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Northern Illinois and Miami (OH) launch rivalry series in honor of legendary coach

The teams will square off for the inaugural Mallory Cup on November 14.

Bill Mallory Indiana

When it comes to MAC legends, not too many share a résumé that matches Bill Mallory. Mallory’s esteemed football career blossomed in Oxford, where he lined up as a wide receiver for Miami (OH) in the mid-50s. After his playing days winded to a close, he landed a job as an assistant coach at Bowling Green in 1960.

Five seasons passed with the Falcons and Mallory bounced around Yale and Ohio State before claiming his first head coaching job at his alma mater. He stood on the sidelines as a head coach for Miami from 1969-73, and later, Northern Illinois from 1980-83.

Mallory reached the pinnacle of success with both MAC programs, finishing with an unblemished 11-0 record and a Tangerine Bowl victory in 1973 with Miami and a California Bowl win with a 10-2 Northern Illinois program in 1983.

To this day, Mallory remains the only coach to lead two different MAC programs to conference championships. After his passing at age 82 on May 25, his former universities found a fitting way to honor him.

On Monday, it was announced that Northern Illinois and Miami will compete for a brand new rivalry trophy, the Mallory Cup. The interdivisional opponents will collide in Huskie Stadium on November 14 — a Wednesday night MACtion matchup.

The Huskies and the RedHawks have not played since 2015, when the MAC West champions pummeled Miami by a score of 45-12. Northern Illinois leads the all-time series 9-8 and currently rides a two-game win streak. But come November, the most meaningful matchup between these teams will transpire as the two opponents will unite in honoring a true college football legend.