Akron head coach Rob Ianello has surely heard all about Northern Illinois. His wife, former Huskie basketball player Denise Dove, attended NIU from 1987-91 and was inducted into the NIU Athletics Hall of Fame in 2005. She still is the school's record holder for three-point field goals made in a season and in a career and is the school's career three-point field goal percentage leader.
Two other Akron coaches also have a Huskies connection.
Zips first-year wide receivers coach Frisman Jackson played quarterback for NIU in 1998 and 1999, passing for 1,327 yards, before transferring to Western Illinois, where he had 55 receptions for 1,047 yards as a senior. Jackson played for the Cleveland Browns for four seasons in the NFL.
Akron defensive line coach Derrick Jackson coached one season (2005) as the NIU defensive tackles coach. He then was a defensive line coach at Michigan State and Syracuse before being hired by Ianello this year.
"Coach Ianello is a good coach," NIU coach Jerry Kill said. "He’s hired good people. I know a lot of them and communicate with them quite often. I’ve spent some time with them and they know what they’re doing."