grady is trying to improve his gun for the 2009 season... get it... his gun? Like his arm. It's a metaphor.

Our old pal Jerry Burnes (formerly of Northern Star fame) has this article in the Bleacher Report on the off-season development of Huskie quarterbacks Chandler Harnish and DeMarcus Grady.


By Brett McWethy | Posted at 9:00 am on Wednesday, July 8, 2009

As of Tuesday, two new auction items were posted on, highlighted by a fan's opportunity to run out onto the Huskie Stadium field WITH THE TEAM prior to the Sept. 12 opener against Western Illinois.  Also, a private lesson with head women's tennis coach Ryun Ferrell is up for bid.  Polish up that second serve and give yourself a chance!!!     


By Russell Houghtaling | Posted at 3:42 pm on Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Incoming Huskie gymnast Marisa Liptak recently completed a storied senior season at South Brunswick High School in central New Jersey, as chronicled by Jared Shanker of


By Brett McWethy | Posted at 3:11 pm on Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Northern Illinois head men's basketball coach Ricardo Patton and his staff will be on the recruiting trail for much of the month of July, but he will now have someone back in the offices at the Convocation Center to maintain the summer administrative responsibilities.  Patton completed his staff Tuesday with the arrival of Kent Dernbach, who will serve as the program's Director of Basketball Operations.  Dernbach spent the past two seasons in the same role at George Mason.   


By Joe Summins | Posted at 10:46 am on Tuesday, July 7, 2009

When Northern Illinois University hired Jerry Kill as its 20th head football coach, everyone knew NIU was getting a winner.  Kill wasted little time proving it as he led Northern to a bowl game in his first season with the Huskies. After posting a 6-6 record, the Huskies received an invitation to face Louisiana Tech in the 2008 Independence Bowl in Shreveport, La.

After five days of preparation, team events and outings, the Huskies and Bulldogs met at Independence Stadium Sunday, Dec. 28, 2008 in front of a crowd of more than 41,000 fans and a nationally televised audience on ESPN.

Northern Illinois grabbed the momentum early when quarterback Chandler Harnish connected with fullback Kyle Skarb on an eight-yard touchdown completion, capping an 11-play, 69-yard drive to give the Huskies a 7-0 lead. However, the Huskies' lead would be short-lived as Philip Livas returned the ensuing kickoff for 97 yards, tying the game and switching the momentum firmly to the Bulldog sidelines. Louisiana tech took the lead for good on their next possession, when the Bulldogs' Daniel Porter scored a touchdown from 11 yards.

La. Tech added a field goal in the third quarter to open a 17-7 lead. NIU responded with a 20-yard field goal from Mike Salerno to pull the Huskies to within a touchdown, but NIU was unable to tie the game or take the lead and the Bulldogs won 17-10.

You can relive the entire bowl experience at NIU's 2008 Independence Bowl Central.


By Brett McWethy | Posted at 9:46 am on Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The "Huskie Happenings" blog has been a great success, and one we are excited about evolving even more upon the fall sports season beginning in late August.  Now, the NIU Athletics Department will be expanding its social media presence even more, when it joins both Facebook and Twitter.  Be sure to "friend" and "follow" us when that becomes official, hopefully sometime this week!


By Brett McWethy | Posted at 9:41 am on Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The DeKalb Daily Chronicle's John Sahly, the architect of the "Huskie Wire" blog, is expanding his summer mailbox deadline.  Originally, Sahly's answers to your questions were going to run today, but with the high volume of questions he has received, the deadline has been extended to 5 p.m. Tuesday to account for a few last minute questions (and to give Sahly time for his answers!).  The mailbox will now run WEDNEDAY AT NOON on the "Huskie Wire" blog.   


By Brett McWethy | Posted at 9:21 am on Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Student orientation is underway on campus, and the NIU Athletics Department is looking forward to welcoming more members of the student body into the Huskie family!  For those of you on campus this week (orientation runs through Thursday), be sure to stop by the Athletics tables, where you'll be able to pick up posters, schedule cards, etc., to get fired up for the fall season! 


By Brett McWethy | Posted at 9:12 am on Tuesday, July 7, 2009

By now, you've probably already seen the initial video on our new front page media player, in which coach Kill tells his team how to "swallow the frog" en route to a passing touchdown.  Now, for you couch potatoes, you'll be able to see these commercials on your cable television.  The commercials will air on ESPN, TNT, the History Channel, The Learning Channel, Discovery, Comcast SportsNet, the Big Ten Network, and during televised Cubs and White Sox games.  The time slot for the commercials is from 5 p.m.-Midnight.    


