FRAZIER’S CORNER: Catching Up with the Huskies

FRAZIER’S CORNER: Catching Up with the Huskies

Hello Huskies!
 
Fall is in the air as we approach the halfway point of the 2021 football regular season and the start of the 2021-22 Huskie basketball campaigns!  September was a whirlwind that led right into last weekend’s Homecoming celebration, and I am just now catching my breath – and catching up with you.
 
Thanks to everyone who has been in the stands for one, two or all three of our home football games so far this year. Outside of a little lightning (!) issue last weekend (wow, was that a day!), we have enjoyed great weather, and I’ve loved seeing the tailgaters out in force and The Yard, including the HAF Tent, once again hopping with Huskie pride and passion!
 
Of course, I have really loved seeing the three wins NIU has put on the board so far this season, and the effort that our young team has poured into every practice and game! The toughness, physicality and depth that Coach Hammock has emphasized is apparent, and I love it! NIU’s 3-2 record is its best start since 2017, and this team has only started to realize its potential. 
 
Unfortunately, like many venues throughout the country, we experienced some adversity with our game operations during the home opener versus Wyoming, due primarily to staffing and supply shortages. I have been pleased with the progress we have made during the last two games to overcome those issues, and to improve the overall game day experience whether in The Yard, at the gates, at the concession stands or in the seating sections of Huskie Stadium.
 

One significant upgrade was completed just last week, thanks to a collaborative effort by a donor, NIU Athletics, the NIU Division of Information and the City of DeKalb. Prior to the Eastern Michigan game, nine new outdoor Wi-Fi access points were installed at Huskie Stadium, providing signal as far west as the NIU Soccer/Track & Field Complex and as far east as the Barsema Alumni & Visitors Center. On game days, fans should select Go_Huskies as their Wi-Fi network, and you will now be able to surf the internet, follow the live stats and the radio broadcast on the NIU Huskies app and post to your social media accounts from your seats at Huskie Stadium. 
 
The next chance to log on at Huskie Stadium is coming up on Saturday, October 16 when NIU welcomes Bowling Green to DeKalb. We will celebrate the 10th anniversary of the 2011 football team that broke through to claim NIU’s first MAC football championship in 28 seasons. Celebrating our championship history is important, and I’m excited to welcome these Huskies back to DeKalb.
 
While the football team will be in Toledo this weekend, we’d love to see you in DeKalb on Saturday (Oct. 9) as the red hot NIU men’s soccer team takes on No. 4 ranked West Virginia in one of the most highly anticipated home matches in years.
 

The Huskies have won eight straight matches, we have the top scoring offense in the country, the leading scorer in the country AND the national leader in shutouts! I know Coach Swan and the guys would love to see the stands full at the Soccer/Track & Field Complex. Admission is free and the match gets underway at 3 p.m.
 
2021 Basketball Open Practice GraphicThen on Sunday (October 10), come out to the NIU Convocation Center to check out the 2021-22 NIU men’s and women’s basketball teams at the Open Practice. Meet the teams, watch practice, get autographs and if you haven’t done so already, purchase your season tickets. The event starts at Noon and is absolutely free to attend. Get the details on the basketball pages of NIUHuskies.com.
 
Basketball season gets underway in October this year with exhibition games on October 29th and 30th. The women tip off versus Benedictine on Friday night, before the debut of the Rashon Burno-led Huskies on Saturday versus Saint Francis (Ill.). Lisa Carlsen‘s team returns 10 letterwinners and all five  starters from the team that posted a 12-12 record and earned the seventh seed in the MAC Tournament a year ago. This year’s roster includes nine upperclassmen, and these ladies are sure to continue that fast-paced, quick-shooting offensive style that has become a trademark of Lisa’s NIU teams.
 
New men’s head coach Burno has brought in four transfers and three freshmen to refresh the Huskie roster as his team begins a new era in 2021-22. It’s always exciting to feel the energy that a new coaching staff brings as he starts to mold his program. I hope you will consider supporting both of these programs by becoming a basketball season ticket member.
 
The rest of our fall sports teams are in the heart of their seasons. Women’s soccer has already recorded its most wins since 2017 with home games on each of the next two Sundays as they look to finish strong, and after a stretch of road matches over the next two weeks, volleyball plays seven of its last nine matches in Victor E. Court. Head to NIUHuskies.com or download the free NIU Huskies app to check out those schedules! Cross country wraps up its 2021 schedule at the end of this month at the MAC Championships in Ypsilanti, Michigan.
 
Also mark your calendars for Huskies Invest, our annual fall fundraising initiative that is so important to continuing the success of all our student-athletes and sports programs. This year’s Huskies Invest: A Week of Giving will be held October 25-29. As we continue to climb out of the hole caused by the loss of revenue over the past year due to COVID-19, events like Huskies Invest and the Victor E. Bash are more important than ever. Your support is greatly needed, but even more greatly appreciated.
 
As always, thanks for reading, have a great October and hope to see you at Huskie Stadium or the NIU Convocation Center soon!
 
Go Huskies!
 sean frazier signature
 

Sean T. Frazier

Associate Vice-President and Director of Athletics

 

 

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