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Northern Illinois' success pleases former coach Joe Novak

The coach who spent 12 season at the helm of the Huskies wishes them nothing but success.

Dave Reginek

The coach who brought the Northern Illinois Huskies football program is looking forward to making a trip to Miami for the Orange Bowl on New Years Day. Joe Novak says they used to dream of conference championships but never of making it to a BCS game.

Novak was in charge of the Huskies during a 23-game losing streak that spanned from 1996 to 1998 but won 10 games in 2003. Despite the 10-win season including wins over No. 15 Maryland at home and No. 21 Alabama in Tuscaloosa, the Huskies weren't invited to a bowl. Novak retired following the 2007 season when the Huskies finished the year 2-10. Novak had spent 34 years as an assistant coach before taking the head coaching job at NIU.

Novak says an appearance in the Orange Bowl could help Northern Illinois get more visibility in recruiting and recognition when it comes to rankings and possible bowl considerations in the future.