In 2002, the Northern Illinois Huskies football team won the Mid-American Conference (MAC) championship with a 17-6 victory over Bowling Green State University in the MAC Championship Game. The win gave the Huskies their first conference title since 1983. As conference champions, the Huskies earned a berth in the Silicon Valley Football Classic, a post-season bowl game played in San ...
In 2014, the Northern Illinois University men’s soccer team won the Mid-American Conference (MAC) championship. The team, led by head coach Eric Luzzi, finished the regular season with a 7-6-5 record, which was good enough for a fourth-place finish in the MAC standings. The Huskies began their postseason run with a 3-1 victory over the Bowling Green State University Falcons ...
Thomas Hammock was named the head coach of the Northern Illinois Huskies football team in January 2019. Hammock, a former running back for the Huskies, returned to his alma mater after spending several years coaching in the National Football League (NFL). In his first season as head coach, Hammock led the Huskies to a 5-7 record, which included wins over ...
History of the Huskies
The Northern Illinois Huskies are one of the most storied sports teams in NCAA history. Since their inception in 1899, the Huskies have been a force to be reckoned with on the field and court. From football to basketball, baseball to track & field, and even golf – Northern Illinois has consistently delivered excellence at every level of competition.
Throughout its illustrious history, NIU has won numerous championships across various sports, including seven Mid-American Conference titles (MAC) for Football since 1983 and a pair of MAC tournament crowns for Basketball in 1996 and 2004. The school’s proudest achievements include an appearance at Super Bowl XXXI, where they lost against Green Bay Packers 35-21; two National Invitational Tournament appearances; four College World Series trips; five NCAA Women's Outdoor Track & Field Championships from 1984–1988, plus three more individual titles since then; nine NCAA Division I Men's Soccer Tournament appearances between 1975–1995 that included six Sweet Sixteen runs along with two Elite Eight showings too!
In addition, NIU boasts an impressive list of alumni who have gone on to achieve great success both athletically and professionally, such as NFL Hall Of Fame member Steve McMichael who was inducted into Canton back in 2009 after winning three Super Bowl rings during his time playing alongside Mike Singletary with Chicago Bears during 1985 season alone! Other notable names include former NBA player Carlos Rogers (Los Angeles Lakers), Olympic gold medalist Shelly Steely (track & field), plus current Major League Baseball players Kyle Schwarber (Cubs) and Joe Nathan (Rangers), among many others, all hailing from this prestigious university located DeKalb County just outside the city limits Chicago itself - proving once again why it truly embodies spirit “Huskie Pride” each every day they step onto any type athletic platform no matter what kind game may be involved!
College Sports Established
Northern Illinois University
1975 - Present / NCAA Division I
1975 - 1986, 1998 - Present / MAC Conference
1994 - 1997 / Midwestern Collegiate Conference
1990 - 1994 / Mid-Continent Conference
1987 - 1990 / Independent
1973 - 1975 / Independent
1971 - 1973 / Midwestern Conference
Huskies - The Northern Illinois Huskies have been a powerhouse in college sports for decades. But where did the name "Huskies" come from? It's an exciting story that goes back to the early 20th century.
In 1925, when Northern Illinois University was still known as Normal College, they changed their mascot from the regular “Teachers” to something more fitting of their athletic teams. After much debate and deliberation, they settled on “Huskies” – a reference to sled dogs used by Alaskan gold miners during the Klondike Gold Rush of 1897-1899. The husky breed is strong and resilient – qualities that NIU wanted its athletes and teams to embody! As such, it made perfect sense for them to adopt this nickname at that time in history when gold mining was all over newspapers and magazines around America (and even some parts of Europe).
Fast forward almost 100 years later: today, you can find Huskie pride everywhere on campus - whether it be students wearing team apparel or attending games with friends - making sure everyone knows who we are cheering for! From our humble beginnings as Normal College until now, one thing has always remained true: Go Huskies!!
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