Athletic department selects new motto for athletics

By Eddie Garcia

DeKALB — Athletic director Sean Frazier announced via Twitter that there will be a new motto in the 2017 year for NIU. The new slogan, “Hard work pays off. Period.” is the third motto that has been created under Frazier’s tutelage.

The idea of the motto was to encapsulate the hard work of the student athletes, coaches and administrative staff throughout the rigorous sporting seasons, Frazier said.

Frazier began creating mottos in 2014 to help remind the athletic department of their committed engagement with the school.

The motto changes the first of every calendar year and represents a renewed sense of purpose, understanding and commitment in the athletic department. Frazier said the theme of the motto comes from indirect feedback from supporters, coaches’ meetings and student-athlete performances during the year.

“It all comes down to the fact that if you are engaged in hard work, positive outcomes will happen,” Frazier said. “That’s why you [have] the motto ‘Hard work pays off,’ and the explanation of ‘Period,’ meaning [hard work] will pay off, and that is all you need.”

Frazier believes this year’s motto demonstrates the success of NIU’s academic and athletic programs, and it takes hard work to accomplish great things. He said the motto is a wonderful concept and is something student-athletes, coaches and the entire athletic staff are beginning to embrace.

Wrestling Head Coach Ryan Ludwig said the motto shows the need to approach everything with the mindset that “nothing comes easy,” and “everything is earned.”

“I think that is a great motto for every student-athlete to live by, period, regardless of where they are at,” Ludwig said. “I take a lot of pride in that at NIU because our school is kind of a hard hat, lunch pail type of place, [and] we like to go to work every day and outwork the competition.”

The motto was put together by Frazier’s Chief of Staff Debra Boughton, along with the collaborative efforts from the athletic administrative department and is geared towards athletics as it can only be seen in areas such as the basketball locker room area, the staff entrance to the administrative office and on the walls of the Chessick Practice Center workout facility, Frazier said.

The motto may not be seen by the public as it will not be advertised on any clothing or by any brand.

Frazier said the motto is something personal as it is meant to motivate the student-athletes and athletic staff.

Lisa Carlsen, women’s basketball Head Coach said it is important to work hard enough to elevate yourself professionally as the motto makes a lot of sense for a place like NIU.

In 2016, the Huskies showed that hard work does pay off as NIU led the Mid-American Conference with a 3.1 overall student-athlete GPA.

The Huskies also displayed their hard work in action as the volleyball team recorded their first MAC Championship title since 2001; the NIU cross-country team recorded the best finish in school history as they took second place at the 2016 MAC Championship; and the women’s soccer team completed multiple upset victories as they advanced to the MAC Championship game for the first time since 2006.

“Hard work pays off. Period.” is a simple motto that may encourage NIU athletes to push themselves harder than ever throughout 2017.