After nine seasons in his current role, Diesel will become the school's mascot emeritus. (Brian Kersey/Getty Images)
Northern Illinois' furry mascot "Diesel" gained recognition for his high fives this fall, but 2013 will be his final year on the job. The school announced Tuesday that the husky dog will retire at the end of the season after nine years as the Huskies' mascot.
Diesel and his owner, Tom Bonnevier, will be honored at NIU's Senior Day celebrations Tuesday night at Huskie Stadium before the Huskies take on Western Michigan.
“In many ways, Diesel has become the face of Huskie football over the past nine years,” said Sean Frazier, the school's director of athletics. “He’s been the constant figure on the sidelines representing NIU, whether home or away, at bowl games, spring games and more. He’s a fan favorite, the TV cameras love him and he’s a great dog. On behalf of Huskie Nation, I want to thank Tom and Diesel for everything they have done to represent Northern Illinois University.”
While Diesel will be recognized as "mascot emeritus" at NIU games, the school will introduce its new mascot, “Mission,” on Tuesday. Mission is a nearly two-year-old Siberian husky.
This is obviously a big loss for the Huskies, but the good news is Diesel has appeared in good spirits for much of this season. Heck, he even offered a high-five to an onlooker during a game against Ball State. We see you showing off for those cheerleaders, Diesel.
(via SB Nation