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May 14, 2013

NIU begins national search for athletics director

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Goal to have AD in place at start of fall sports season

DeKalb, Ill. — Northern Illinois University today announced a national search for the position of associate vice president and director of athletics.

A search firm will be utilized to expedite the search process, which is expected to attract high-caliber candidates from across the country.

“After extensive consultation with President-Designate Baker and conversations with NCAA and BCS leaders, we’ve become convinced that it is time to launch a national search for a leader for our intercollegiate athletics program,” said President John G. Peters. “Northern Illinois University enjoys a great reputation nationally.”

While the search process is getting underway, Doug Baker—who is to officially begin his tenure as NIU president July 1—will oversee the process and ultimately make the selection for this important position.

“The next athletics director needs to be someone who continues to build upon this foundation of athletics and academic success and take it to the next level as we grow the NIU brand and grow our fan base,” said Baker. “The pieces are in place—NIU has a strong donor base, excellent facilities, outstanding resources for student academic success and a tradition of excellence in competition and in the classroom. I believe this is one of the best AD jobs in the country.”

Northern Illinois has had much recent success in competition and in the classroom, and with recently and soon-to-be-completed facility enhancements, the university’s athletics department is poised to build upon its successes.

NIU football capped a historic season with its second consecutive Mid-American Conference championship to earn the first Bowl Championship Series bowl appearance in school and MAC history. After playing Florida State in the Discover Orange Bowl in Miami Gardens, Fla. on Jan. 1, the Huskies were ranked No. 22 and No. 24 in the Associated Press and USA Today Coaches’ final polls, respectively. The Northern Illinois volleyball, men’s soccer, softball and men’s tennis teams all played for MAC titles this year, and in 2011-12, NIU won four Mid-American Conference championships in men’s soccer, volleyball, football and men’s tennis.

For seven straight years, all of NIU’s sports programs have exceeded the academic standards measured by the National Collegiate Athletic Association's Academic Progress Rate (APR). Huskie student-athletes have been named finalists for the Walter Byers Award and NCAA Woman of the Year honors in the past two years, have earned two National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete Awards and two NCAA Postgraduate Scholarships.

The soon-to-be-completed Kenneth & Ellen Chessick Practice Center – an 87,000 square-foot indoor practice facility connected to the Jeffrey and Kimberly Yordon Center - is a major reason NIU’s Huskie Stadium was selected as the site of the Illinois High School Association state football finals in odd-numbered years from 2013 through 2021.

Northern Illinois University is one of only two public universities in Illinois that compete at the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s highest level, Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS). The Huskies’ 17 sports programs made up of more than 400 student-athletes compete in the 12-member Mid-American Conference.

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Media Contact: Paul Palian, NIU Media & Public Relations
Phone: 815-753-1681
Email: ppalian@niu.edu