The football programs of Northern Illinois University and Miami University will honor the late Bill Mallory, the only head coach in Mid-American Conference history to lead two different MAC teams to a league title, by playing for the Mallory Cup, beginning this year when the teams face off at Huskie Stadium on Wednesday, November 14.
“Bill Mallory was a special coach and a great man who left a lasting legacy in the Mid-American Conference and certainly at NIU and Miami,” said NIU Associate Vice-President and Director of Athletics Sean T. Frazier. “The Mallory Cup honors a man whose impact on both programs should and will be remembered each time our teams meet on the football field. We’re happy to work with our colleagues at Miami on this initiative and invite all fans to be here at Huskie Stadium on November 14 for the first Mallory Cup game.”
Mallory, who passed away on May 25, 2018, led NIU to its first Mid-American Conference title in 1983, and to its first bowl appearance, and bowl victory, as a “major college” (now Football Bowl Subdivision) program. His tenure at NIU, from 1980-83, set a standard of success that continued under his close friend and defensive coordinator, Joe Novak, who served as head coach of the Huskies from 1996-2007. Mallory’s influence on NIU Football continues today under current Huskie head coach Rod Carey, who played for Mallory at Indiana from 1989-93.
Mallory, whose head coaching career also included stops at Colorado (1974-78) and Indiana (1984-96), led the Miami program from 1969-73. His 1973 Miami team posted an 11-0 record that included a MAC title and a Tangerine Bowl victory over Florida. He went 39-12 in five seasons at Miami and his overall record of 64-31 as a league coach ranks eighth all-time in MAC history in coaching wins and winning percentage. He is the only coach in MAC history to win Coach of the Year honors with two different schools, winning the award in 1973 with Miami and 1983 with NIU.
"Miami is proud to partner with Northern Illinois University in the creation of the Mallory Cup,” said Miami Athletics Director David Sayler. “It is a fitting tribute to a wonderful man and coach that has meant so much too so many. Although Miami and NIU will not play every year in football, it is good to know that when we do, Bill Mallory will be honored and remembered for the tremendous legacy he has left here in Oxford and in DeKalb."
While playing in opposite divisions of the MAC, NIU and Miami have met 17 times on the gridiron since 1970, with the Huskies holding a 9-8 edge in the all-time series. The Miami game will be the second “trophy game” for NIU as the Huskies and MAC West foe Ball State have played for the Bronze Stalk Trophy annually since 2008.