John Cheney, who heads Northern Illinois University's facility management and event operations unit as the Huskies' Senior Associate Athletic Director of Facilities and Event Operations, came to NIU on Jan. 6, 2014.
At NIU, Cheney is part of the senior staff and is responsible for the strategic planning, maintenance and management of all the Huskies' athletic facilities and capital projects. Additionally, he provides sport administration oversight of the women’s gymnastics and baseball programs. He is responsible for all event management of gameday and non-athletic event operations along with leading the athletic facilities and operations staff.
From November of 2014 to June of 2015, Cheney also served NIU as the Interim Associate Vice President for Facilities Management and Campus Services. The interim responsibilities included serving on President Baker’s Cabinet, oversight of all campus facility related departments such as the Physical Plant, Building Services, Grounds and Architect and Engineering Services, and supervision of campus services areas such as Materials Management, Transportation, Parking Services and Environmental Health and Safety.
Cheney arrived at NIU from Oregon State University, where he spent 12 years in OSU's event management office. After earning his master's degree at Oregon State in 2001, he was hired on as an event manager. From there, Cheney was promoted to interim Director of Operations in 2002 and then named the permanent director in 2003. He was elevated to Assistant Athletic Director for Facilities and Operations in 2005 before moving up once more to his most recent position of Associate Athletic Director - Facilities and Operations in 2010.
During his time at OSU, Cheney oversaw multiple NCAA Regional and Super Regional Baseball Championships, NCAA Regional and Super Regional Softball Championships, NCAA West Regional Gymnastics Championships and the 2006 NCAA Gymnastics National Championships. In addition, he played a major role in expansions to Reser Stadium in 2005 and 2007, while being involved in over $175 million in capital improvements during his tenure.
Cheney was a student athletic trainer at Creighton University (1993-97) and a post-graduate intern athletic trainer in 1998. He earned a bachelor's degree from Creighton in 1997 before heading to OSU, where he served as a graduate assistant athletic trainer.
He is married to the former Anne Brooksby, who was a three-year letterwinner on the Oregon State women's golf team. They have three daughters, Cailey, Allie, and Maggie, and a son, Gavin.