Northern Illinois’ high-fiving husky mascot is retiring, being honored on Senior Day

Dr. Saturday

Northern Illinois will try to complete its quest for an undefeated season Tuesday night at home against Western Michigan. In doing so, one of NIU’s most beloved figures, Diesel the husky, will grace the sidelines for his last game as team mascot.

Diesel has spent nine glorious years on the sidelines and in front of television cameras and will be honored during the Huskies’ Senior Day celebrations Tuesday night at Huskie Stadium.

Diesel will be deemed the school’s “mascot emeritus” and will always be welcomed at NIU games and events in the future, NIU Associate Vice President and Director of Athletics Sean T. Frazier said in a release.

“In many ways, Diesel has become the face of Huskie football over the past nine years,” Frazier said. “He’s been the constant figure on the sidelines representing NIU, whether home or away, at bowl games, spring games and more. He’s a fan favorite, the TV cameras love him and he’s a great dog. On behalf of Huskie Nation, I want to thank (owner) Tom (Bonnevier) and Diesel for everything they have done to represent Northern Illinois University.”

NIU will also introduce its new husky mascot, a two-year old Siberian named Mission, during the first quarter of Tuesday night’s game. The NIU ROTC program will act as Mission’s handlers and the dog has already been given Colonel rank within the ROTC Battalion.

Diesel had a great run, but I'm confident that Mission can withstand the pressure involved with being the esteemed NIU mascot. As long as he can give cheerleaders a high-five, I think he’ll be OK.

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