DeKALB, Ill. (WTVO/WQRF) [NIU news release]– Northern Illinois University has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Sean T. Frazier agreeing to extend his contract. The university also intends to promote Frazier to vice president and director of Athletics and Recreation, pending Board of Trustees approval at a future meeting.

The move extends Frazier’s contract through June 30, 2026. His new title will reflect both the promotion to vice president as well as the integration of NIU’s Department of Recreation with Huskie Athletics over the past year.

Frazier, who began his ninth year as the leader of NIU’s 17-sport intercollegiate athletics program in 2021-22, has guided the Huskies to historic milestones competitively, academically and socially, cemented his status as both a national and community leader on diversity and inclusion and led successful fundraising efforts that have transformed the student-athlete experience at NIU.

With the NIU Convocation Center, the Huskie Marching Band, and most recently, NIU Recreation, added to the NIU Athletics family during his tenure, Frazier’s influence and forward-thinking leadership extends throughout the campus and community.  

“Sean Frazier has expertly guided NIU Athletics forward through some of the most challenging circumstances in school history,” said NIU President Lisa Freeman. “Our student-athletes and programs continue to excel in competition and in the classroom while making a positive impact in the community and representing Northern Illinois University with integrity.

“Sean’s impact on NIU extends well beyond the realm of intercollegiate athletics as he is nationally recognized as a leader in the areas of diversity and inclusion. I’m excited to see NIU Athletics, as well as the other units under Sean’s direction, continue to grow and thrive.”

While appreciative of the confidence Freeman and the Board of Trustees have shown in him, Frazier said he is focused on the future and building on the success of the past eight years.

“The work never ends, and we will continue to strive to take NIU Athletics to new heights,” Frazier said. “As we finalize this process, I want to thank President Freeman and members of the Board of Trustees for their continued trust and opportunity to serve NIU and its students, and to lead a tremendous group of coaches and staff who work extremely hard on a daily basis to move this department forward.”

Over the last year alone, while navigating a global pandemic that forced changes in scheduling, health and safety protocols and the ability to welcome fans to NIU venues, the Huskies achieved record-breaking fundraising and engagement numbers. That continued an upward trend in both metrics over the last five years as Frazier and his leadership team have worked to create new revenue streams and fundraising initiatives (Huskies Invest; Victor E. Ball/Bash) while adapting to changes in state support, NCAA opportunities (NIL, Cost of Attendance) and more.  

NIU teams have claimed 10 Mid-American Conference Championships during Frazier’s tenure at NIU, the most MAC titles won under the leadership of any athletic administration in school history, while producing student-athletes across the sports spectrum who have claimed All-America honors. In addition, student-athletes from seven different sports have been named Academic All-Americans by the College Sports Information Directors of America 12 times since 2013-14.

NIU student-athletes finished the 2020-21 academic year with a school record cumulative GPA of 3.35, with 15 teams recording a team GPA above 3.0. Every NIU sports program surpassed the Academic Progress Rate for the 13th straight year, and nearly 90 percent of student-athletes who have entered NIU over the last seven years have earned their degrees according to the latest Graduation Success Rate (GSR) figures.