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The Northern Illinois Huskies are the athletic teams that represent Northern Illinois University. The Huskies are a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I and the Mid-American Conference. The athletic program is made up of 7 men's sports (baseball, basketball, football, golf, soccer, tennis, wrestling) and 10 women's sports (basketball, cross country, golf, gymnastics, soccer, softball, tennis, track, volleyball). The football team competes in the Football Bowl Subdivision.
Northern Illinois began athletic competition in 1899 and were nicknamed the Profs. In the 1920s, they were referred to as the Cardinals. During the 1930s they were called Evansmen after George "Chick" Evans. The Huskie mascot and nickname used today were officially chosen in 1940. The Northern Illinois Wrestling team started in 1931, and first started competing in the Division I (NCAA) in 1969 . The team had 9 NCAA All-Americans & 96 wrestlers qualify for the NCAA tournament, with two winning the NCAA title. Three other Huskie Wrestlers won the NAIA championship (1958 (@123), 1961 (@167), 1961 (@177)) Ryan Ludwig (three-time NAIA All-American and a national finalist at 157 pounds) is currently in his 3rd season as head coach for the Huskies. Completed in the fall of 2008, the Northern Illinois Wrestling Training Complex features everything a student-athlete needs to reach the highest levels on and off the mat. The Huskie Hall of Fame first started in 1978. There was an annual class induction since 1983. Women were inducted into the Hall of Fame since 1986. There are currently 179 individuals and 14 teams enshrined in the Huskie Hall of Fame. Founded in 1968, the Northern Illinois Rugby Football Club plays college rugby in the Mid-American Conference of Division 1-AA. The Huskies are led by Head Coach Kris Osterloh. The Huskies reached the 2013 D1-AA national playoffs, but lost to Lindenwood in the round of 16.