Northern Illinois University is extending the contract of Sean T. Frazier, NIU associate vice president and director of Athletics.
The move, which keeps Frazier at the helm of NIU Athletics until 2023, comes amid a prosperous period of continued and unparalleled success for the more than 400 student-athletes in competition and in the classroom.
It is the second contract extension for the energetic and tireless Frazier, who joined NIU in 2013 and has led his department to unprecedented honors that include the Mid-American Conference’s top women’s athletic program for 2017 and the 2016 NCAA/Minority Opportunities Diversity and Inclusion Award.
Frazier also has achieved record levels of fundraising goals within the Huskie Athletic Fund while navigating his department through challenging fiscal times: Under Frazier’s leadership, NIU Athletics has cultivated a 450 percent increase in new revenue streams in the last five years.
NIU President Lisa Freeman will brief members of the Board of Trustees on the contract extension during their Thursday morning meeting.
“Sean Frazier is an excellent athletics director as evidenced by the success of our student-athletes in competition, in the classroom and in the community,” Freeman said.
“Our program is compliant with NCAA rules and regulations, and he is a nationally recognized advocate for diversity. He’s made the athletics program more self-sustaining during his tenure, and he continues to move it in that direction,” she added. “He is a credit to this institution.”
“Thank you to President Freeman and members of the Board of Trustees for giving me the opportunity to continue to serve NIU and NIU Athletics,” Frazier said. “I’m humbled, and appreciative of all students, staff and supporters that make up Huskie Nation. Although we have achieved many notable accomplishments, there is still much work yet to be done.”
Frazier is riding high in 2018, a year that has seen record-level academic achievements posted throughout the 17 sports programs, the development and release of a new strategic plan, the establishment of the Northwestern Medicine Performance Center that will benefit all student-athletes, and, of course, another Mid-American Conference football championship.
The 2018-21 Strategic Plan – the second completed under Frazier’s administration – provides a solid platform for the department’s work and is based on pillars of student-athlete experience, communication, community connection and financial stability.
Developed from the “hearts and souls” of coaches, senior administrators, staff, students and Huskie fans, the road map for success also introduces “The Huskie P.A.C. – Promoting Athletes to Champions,” which is defined as the integration of academic, athletic and civic leadership.
Support from multiple donors, including a lead gift from Northwestern Medicine, soon will transform the existing weight room in the Yordon Center into a full-service sports performance area, complete with an adjacent Nutrition Center.
It represents the third major project from NIU Athletics’ Campaign to Sustain, which has raised more than $1.5 million since 2017 and also has funded a gymnastics vault pit and renovations to the Nelson Club inside the NIU Convocation Center.
Frazier also has committed to leadership that is “responsive to the voices of our fans” through football scheduling, the formation of the Huskie Fan Advisory Board, moving The Yard inside for November night games and improving the overall fan experience at games, which includes more options for food and drink.
Yet his still-growing legacy in DeKalb is crowned with the scholastic triumphs of Huskie student-athletes.
Most recently, five NIU athletic programs scored 100 percent Graduation Success Rates (GSR) in a report released Nov. 16 by the NCAA. Realizing perfection were women’s basketball, women’s golf, gymnastics, women’s soccer and volleyball.
NIU recorded an overall GSR of 86 percent in the 2017-18 cohort, matching last year’s rate and continuing a winning pattern: Each of the five highest GSR marks in NIU history occurred in the last five years.
Earlier this year, NIU student-athletes posted the highest cumulative grade point average in school history – 3.201 – and celebrated another positive Academic Progress Rate report from the NCAA.
For the 12th consecutive year, every NIU team surpassed the minimum standards based on a metric that calculates eligibility and retention of every scholarship student-athlete each semester over the past four years.