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Northwestern sports summer recap: a rundown of all the things you may have missed

It’s been a long summer.

NCAA Football: Big Ten Media Days Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

It’s felt like a very, very long summer. Part of that feeling has been the news, which hasn’t been great. Another part of that feeling (for me at least) has been the awfulness of the New York Mets, no good international soccer competitions, and a lack of college sports. My chief distractions from the mundanity of summer jobs have been running and awful tennis streams.

I’m sure this is all very interesting to you, but with the arrival of college football in two weeks, we can stop publishing articles filled with my ramblings. There will be real football. There will be real plays and real throws from Clayton Thorson. There will be something tangible to talk about, not a rehashed discussion of Northwestern’s kicking battle or offensive line struggles.

However, it’s worth looking back on this long offseason and wondering how we got here. No one has been fully immersed in Northwestern sports news since classes ended in June (and if you were, please, find a new hobby). I’ve been in-and-out of the scene, and I’m sure there are many Inside NU readers who’ve missed some interesting stories. Fear not, this article should have you covered.


  • Leading off, we have the massive chain reaction set off by the firing of long-tenured Ohio State men’s basketball coach Thad Matta. Matta’s firing led to Butler’s Chris Holtmann taking the Ohio State job. Holtmann’s departure opened up a job for LaVall Jordan, who left Milwaukee with a vacancy. This opened up a spot for Northwestern assistant Pat Baldwin to take his first head coaching gig at the University of Milwaukee.
  • Baldwin’s departure had a few major outcomes. For one, Northwestern was in the market for a new assistant coach, and Chris Collins lured Billy Donlon, an old friend from high school, from Michigan to take a job on Collins’ staff.
  • Then, four-star, top-50 recruit Pete Nance, who was rumored to be heading to Michigan or Ohio State, committed to Northwestern. Nance’s connection with Donlon (Nance’s lead recruiter at Michigan) and the general instability at Ohio State helped Collins seal the deal.
  • Nance’s commitment came not long after Northwestern landed its point guard of the future in Jordan Lathon.
  • Jaylen Rivers, Isaiah Bowser, and Khalid Jones all committed to play for Northwestern football.
  • Just before June started, we learned Solomon Vault would miss the entire 2017 season due to a lower body injury. Remember this! This is important!
  • Oh yeah, we also intently covered The Bachelorette (well, at least the first month of the season) as Anthony Battle tried to win the heart of Rachel Lindsay. In perfect Northwestern fashion, he said the right things and made it somewhat far, but fell well short of the goal.


NCAA Football: Big Ten Media Days
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Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports


And that catches everyone up to the present day. As college sports offseasons go, this was pretty darn action-packed if you asked me. Now, every single fall sport is entering preseason, and it’s time to get rolling. The offseason is over. Long live caring about Northwestern athletics despite pressing matters weighing on our hearts and minds.