By Russell Houghtaling | Posted at 9:05 am on Tuesday, July 7, 2009

More on incoming football freshman Jordan Lynch and his win with team USA from the Southtown Star. I learned something new in this article: Team USA was ranked second before entering the tournament. Second? Right. Then they went and outscored France, Mexico and Canada by a combined score of 174-3.


By Donna Tuner | Posted at 1:17 pm on Monday, July 6, 2009

Anytime a Huskie student-athlete is crowned a Mid-American Conference champion, it's a great moment.  When two Huskies share a title as happened at the 2009 MAC Gymnastics Championships this past March 21 in Muncie, Ind. It's No. 4 on our countdown.

Am I seeing double? Nope just two Huskies winning MAC titles in the same event.

Northern Illinois senior Jennifer Naughton and sophomore Holly Reichard were crowned as the 2009 MAC Co-Champions on the balance beam, marking the first time in NIU gymnastics history that two Huskies shared a MAC event title.  In addition, no Northern Illinois gymnast had won the beam at the league meet since 1998, when Alisha Conaham claimed the honor.

Reichard, who would go on to finish second in the all-around at the MAC meet and be named the conferences Gymnast of the Year, and Naughton, named the leagues Senior Gymnast of the Year, each posted a 9.800 on the balance beam that day.  And the Huskie coaches thought even those scores were low given the quality of each of their routines.  Little did they know that scoring on the beam that day had been tough, and Northern Illinois would finish with not just the co-champions, but the fourth-place finisher (freshman Shonda Clore) and the highest team beam score of the meet.  

Unlike track and field, where it is (usually) immediately apparent who won a race, wrestling, where the match winners hand is raised or basketball, where the scoreboard tells the story, gymnastics is a championship that takes place on four events simultaneously.  Keeping track of scores is difficult, if not impossible, especially with most eyes focused on the team race.  

So until the beam champions were being called up to the podium at the conclusion of the MAC Championships, Naughton and Reichard had no idea that they would share the spot at the top of that podium.  

For Reichard, it was her second MAC title in as many years as she was the league co-champion on the uneven parallel bars as a freshman in 2008.   One day later, both Reichard and Naughton would earn a spot in the NCAA South Central Regional, Reichard in the all-around and Naughton on beam.  


By Brett McWethy | Posted at 10:07 am on Monday, July 6, 2009

Incoming NIU freshman Jordan Lynch was a part of the USA Football's 2009 International Federation of American Football (IFAF) Junior World Championship team on Sunday.  The second-seeded Americans topped Canada, 41-3, in the Gold Medal contest before a crowd of 15,473 fans at Fawcett Stadium.  Read about the USA's impressive run in the three-week event RIGHT HERE.  


By Brett McWethy | Posted at 9:59 am on Monday, July 6, 2009

Larry English, the highest professional draft pick in Northern Illinois athletics history, has been occasionally blogging for since being picked by San Diego with the 16th overall selection in April's NFL Draft.  In his latest entry, read about how English threw out the ceremonial first pitch at Petco Park, how he is becoming acclimated with the defensive schemes in San Diego, and what he'll be doing from home while preparing for Training Camp.  


By Brett McWethy | Posted at 9:31 am on Monday, July 6, 2009

As teased on Huskie Happenings last week,, the official website of the Mid-American Conference, will feature two Northern Illinois football players in its "Getting to Know" summer feature series.  First up: safety David Bryant, who appeared on the website today.  Enjoy.


By Brett McWethy | Posted at 9:28 am on Monday, July 6, 2009

The DeKalb Daily Chronicle's John Sahly, NIU's athletic beat writer, has opened his summer mailbox, and wants to hear from Huskie fans.  As posted on his latest "Huskie Wire" blog, Sahly is fired up about the upcoming football season, the release of what will be a challenging men's basketball schedule, and anything else surrounding NIU athletics.  E-mail him at, or to send in your questions.  He'll have answers later this week -- everything is fair game!  As always, we want to hear from you too!  E-mail us at, or with any questions or concerns.    

Event Calendar
Women's Track
Friday, Jul 1 vs Jamaican Olympic Trials

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