Hammock will try to keep up NIU’s sustained success in football

Hammock will try to keep up NIU’s sustained success in football


((SCOTT)) NIU’S FOOTBALL PROGRAM HAS BEEN THE MOST CONSISTENT PROGRAM IN THE MAC OVER THE LAST 17 YEARS. WHETHER JOE NOVAK WAS COACHING THE TEAM, JERRY KILL, DAVE DOEREN OR ROD CAREY THE HUSKIES HAVE ALWAYS BEEN IN THE HUNT FOR THE MAC CHAMPIONSHIP. NOW IT’S UP TO FORMER NIU RUNNING BACK THOMAS HAMMOCK TO KEEP THAT SUSTAINED SUCCESS GOING. (Scott) Hammock’s first game as head coach will be this Saturday night when the Huskies host Illinois State in DeKalb. It was in 2000 and 2001 when he put together back-to-back 1,000 yard rushing seasons as a running back at NIU .He gave his heart to the program as a player. Hammock has said for years coaching his alma mater was his dream job. So how emotional will he be when he leads the team onto the field Saturday evening? Not very he says. (Hammock) You know I’ve been coaching so long, the emotions, that part of it doesn’t get to me. The thing that gets to me I want to make sure my team is prepared and ready to go Saturday night to play Illinois State. (Scott) Hammock was named NIU’s head coach eight months ago. He bonded quickly with his players. The fact that he’s a former Huskie helped speed up that process. (Tre Harbison, NIU running back) “Knowing that he played he can relate to all of us. He can tell us things that like he experienced when he played here.” (Jack Heflin, NIU defensive tackle)) “He’s just a great human being. What you get is him. He’s a true human. He’s not going to beat around the bush. He’s going to be straight-forward with you.” (Hammock) “When you take over a head coaching job the one thing you want to develop is relationships and the relationships are with the players. You have to earn the trust and build the trust of the players to get them to do the things that you think are necessary to go out and win. I think as a staff we’ve made that a premium.” (Scott) Hammock was a tough, hard-nosed runner in his playing days, so expect the Huskies to reflect that. (Hammock) “We want to hopefully be one of the top rushing teams in the country.” (Scott) This is Hammock’s first head coaching job. He has a wealth of experience working as an assistant at the college level at Wisconsin, NIU, and Minesota. He spent the past five seasons in the NFL as the running backs coach for John Harbaugh’s Baltimore Ravens. He still keeps in close contact with Harbaugh. (Hammock) “We’ll talk or text and he just says, ‘Hey stick to the process. Stick to what you know. Stick to your guns.” ((SCOTT)) NIU FANS ARE HOPING SATURDAY NIGHT OR SUNDAY MORNING HAMMOCK WILL BE TEXTING HARBAUGH ABOUT AN NIU WIN. WE’LL BE RIGHT BACK

About the Author: Garret Beatty

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