NIU’s first SID dies after stroke

By Sean Ostruszka

DeKALB | NIU athletics has lost one of the most influential figures in its history.

Its first sports information director, Owen W. “Bud” Nangle, 87, passed away Monday afternoon in a nursing home in suburban San Diego after suffering a massive stroke Sept. 13.

Most well-known for being the creator of the award-winning NIU Office of Sports Information, Nangle spent 19 years in two tenures as the sports publicist at NIU. The first was as an undergraduate from 1947-49, and then later from 1967-84.

Former head SID Mike Korcek, who remains at NIU as SID emeritus, was Nangle’s successor and a very close friend.

“Bud was a great role model,” Korcek said. “If I had to sit and tell you what Bud taught me, we’d be here until 2010. Any success sports information or I had was based on what Bud taught us.”

Nangle helped orchestrate NIU’s initial affiliation with the Mid-American Conference.

And away from NIU in 1974, Nangle authored the CoSIDA Code of Ethics, which is the standard for the profession to this day.

“This certainly is a sad day for our institution,” said NIU Athletics Director Jim Phillips. “We have lost a true Northern Illinois original, and one of our Division I founding fathers.”

Over the years, Nangle has been installed into five Halls of Fame — the media wing of the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame (1975), the NIU Athletics Hall of Fame (1991), the CoSIDA Hall of Fame (1993), The Northern Star Alumni Hall of Fame “as a friend to the Star” (2002) and the Palatine High School Athletics Hall of Fame (2003).

In addition, he was the recipient of the Scoop Hudgins Lifetime Sports Information Directors Award (1997) and the Jim Murray Outstanding Sportswriter Award (2001) by the All-America Football Foundation.

“He knew everybody,” Korcek said. “When your obituary is two-thirds of a page in the Chicago Sun-Times, you’re a big-timer. I just hope people don’t forget.”

A memorial service will be held in St. Francis of Assisi Church in Vista, Calif. Interment will take place at a later date at Hillside Cemetery in his hometown of Palatine.

Nangle is survived by his wife, Joyce.

Sean Ostruszka is the Sports Editor for the Northern Star.