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NIU mascot Diesel to retire; will be honored on Senior Day

By Chip Patterson | College Football/Basketball Writer

Diesel, NIU's live husky mascot, will be honored on Tuesday night before retiring after nine seasons. (USATSI)
Diesel, NIU's live husky mascot, will retire after nine seasons. (USATSI)

Northern Illinois will honor Diesel, its live husky mascot, during the Senior Day celebrations on Tuesday night as the canine will retire after nine years on the sideline.

Diesel and his owner, Tom Bonnevier, have also been to every MAC stadium (except UMass) and bowl games in Shreveport, Mobile, Miami and even Toronto -- in 2010, for the final edition of the short-lived International Bowl.

According to NIU athletic director Sean Frazier, Diesel will still be welcomed at NIU games and events as the Huskies' "mascot emeritus."

"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 Tom and Diesel for everything they have done to represent Northern Illinois University."

NIU will introduce its new husky, "Mission," during the first quarter of Tuesday night's game. Mission has big paw-prints to fill, but a couple high-five tricks will win over the fans quickly.

 
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