This past December, the North Central College Cardinals defeated the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater 41-14 in Stagg Bowl XLVII in Shenandoah, Texas to cap a historic season, as the Cardinals won the NCAA Division III Football National Championship in their first-ever appearance in the championship game.
Dream Fulfilled for Coach Jeff Thorne
“A dream fulfilled honestly, and not my dream and that’s what makes it so exciting. It became my dream but it was my Dad’s dream first. When he took the program over in 2002 after such a long career and a ton of success as a high school coach winning state championships, North Central hadn’t experienced a lot of winning before he got here in 2002. And for him to take the job over when everyone told him don’t and make the proclamation that we are going to plug our philosophy and we are going to win and the goal was a national championship.”
The philosophy Coach Thorne speaks of is at the core of who he is…
“The mission was to change lives and really impact young men but the goal was always to win a national championship so when he [John Thorne] retired coming so close to winning a national champion in 2013 and I thought that would be something really neat to complete for him and my mom. My mom has been battling cancer for 9 years now and to be able to do this while she is still here was really special for the family, but more importantly for North Central College.”
“Chase the Lion is a book I read two years ago and its really been the foundation of our last two seasons., said Coach Thorne. It’s really about chasing big dreams, we call them lion size dreams and in essence it’s just a God sized dream. It’s scriptural. The book is based on Samuel 23:20… The book chronicles all these regular people like you and me who do extraordinary things dreaming big and allowing God to be part of that dream. “