NIU Florida natives prep for return home

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NIU Florida natives prep for return home

DeKALB, Ill. -- Northern Illinois football players each receive six tickets for family and friends to attend the Huskies Jan. 1 Orange Bowl date with Florida State.
But for members of NIUs Florida delegation, six is nowhere near enough.
Im going to need at least 30, minimum, senior linebacker Victor Jacques said. But Im shooting for 40.
The demands on running back Akeem Daniels, a junior from the Kissimmee, Fla., are similar and rising.
Ive got 20-plus so far, he said. Everybodys calling. Family, friends, familys friends. Im trying to do my best to get everybody tickets. Im asking other teammates if theyre not using them.
The Huskies roster is dotted with 11 players from the Sunshine State, some who were recruited by in-state schools but opted to migrate 1,000 miles north. As many as eight could start on Jan. 1 against the Seminoles.
I wanted to see something different, Jacques, a redshirt senior with 28 tackles in eight appearances this season, said. Coming here, I saw how it was a great program, had great facilities, was on the rise and it was kind of an easy choice.
Jacques, who was also recruited by Florida International, Central Florida and South Florida, said there were adjustments to make from the balmy and culturally distinct Miami region.
Its (was) a big transition, he said. The people are a little bit different, but for the most part the weather was the biggest thing. I finally got a winter coach and got used to it.
Jacques cant wait to play at his hometown Sun Life Stadium on Jan. 1 against the Seminoles.
Its a complete, absolute dream for me being able to play in front of all my friends and family, he said. Especially (being) my last game, its quite an experience that I will cherish for a long time.
Daniels already had a connection in DeKalb. His older brother, Kiaree, played defensive back at NIU from 2008-10. And Akeem liked the chemistry and closeness among Huskie players.
I thought that was real special, you dont get that everywhere, he said. At the end of the day I had to make the decision, but my brother being here and liking the team bonding, the team chemistry, it made it an easy decision.
Daniels been a dual threat for the Huskies with 432 rushing yards on 65 carries and nine touchdowns. Hes also caught 18 passes for 192 yards and two TDs.
And Daniels, who says he long ago adjusted to DeKalbs cold and legendary winds, has no regrets about coming north.
Three MAC championship (games) the past three years, he said. I like this place.
Other top Floridians on the Huskies include Tommylee Lewis, Riviera Beach, the No. 2 receiver with 43 catches for 478 yards and five touchdowns; linebacker Jamaal Bass, Miramar, the Huskies third-leading tackler (76); cornerback Demetrius Stone, Miami, 73 tackles; and defensive tackle Ken Bishop, Sunrise, 52 tackles.
Northern Illinois coaches started serious preparation for Florida State this week and had at least one day (Monday) to work outdoors at Huskie Stadium before moving practice to the enclosed DeKalb Recreation Center on Tuesday.
Yesterday we started the main part of our game plan and we got some time with the coaches to get some film study done, head coach Rod Carey said. Were still in the middle of what I call a four-day game-plan week. Were treating this like we build up to a normal (game).
The Huskies (12-1) will face a Florida State team (11-2) unlike any theyve faced.
Theyre good, thats an understatement, probably, Carey said. Theyre long, theyre athletic, theyre sound in what they do and well coached. They do all the things you expect an ACC (Atlantic Coast) champion to do.
But NIU counters with plenty of talent and exceptional seniors.
We have a lot of really good players on this team, he said. From Martel Moore to Perez Ashford, Sean Progar, Alan Baxter -- all of our seniors are playing their best football. Thats what makes this team.
If you look through the roster and highlight a senior, thats one of our best players.
The Huskies plan to practice in DeKalb through Thursday, then break for the holiday. Theyll return Christmas night and depart for Florida at 5:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 26.
Northern Illinois will practice daily in the run up to the Orange Bowl, set for a 7:30 p.m. (Central) kickoff on ESPN.

Purdue hires Western Kentucky's Jeff Brohm as new head coach

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USA TODAY

Purdue hires Western Kentucky's Jeff Brohm as new head coach

Purdue has found its next head football coach.

After multiple outlets reported Monday morning that Western Kentucky head coach Jeff Brohm accepted the open job, Purdue tweeted an announcement about an hour later.

