Big Ten

Fitzgerald, Shaw headline PCA football event


Fitzgerald, Shaw headline PCA football event

As the NFL Draft comes to town this week, representatives from the NFL front office, Chicago Bears and the college coaching ranks will gather on Tuesday, April 28th for a conversation around all things football, as part of the event “Character and Football”, presented by the Chicago chapter of the national nonprofit organization Positive Coaching Alliance. PCA is committed to developing Better Athletes, Better People through youth and high school sports.

Stanford University Football Coach David Shaw, who will be a part of the NFL Network’s Draft coverage, Northwestern University Football Coach Pat Fitzgerald, Chicago Bears Director of Player Development Jerry Butler, NFL VP of Player Engagement and Education Deana Garner and NFL Agent Mike McCartney will participate in a roundtable discussion exploring this year’s draft prospects, character in the NFL, college recruiting, youth football trends and other topics in football. Dave Revsine of the Big Ten Network will moderate the discussion.

The event will take place at Wieboldt Hall, Room 147, on Northwestern’s downtown campus (340 E. Superior Street. There is a VIP meet and greet with the panelists at 5:15pm, with the event starting at 6:15pm. Tickets ($25 for general admission, $75 for VIP) are still available for this event.

“NFL Draft week will be an exciting time for the city of Chicago and the sports community here,” said PCA-Chicago Chapter Executive Director Jason Sacks. “PCA wants to use this opportunity to bring together some experts in the football community to talk about important topics at every level of the game, from the NFL down to youth sports. We are looking forward to the insight provided by some of the top minds in professional and college football.”

PCA-Chicago is currently partnered with over 90 schools and youth sports organizations in the area, in which they present live workshops and online courses for their coaches, parents and student-athletes. Workshop and course content, companion books by PCA Founder and CEO Jim Thompson and follow-up e-communications all contain research-based sport psychology and educational psychology, plus tips and advice from elite coaches, athletes and sports and business leaders on a National Advisory Board that also includes PCA’s National Spokesperson, former Bulls Head Coach Phil Jackson.

About Positive Coaching Alliance

Since its founding within the Stanford University Athletic Department in 1998, Positive Coaching Alliance has helped develop “Better Athletes, Better People” primarily through live group workshopsonline courses and books by PCA Founder Jim Thompson for youth and high school sports coaches, parents, student-athletes and school/organizational leaders. In partnership with nearly 2,000 schools and youth sports organizations nationwide, PCA has conducted more than 13,000 live group workshops and impacted more than 6 million youth.

PCA workshops and courses strive to transform high school and youth sports into a Development ZoneTM where the goal is to develop Better Athletes, Better People and the following become the prevailing models in youth and high school sports:

  • The Double-Goal Coach®, who strives to win while also pursuing the more important goal of teaching life lessons through sports
  • The Second-Goal Parent®, who concentrates on life lessons, while letting coaches and athletes focus on competing
  • The Triple-Impact Competitor®, who strives to impact sport on three levels by improving oneself, teammates and the game as a whole.

PCA gains support from a National Advisory Board, including 11-time NBA Champion Coach Phil Jackson and other top coaches, athletes, organization leaders and academics.

Northwestern running back Jeremy Larkin diagnosed with cervical stenosis, will retire immediately


Northwestern running back Jeremy Larkin diagnosed with cervical stenosis, will retire immediately

Tough news out of Evanston this morning: Northwestern announced that running back Jeremy Larkin will retire immediately after being diagnosed with cervical stenosis.

Cervical stenois is the narrowing of the spinal canal in one's neck, according to Mayo Clinic. Larkin's condition is thankfully not life-threatening, though it does prevent him from continuing to participate in the game of football. 

"Football has been a lifelong passion and it has been a process to reconcile the fact I won't be on that field again, given I've played this game since I was five years old," Larkin said.

"I'm extremely appreciative of the Northwestern sports medicine and athletic training staffs for uncovering this condition, and for my coaches and the medical staff for always putting my health first.

"I came to this University to engage at the absolute highest level on the field and in the classroom, and I'm grateful for the opportunity to continue one of those while supporting my teammates from the sideline." 

Head Coach Pat Fitzgerald called the news "heartbreaking."

"This is heartbreaking because I see every day how much Jeremy loves the game, loves his teammates, and loves to compete," Fitzgerald said in a statement. "But this is the absolute best possible outcome for him.

"The discovery of this condition allowed Jeremy and his family to make an informed decision for his long-term health and well-being. For those of us who have known Jeremy Larkin since his high school days, his future is exceptionally bright. I can't wait to see the impact he makes in our world."

Larkin is a sophomore from Cincinnati. He finishes his Northwestern career with 156 carries for 849 yards and 10 rushing touchdowns.

Former Illini champion Kevin Anderson upsets Roger Federer in Wimbledon quarterfinal


Former Illini champion Kevin Anderson upsets Roger Federer in Wimbledon quarterfinal

Former University of Illinois tennis star Kevin Anderson completed a marathon upset against an all-time great on the highest stage of professional tennis.

Anderson came back from two sets down to beat Roger Federer in Wimbledon’s quarterfinals 2-6, 6-7, 7-6, 6-4, 13-11 on Wednesday morning. He will play in the semifinals of the tournament for the first time in his career.

As a native of South Africa, Anderson played three seasons with the Fighting Illini and won the NCAA doubles championship during the 2005-06 season as a sophomore. The 32-year-old was a three-time All-American in singles at Illinois.

Now, as the eighth ranked singles player on the ATP World Tour, Anderson is a force to be reckoned with at the professional level. He made it all the way to the US Open final in 2017.

The former Illini star will look to keep his recent success going when he represents Illinois in the semifinals of Wimbledon this Friday.