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UW-Madison alums Hammock, Frazier teaming up at Northern Illinois University

March 06, 2019

Northern Illinois University (NIU) recently hired UW-Madison alumnus Thomas Hammock as its football coach, and he will work alongside fellow alumnus Sean Frazier, the Huskies’ athletic director. 

Hammock earned his master’s degree from the School of Education’s Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis in 2005. Frazier earned a master’s from the School of Education’s Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis in 2015. 

Frazier and Hammock
Thomas Hammock (left) and Sean Frazier
WREX-TV/Ch. 13, Rockford, Illinois’ NBC affiliate, notes the big roles the two alumni will play at NIU. Not only is this Hammock's first time leading his own program, but he’ll be the first African American head football coach in NIU history. For the university, Hammock’s hire has made them the only FBS Division I school in the country with African American men in three key roles.

Frazier comments on this remarkable diversity, which includes head basketball coach Mark Montgomery, telling WREX, “Obviously I wasn’t hired because I was African American, I was hired because I was the right fit. We want the best. The cherry on top is the fact that we’ve got some underrepresented people in those roles.”

According to WREX, NCAA 2018 data shows that, in FBS D1 football, 49 percent of players were black, while only 9 percent of head coaches were black. Hammock reflects on this, “I think if you look at the student-athletes, the numbers don’t reflect in the coaching world what we see from the student-athlete’s perspective. I bare that responsibility and take it very seriously.”

These men hope their students will benefit from more representative mentorship, telling WREX that they want their players to consider greater things for themselves. 

Read the entire story on this WREX web page.