NIU to honor 1963 national championship team

NIU will hold a flag-raising ceremony to honor its 1963 National Championship football team prior to NIU’s homecoming football game Saturday, Oct. 15, NIU Associate Vice President and Director of Athletics Jeff Compher announced Friday.

The ceremony will be held at the site of the new flagpole in the southwest corner of the stadium beginning at noon. Members of the 1963 team, including All-American quarterback George Bork, will be on hand for the occasion.

NIU Huskies football team - 1963

The 1963 Huskies completed a perfect 10-0 season with a 21-14 victory over Southwest Missouri State in the Mineral Water Bowl in Excelsior Springs, Md. and were voted the country’s top College Division team by the Associated Press and the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics.

The team won the Interstate Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (IIAC) Championship and garnered national attention, including a three-page spread in Sports Illustrated Magazine, highlights on CBS and ABC and a full-page feature in the New York Daily News.

George Bork
George Bork

Bork, who still holds many of Northern Illinois career and single season passing records, was named a first team Little All-American as was his favorite target, Hugh Rohrschneider. He set at least 16 national passing records and was the first collegiate quarterback to amass 3,000 yards in a single season.

Compher said that commemorating the 1963 team’s national title with a specially-designed banner flying atop a 63-foot flag pole just outside the gates of Huskie Stadium, is an important way to celebrate the Huskies’ football history.

“We felt we needed a permanent display on our campus to remind people of just how special this 1963 Huskie football team was,” Compher said.

“The fact that NIU won a national championship is something we need to celebrate; we want future generations of Northern Illinois students, fans and student-athletes to know about and appreciate their accomplishments. We are honored to be able to invite members of that team back to campus again on Homecoming, and to raise this flag in honor of their title.”

All fans are invited to gather in the southwest corner of the stadium for the noon flag-raising ceremony. The 2011 Huskies will take on Mid-American Conference foe Western Michigan at 2:30 p.m. for the annual Homecoming game.

For more information on NIU football and Huskie athletics, visit www.niuhuskies.com.

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