Brohm was considered one of the top options for teams looking for a new coach this season. He posted a 30-10 record in three seasons as the head coach of the Hilltoppers, winning back-to-back Conference USA championships. Western Kentucky won double-digit games in each of the last two seasons and reached a bowl game in all three of Brohm's seasons, winning the first two.

The Hilltoppers have been terrific on offense under Brohm. This season they boasted the No. 2 scoring offense in the country, averaging 45.1 points a game, and the No. 7 total offense, averaging 517.4 yards per game. Purdue already owned the top passing offense in the Big Ten this season, but Western Kentucky was the No. 5 passing offense in the nation, averaging 336.8 passing yards a game.

"We were fortunate to meet with many talented coaches from around the country during our search, and Jeff’s name was one that rose to the top early in the process," Purdue athletics director Mike Bobinski said in the announcement. "He is a coach who already has achieved tremendous success and, at the same time, has incredible upside. His reputation and record of accomplishment as an innovative offensive coach and developer of quarterbacks is second to none. That pedigree, combined with his commitment to developing the complete student-athlete and doing so with integrity makes him a perfect fit for Purdue University. I am extremely excited to have Jeff as our head football coach."

Prior to becoming the head coach at Western Kentucky, Brohm spent one season as the offensive coordinator at UAB. He was the Illinois quarterbacks coach in 2010 and 2011 under head coach Ron Zook and the quarterbacks coach at Florida Atlantic during the 2009 season. He spent seven seasons as an assistant at Louisville, where he played from 1989 to 1993 before an seven-year NFL career.

Additionally, former Louisville quarterback Brian Brohm, Jeff's brother, is expected to be the Boilermakers' new offensive coordinator, per a report.

Purdue needed a new coach after firing Darrell Hazell midway through this season. Hazell had practically no success in his three and a half seasons in West Lafayette, winning just nine games and only three Big Ten games.

The Boilers have made just two bowl appearances in the past nine seasons, but the job isn't the least attractive with the amount of resources any Big Ten school can provide, as evidenced by his reported contract.

CSN earns six Emmy Awards

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CSN earns six Emmy Awards

Chicago, IL (December 5, 2016) – CSN Chicago (CSN), the home for the most games and the comprehensive coverage of the Chicago Blackhawks, Bulls, Cubs and White Sox, was the recipient of six Emmy Awards from the Chicago/Midwest Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.  The 58th annual ceremony was held in Chicago on Saturday, Dec. 3.

“We are honored to receive these awards from our peers in the industry, but, more importantly, I’m even prouder of the non-stop dedication of our entire staff for their brilliant performance on a daily basis,” said Phil Bedella, VP/GM of CSN Chicago. 

To date, CSN Chicago has earned a total of 39 Emmy Awards since it launched on October 1, 2004.  Note the following Emmy Award winners for the 2015-16 television season:

1) Category #7-a:  Outstanding Achievement for Sports Programs – Program Feature/Segment

  • An Everlasting Bond:  Pat Gostele, Ryan McGuffey, Executive Producers.

2) Category #7-d:  Outstanding Achievement for Sports Programs – Sporting Event/Game - Live/Unedited Program/Special

  • Chicago Bulls 70’s Night at the United Center on CSN Chicago: Jim Corno, Jr., Executive Producer; Mark Harper, John Walsh, Producers; Tamra Anderson, Todd Benjaminson, Todd Hackl, Kristina Quinn, Line Producers; Neil Funk, Stacey King, Will Perdue, Mark Schanowski, Hosts; Chuck Garfien, Reporter/Producer.

3) Category #19-b:  Outstanding Achievement for Programming Promos (Non-News) Single Spot/Campaign

  • See It. Hear It. Feel It./Chicago Blackhawks:  Justin Schoenrock, Producer; Dan Gutschmidt, Jeremy Murayama, Brandon Riley, Line Producers.

4) Category #21-c:  Outstanding Crafts Achievement for On-Camera Talent - Sports Anchor/Reporter/Play-by-Play

  • Eddie Olczyk - Composite. CSN Chicago

5) Category #23:  Outstanding Crafts Achievement Off Air - Audio

  • Justin Schoenrock, Michael Horn, Dan Gutschmidt - See It. Hear It. Feel It./Chicago Blackhawks

6) Category #26-c:  Outstanding Crafts Achievement Off Air: Editor - Promotions/PSAs/Commercials

  • Justin Schoenrock - See It. Hear It. Feel It./Chicago Blackhawks