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Annual HASF kickoff scheduled Feb. 15

February 10, 2012
Coach Doeren chats with a Huskies fan at the 2011 HASF kickoff event.

Coach Doeren chats with a Huskies fan at the 2011 HASF kickoff event.

Northern Illinois will celebrate its 2011 Mid-American Conference Champions and begin looking toward the 2012 Huskie football season at the annual Huskie Athletic Support Fund kickoff at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 15.

The event, featuring NIU coaches and student-athletes, free food and drink and important information on 2012 football tickets, will be held in Victor E. Court at the NIU Convocation Center prior to the NIU-Western Michigan men’s basketball game.

The HASF kickoff is free and open to the public, but does require a ticket to the Huskie basketball game. To obtain a free ticket to the game, courtesy of the Huskie Athletic Support Fund, call the HASF Office at (815) 753-1923 by Tuesday, Feb. 14.

NIU head coach Dave Doeren and his staff, as well as head coaches Eric Luzzi and Ray Gooden of Northern Illinois’ 2011 MAC Champion men’s soccer and volleyball programs, highlight the list of NIU Athletics personnel expected to attend, along with student-athletes from many Huskie sports programs.

After congratulating the Huskie coaches on the 2011 championship seasons, Northern Illinois fans can take home a permanent remembrance of NIU’s fall season of MAC titles for just $20.

The commemorative, 64-page “Celebrating Champions” book produced by NIU Athletics will be on sale at the HASF kickoff.

The limited run publication includes a game-by-game review of NIU football’s first MAC Championship season in 28 years, features on Northern Illinois’ 19 2011 football seniors and complete season statistics. In addition, the book recaps the 2011 MAC Championships won by the NIU volleyball and men’s soccer programs, including their NCAA Tournament appearances.

The books will go on sale at the HASF kickoff with any remaining copies available for purchase beginning Thursday, Feb. 16, through the Huskie Athletic Support Fund Office in the Convocation Center or by calling (815) 753-1923. If ordering by mail, a $5 shipping and handling fee will be added to the $20 price.

For the first time, Northern Illinois will also sell a replica version of the 2011 MAC Championship ring to fans of the program. Information on purchasing a MAC Championship ring, or ladies’ pendant, will be available Wednesday night and posted online at

Volleyball coach Ray Gooden speaks at the 2011 HASF kickoff.

Volleyball coach Ray Gooden speaks at the 2011 HASF kickoff.

The personalized Lustrium/Silver Alloy with Cubic Zirconia rings are $275 each with a $9.95 shipping and handling fee while the pendants are $225 each.

A drawing of the ring and pendant will be on display at the HASF kickoff and orders will be taken. All revenue from the sales of the commemorative books and championship rings will go directly back to support NIU student-athletes through the HASF.

Complete information on 2012 football season tickets and on purchasing tickets for Soldier Field Showdown III (between NIU and Iowa on Sept. 1, 2012 in Chicago) will be distributed at the HASF kickoff, and 2011 HASF donors and football season ticket holders will be able to pick up all of the information in their renewal packets at the kickoff.

Donors who cannot attend Wednesday night’s kickoff will receive their renewal packets in the mail. Complete information on season tickets, mini-plans, the new Huskieland Plan and NIU-Iowa Soldier Field Showdown III tickets, will be posted online at next week.

Thanks to the loyalty and generosity of NIU fans, the Huskie Athletic Support Fund has enjoyed five straight years of record growth. In 2011, 1,569 HASF donors contributed $1,466,327 to support NIU student-athletes. Northern Illinois set records in both number of donors – with an increase of 44 – and in number of dollars raised (up $30,907) from 2010.

Donations received through the Huskie Athletic Support Fund are distributed directly into each Huskie sport program’s budget, providing an immediate impact on every Northern Illinois student-athlete. HASF monies are used for such items as transportation, enhancing schedules and equipment upgrades, just to name a few.

For more information on the HASF, the HASF kickoff, the 2012 Annual Fund Drive or Northern Illinois football tickets, call (815) 753-1923.