July 21, 2009
DeKALB, Ill. - Northern Illinois and Kansas will play a home-and-home football series in 2011 and 2012, officials from both schools announced Tuesday. The Huskies will travel to Lawrence, Kan. to play the Jayhawks on Sept. 10, 2011, while KU will visit Huskie Stadium on Sept. 22, 2012.
"Getting a home-and-home series with a BCS conference opponent has been a priority since I came to NIU a year ago," said NIU Associate Vice President and Director of Athletics Jeff Compher. "We know what it means to our fan base to have Kansas come to DeKalb, and this series is something that has been in the works for several months.
"We appreciate the willingness of [Kansas AD] Lew Perkins and his staff to work with us on these games. It's always a challenge, knowing that we have to schedule our non-conference opponents many years out, but this is a scheduling philosophy (home and home series) that we want to continue over time."
Northern Illinois Head Coach Jerry Kill is a native of Cheyney, Kan. who attended Southwestern College in Winfield, spent seven total seasons on the coaching staff at Pittsburg State (1985-87, 1990-93) and was the head coach at Emporia State in 1999 and 2000. In 15 years as a head coach at the FBS, FCS and Division II, Kill has never faced his home state school.
"First of all, the credit goes to Jeff Compher for getting this done," Kill said. "Bringing a team like Kansas to DeKalb for a home-and-home series is huge for our program and great for our fans. For me and the guys on our staff, not only do we get to play them here at Huskie Stadium, but when we go to Kansas, we get to go `home' where we were born and raised, where many of us coached before and have a lot of friends and family, so that is a neat aspect of this deal."
In addition to Kill, six members of his staff have played and/or coached in Kansas.
The only previous meeting between Northern Illinois and Kansas came on Sept. 3, 1983 with NIU claiming a 37-34 win in Lawrence to kick off its 1983 MAC Championship and California Bowl season.
The last time Northern Illinois played host to a team from a BCS automatic qualifying league was in 2003 when both Maryland and Iowa State came to Huskie Stadium.
-- NIU --
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