NIU, Hammock agree to extension


Courtesy NIU Athletics

Head Coach Thomas Hammock was welcomed back to NIU during his Jan. 18, 2019 introductory news conference.

By Northern Star Staff

DeKALB — After starting his third season with a 6-3 record, NIU Athletics announced Tuesday that head football coach Thomas Hammock’s contract would be extended through June 2027.

The former NIU running back and alumnus expressed gratitude towards university leadership in an NIU Athletics press release Tuesday, thanking NIU President Lisa Freeman, Athletic Director Sean Frazier and Deputy Athletic Director John Cheney.

“My family and I appreciate the opportunity to be at NIU and to lead this football program and be a part of the university community that has meant so much to us,” Hammock said in an NIU Athletics news release on Tuesday. “Since I got here in 2019, the leadership of President Freeman, Frazier and Cheney has been amazing. This extension is another sign of the confidence they have in me and in our staff as we continue to build and grow this program.”

The contract extension sees the football staff budget expand to $1.3 million in July 2022. Hammock’s average yearly salary over the next five seasons is $580,000.

After a 5-7 season in 2019 and a winless COVID-19 shortened season last year, Hammock has the Huskies currently sitting in first in the Mid-American Conference West Division.

Frazier said that Hammock is helping the program, made up of the second most freshmen in the nation, develop in many ways. Under Hammock, the NIU football team has recorded three terms with a cumulative GPA above 3.0. The program had zero terms above a 3.0 GPA prior, according to NIU Athletics.

“Under Coach Hammock, our program has made tremendous strides forward – competitively, academically and socially,” Frazier said in an NIU Athletics news release Tuesday. “We are seeing the tangible results of that progress on the field this year, and over the past two years, we have seen it in the record-setting team GPA, and the commitment to doing things the right way on and off the field.”

Hammock will lead NIU into the Bronze Stalk Trophy game at 6 p.m. Wednesday night at Huskie Stadium against the Ball State University Cardinals. The game will be broadcast on ESPN2.