Heisman Trophy finalist and former NIU standout Jordan Lynch has joined the Huskies Football coaching staff, NIU head coach Rod Carey announced on Wednesday.
"Obviously, with Jordan, the name speaks for itself," Carey said. "Heisman Trophy finalist, got us to the Orange Bowl, got us to the cusp of a Fiesta Bowl, and set all sorts of records. He's probably one of the most beloved players that have come through here in recent history. When you are talking about the greats of Huskie Football, our tradition, you can't do that without saying the name Jordan Lynch."
Lynch, who finished third in the 2013 Heisman Trophy voting, the highest finish by a player from the Mid-American Conference, will coach the Huskie running backs.
"I always knew when I got done playing football, I wanted to get into coaching," Lynch said. "I just love being around the players and being back at NIU. When [Coach Carey] started talking to me about the possibility of a position opening up here, I took some time and thought about it. I felt it was a great opportunity for me and I couldn't pass it up. Some of my best memories of playing football have been here at Northern. To come back and help get the program get back to where it was appealed to me."
The former Huskie quarterback returns to NIU after a two-year career with the Edmonton Eskimos of the Canadian Football League. Lynch threw for 48 yards and a touchdown on 6-of-9 passing, while rushing for 228 yards and five touchdowns on 53 carries in 36 games with the Eskimos. In the 2015 Grey Cup, he plunged in from one yard out on third and goal to score the game-winning touchdown. Lynch feels his two years in the CFL will serve him well as an assistant coach.
He rushed for an NCAA QB-record 1,920 yards and 23 touchdowns, while throwing for 2,892 yards and 24 touchdowns on 253-of-404 passing. The quarterback rushing mark is one of five NCAA records set by the Chicago native in 2013. He also set the single-game quarterback rushing mark - twice. On Oct. 19, he rushed for 316 yards against Central Michigan, then broke his own record with 321 yards on Nov. 26 against Western Michigan.
The Huskies open the 2017 season on September 1 when NIU plays host to Boston College in Huskie Stadium, becoming the first Atlantic Coach Conference opponent to play at NIU since 2003.