Huskie Chi-Town Showdown gives NIU a 'neat experience'


Huskie Chi-Town Showdown gives NIU a 'neat experience'

There's never been a football game played at U.S. Cellular Field. That will change in 2016.

Northern Illinois and Toledo will square off in the "Huskie Chi-Town Showdown," a culmination of both the MAC wanting to showcase its premier teams, as well as a longstanding relationship between NIU and the Chicago White Sox.

"You're going to come (to U.S. Cellular Field) and see an unbelievable brand of football with a great opponent," NIU athletic director Sean Frazier said. "This is going to be a hell of a game."

When Northern Illinois head coach Rod Carey was first approached about potentially playing a game in U.S. Cellular Field, only one opponent made sense.

"I said, 'Toledo's the only one you're ever going to want to do that with, because they're a class organization. Those games are down-to-the-last-possession games every year."

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The Rockets and Huskies have been models of success in the MAC. Toledo has put together six straight winning seasons, including last year's 10-win campaign that had them ranked as high as No. 19 in the AP poll. Northern Illinois has represented the West in the MAC championship game each of the last seven seasons.

But the game wouldn't have been possible without the cooperation and enthusiasm displayed by the hosts.

The White Sox and NIU have had a longstanding relationship, most notably when the White Sox wore NIU hats during spring training following an on-campus shooting that left five dead in DeKalb.

"They reached out to us back when the university was going through a tough time," Carey said. "They were the first organization, and that partnership has continued. Now this has taken it to a new level. It is historic. It's great to have football here and in this facility. I think it's going to be a great atmosphere."

DePaul extends contract of women's basketball head coach Doug Bruno through 2023-24


DePaul extends contract of women's basketball head coach Doug Bruno through 2023-24

One of the icons of DePaul athletics is sticking around.

Monday, DePaul extended the contract of women's basketball head coach Doug Bruno through the 2023-24 season. Bruno just wrapped up his 32nd season as head coach of his alma mater, leading DePaul to its 16th consecutive NCAA Tournament.

While the Blue Demons were eliminated in the Round of 32 this March, Bruno has led the program to the Sweet 16 three of the last eight seasons.

“I am so thankful to be working at a great institution like DePaul,” Bruno said in a press release. “I never would have been here without coach Ray Meyer who gave me a basketball scholarship, Frank McGrath and Gene Sullivan who hired me in the 1970s."

Behind Bruno, DePaul went 27-8 in 2017-18, winning its fifth-straight Big East regular-season title. The Blue Demons also won their third Big East Tournament title in five years, defeating rival Marquette 98-63. Bruno also picked up his 700th career victory in February, defeating conference-foe Butler 86-68.

“I’ve been fortunate to have great assistant coaches through all the years,” he said. “My current staff is absolutely one of the best in the country.

"Most important, the reason you succeed is the players. I’ve been blessed to have tremendous student-athletes help build the DePaul women’s basketball legacy.

“I am excited about this contract extension because we still have work to do. As proud as we are of everything we have achieved, our expectation through the length of this extension is to take the Blue Demons to even higher places.”


Loyola rewards Porter Moser with multi-year contract extension


Loyola rewards Porter Moser with multi-year contract extension

Loyola is rewarding Porter Moser for his basketball team's success this season.

Loyola and Moser have agreed to a multi-year contract extension, the team announced Wednesday. The deal is through the 2025-26 season.

"We are excited to be able to announce a new contract for Porter that will keep him at Loyola a long time," Loyola Director of Athletics Steve Watson said. "He is the perfect fit for Loyola and operates his program the right way, with student-athletes who achieve excellence on the court and in the classroom and are also excellent representatives of the institution.

"We are fortunate to work at a university like Loyola, that values and has made a commitment to athletics. It is nice to reward Porter not just for an outstanding season, but also for the job he has done during his time here."

That's a well-deserved extension for a head coach who led the Ramblers to a NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1985.

As the 11th seed, Loyola exceeded all expectations, shocking the world with a Final Four appearance. The Ramblers took down No. 6 Miami, No. 3 Tennessee, No. 7 Nevada, and No. 9 Kansas State before losing to No. 3 Michigan, who would go on to lose to No. 1 Villanova in the championship game.

Loyola finished the regular season with a 28-5 record and a MVC Championship.

In seven seasons, Moser has a 121-111 record with the Ramblers, though three of his last four have been winning seasons.