NIU husky mascot Diesel dies after battle with cancer

The worst news to report is the death of a beloved part of the football world. The Northern Illinois Huskies are grieving after their long-time mascot Diesel passed away late Sunday night after a short battle with cancer.

Sporting News reported that Diesel, who retired in 2013, passed away peacefully Sunday night. The official Facebook page of Diesel announced the sad news around 11 p.m. Sunday. Their statement was certainly an emotional one.

“Dear family and friends,” the post reads. “Thank you for the outpouring of support and for visiting during the home opener yesterday. We are very sorry to tell everyone that Diesel’s time had come today and he is no longer with us. He was a very lucky dog because he had all of you as friends. Thank you for the last decade of great memories. Please give your pets a big hug from us. We love you all and Go Huskies!”

Diesel was the first live Husky mascot for NIU and held that position for over a decade. He was diagnosed with Lymphoma in August and had just turned thirteen years old Thursday. He will be forever remembered for his viral moment where he gave a NIU cheerleader a high five.

NIU head coach Rod Carey tweeted out his condolences to Diesel’s family.

https://twitter.com/niucoachcarey/status/640725130314969088/photo/1?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

Rest in Peace, Diesel.

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*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports