Huskie fans celebrate team’s homecoming


Senior wide receiver Martel Moore (1) dives and scores during Tuesday’s Orange Bowl game against FSU.

By Joe Palmer

“It was a great experience. We gave it our all and our fans were incredible.”

That’s what junior quarterback Jordan Lynch had to say to all the NIU students, alumni, professors and DeKalb residents who lined up in the cold to welcome the Huskies home from the Orange Bowl on Wednesday at the Convocation Center.

The four buses carrying the MAC Champs were escorted into town by members of the DeKalb Police and Fire Departments and were met with compassion and support from more than 80 screaming Huskie fans who braved the cold to meet the team.

“The game last night made me really proud to be a Huskie,” said Matthew Streb, NIU faculty athletics representative. “I’m proud of this team when they’re on the field, but I’m even more proud of them in the classroom.”

Streb’s comments on the academic successes of NIU’s football team mirrored those of DeKalb resident and NIU alumna Kathy Jossendale, who said the academic aspect of college athletics is the key factor in success.

“Our academic record as a football team speaks to the quality of our program,” Jossendale said. “I’m grateful for the glory our team brings in the game and in the classrooms.”

Rod Carey, NIU’s newly minted head football coach, said the team played well and appreciated the support of NIU fans everywhere.

“We played the game to win,” Carey said. “Our fan support was out of this world at that game and even now.”

Austin Quick, NIU alumnus and former SA Senate speaker, said the game showed what NIU was made of as a university.

“We were able to reach this top tier bowl game with less resources than Florida State, a fraction of their athletic budget and a smaller fan base and yet we still showed up in droves for the game,” Quick said. “We showed the world what a scrappy school like NIU can do when given the chance. Thank you Jordan and the guys for making more students and alums proud to be Huskies.”