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Monday Diesel Fuel: Coach Kill is a ladies man

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It's been a week since feeding Diesel and he's hungry.


Mini_n_2_mediumCoach Kill will host a football 101 Women's Clinic later this month.  I'm really a fan of this first paragraph:

DeKALB - Think a quarterback is what you get when you overpay by 25 cents? Ever wonder why corners play all over the field? And why does the safety keep hitting people so hard? That doesn't seem safe.

The program will feature wine and appetizers before a film study with Kill, who will break down the different positions, along with an in-depth discussion on offense, defense and special teams. Attendees will also get on-the-field training from the second-year Huskie head coach, including position drills, and red zone training.

This is the first time I can ever remember NIU ever doing this type of thing.  I'm excited because this is only good PR and what midwestern soccer mom can resist Coach Kill's southern charm?  That's right NONE.  Wine and appetizers is exactly what you need before a good long day of position drills in the 90 degree weather.  Red zone training?  Sounds like somebody's still looking for a threat in short yardage situations...

Mini_n_2_mediumNIU Hall of Fame quarterback Don Fortunato passes away at 81 (Daily Chronicle). My prayers go out to his friends and family.

A Chicago Taft High School product, Fortunato filled the bill for coach George "Chick" Evans’ Huskie pro formation attack in the late 1940s. As a senior, the 5-foot-11, 195-pound Fortunato led NIU in passing (66-of-164 attempts for 1,214 yards and five touchdowns), averaging 18.4 yards a pass, and finishing No. 4 among College Division passers in 1948.

"After every practice, `Chick' had the wide receivers and backs just run deep patterns," Heimerdinger added. "`Fortch' would throw these bombs. Missiles. They came down like shells with the point (of the ball) first. Sometimes they hurt. He was so strong, so solid that (NIU head track and field coach) Carl (Appell) had him throwing the javelin in track his senior year."

"One year we played a preseason game against the Aurora Clippers (semi-pro) team. When we got to the field, everybody was asking, 'Where’s Fortunato?’ ‘Which one is Fortunato?’ He was the show. Everyone on the team looked up to him. If there was one thing I learned that year from him it was the leadership at that [QB] position," said Heimerdinger, who eventually earned First-Team Associated Press Little-All-America honors in 1951. "‘Fortch’ displayed a lot of confidence."

Honored on the 1940s All-Decade Team during the Northern Illinois grid Centennial celebration in 1999, Fortunato was enshrined into the NIU Athletics Hall of Fame in 1988 and the Italian American Sports Hall of Fame in 1981. A three-season Huskie letterman (1946-48),

Mini_n_2_mediumFormer Huskie WR Justin McCareins talks to the Naperville Sun about the time he spent playing with the late Steve McNair from 2001-03 on the Titans:

"It turns out he was probably one of the most down-to-earth and approachable superstars (out) there," McCareins said. "It sounds like bull (because) of the tragedy of (his) life being taken. He was honestly one of the nicest players that I've ever played with. He really put a young person (who was) feeling the stress of the league (at) ease."

Mini_n_2_mediumJordan Lynch gives his exit interview to MaxPreps after leading Team USA to the gold in the Junior World Championships.  The ST Star had a nice write up too.

"I played safety, I think, in eighth grade," said Lynch, who arrived at Mount Carmel as a linebacker and running back until he switched to quarterback his freshman year. "It was fun, though. Just moving around, flying around, hitting people, not thinking too much."

At Northern Illinois, a Mid-American Conference school, Lynch is expected to compete for a spot at quarterback, although now Huskies head coach Jerry Kill will be aware of Lynch’s football versatility.

"I talked to Coach Kill, and he said he was going to give me first shot at quarterback," Lynch said. "If that doesn’t work out, then probably safety or something."

Mini_n_2_mediumPurdue dismissed ex-Huskie DT Kris Cooke from their team due to repeated violations of team rules.  It's a shame he couldn't face his old team this upcoming season.  Hopefully he gets everything straightened out.

Mini_n_2_mediumBolts from the Blue talks about the SD Chargers rookie signing situation regarding Larry English.

Mini_n_2_mediumRecent NIU commit CB Jeffery Garrett shares why he decided on the Huskies:

"I like the coaches, I like the city, I like all the facilities, and it was a good place," said Garrett, who expects to play cornerback and might have a role in the return game. "I bonded with the coaches real well."

Mini_n_2_mediumFlorida safety E.J. Henderson announces his top 3 schools $ (Hint: NIU isnt one of them).  We've also made a recent offer to OT Tyler Loos out of Sterling, IL

Mini_n_2_mediumFormer NIU Football Player/Wrestler Zak Jensen will be participating in the upcoming Ultimate Fighter, a reality series in which 16 MMA fighters compete to win a contract with the UFC.  The show will debut September 16th on Spike TV.


Mini_n_2_mediumKent Dernbach was recently named the Men's Basketball Director of Operations, hailing from mid-major power George Mason.  The staff is now completely set.

The Colonials posted back-to-back 20-win seasons, captured the CAA Championship and advanced to the NCAA Tournament during Dernbach's tenure. GMU's 2009 recruiting class was tabbed the No. 1 ranked Non-BCS class in the nation, and its existing players helped build an APR score that was rated among the top-10 percent in the NCAA Division I ranks.

Mini_n_2_mediumNew SBN blog Mid-Major Madness already started counting down their rankings for every basketball team in the nation.  NIU is ranked 322nd.  Yeeouch!


Mini_n_2_mediumMen's soccer releases their LOADED 2009 schedule, hosting #9 Northwestern & #12 Tulsa while going on the road to face the #4 North Carolina Tarheels and in-conference rival #6 Akron.  Possibly the most exciting matchup is when the Huskies travel to Corvalis, Oregon on Sep 25th to face the recently departed head coach Steve Simmons who is now the Beaver head man.

Quick hitters

Mini_n_2_mediumIt's Golf outing season with the Brigham-Novak Gridiron Classic later this month and baseball and women's basketball having their own outings in August.

Dog Pound member epasnoopy comes up with an awesome NIU theme for Blackberry Curve phones... Former MAC MVP for the Huskies Kate McCullagh will be the new head coach for boys volleyball at St. Charles East... Dekalb HS Senior Jordan Threloff is working hard this summer playing AAU ball, picking up a recent offer from Drake.

Around the MAC/CFB

I guess it's Central Michigan Day...

The Sun Sports Blog points out an excess of basketball players leaving CMU this off-season... two Chip defensive backs were declared academically ineligible... The Quad Blog caps off its MAC previews, ranking CMU the highest at 51 (WMU was #56)... The Daily Hail Mary (formally Saturday Sound Offs) suspects the Chips are a potential BCS buster.

Somebody produced a kickass Google map of all the committed MAC prospects so far... Toledo blog Midnight Blue & Gold talks to SBN's own Purdue blog Hammer & Rails about what's in store for their upcoming season opener... ESPN's Graham Watson talks about Tweeting or Twittering or whatever in College Athletics... Mike Rasor previews the Kent State Golden Flashes... Holly Anderson previews the Akron Zips... Ball State FS Sean Baker is the #29 non-bcs player per In the Bleachers.