Jordan Lynch named to NIU, MAC halls of fame

NIU announced Friday that All-American and Heisman Trophy finalist Jordan Lynch will be inducted into the NIU Athletics and Mid-American Conference halls of fame this year, 10 years after the completion of his record-setting career.

“What a great honor of all the student-athletes that have come through NIU and the MAC to be named to these halls of fame,” Lynch said. “Thanks to NIU for nominating me, believing in me. It feels great. I’m so appreciative and can’t wait to be with the rest of the classes to celebrate.”

In two seasons as NIU’s starting quarterback, Lynch set five NCAA and 25 school records while guiding the Huskies to a 24-4 record that included the 2012 MAC Championship and historic Orange Bowl appearance, and Boneyard wins over Iowa and Purdue en route to an undefeated regular season in 2013. Lynch never lost a road game (12-0) or a game at Huskie Stadium (11-0) as a starter.

After leaving NIU, Lynch went on to a professional career in the Canadian Football League, where he helped the Edmonton Eskimos win the 2015 Grey Cup by scoring the game-winning touchdown with 3:22 to play. Since 2018, Lynch has been head coach at his alma mater, Mount Carmel High School in Chicago, where he has led the Caravan to three state championships (2019, 2022, 2023).

Lynch joins former running back Michael Turner (inducted in 2018) as the only NIU athletes selected to the MAC Hall of Fame. Former NIU athletic director Cary Groth (2022), athletics administrator and softball coach Dee Abrahamson (2019) and football coaches Joe Novak (2014) and Bill Mallory (2013) also have been inducted over the past 10 years.

Lynch is the first player announced as part of the 2024 NIU Athletics Hall of Fame class, which will be honored during homecoming weekend (Oct. 18-19) at NIU. This year, the class will be introduced individually over the next several weeks, and Rodney Davis, chairman of the Hall of Fame Committee, said it was an easy call to lead off with Lynch.

“We are pleased to begin the announcements of this year’s NIU Athletics Hall of Fame class with Huskie football great Jordan Lynch,” Davis said. “What Jordan accomplished during his time at NIU both individually and in elevating the entire football program puts him in elite company in the history of Huskie Athletics. He is more than deserving of this honor. Congratulations to Jordan. We cannot wait to reveal the rest of this outstanding class over the next several weeks.”

Lynch joins a class of three student-athletes and three coaches who will be inducted into the MAC Hall of Fame on May 30 in Cleveland as announced by the MAC on Friday. A Chicago native, Lynch is the sixth Huskie – and only the second NIU athlete – selected to the MAC Hall of Fame.

The consummate dual threat quarterback, he collected first-team All-America honors from the Associated Press, Lindy’s and Phil Steele in 2013 as an all-purpose player after making the AP and Phil Steele second teams as a junior. He won the MAC’s Vern Smith Leadership (MVP) Award and was named the league’s offensive player of the year in 2012 and 2013, and his third-place finish in the Heisman Trophy voting is the best by a player from the Mid-American Conference. Lynch also was a finalist for the Walter Camp Player of the Year, Manning Quarterback Award, Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, Senior CLASS Award and AT&T All-America Player of the Year as a senior.

Lynch’s spectacular 2012 campaign included 12 100-yard rushing games and nine 200-yard passing games, capped by his performance against Kent State in the Huskies’ double-overtime win in the MAC Championship game (160 yards on 36 carries, 3 TDs; 212 passing yards, 1 TD), as NIU became the first league team to earn a berth in a Bowl Championship Series (precursor to the College Football Playoff) game. The Huskies were ranked as high as 16th in the national polls. In his first season as a starter, Lynch completed 60.2% of his passes (237 of 394) for 3,138 yards and 25 touchdowns while rushing for 1,185 yards on 294 carries with 19 touchdowns.

His 2012 performance and NIU’s run to the Orange Bowl vaulted the Huskies and Lynch into the national conversation that was amplified with the wins over Iowa and Purdue. NIU earned an AP Top 25 ranking at the beginning of October while the “Lynch for 6″ Heisman campaign kicked into high gear as Lynch recorded a pair of 300-yard rushing games, 10 200-yard and one 300-yard passing game while leading NIU to an undefeated regular season. He accounted for 48 touchdowns as a senior in 2013, throwing for 2,892 yards and 24 touchdowns while rushing for 1,920 yards and 23 scores.

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