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Nick Roach of the Chicago Bears Leads Homecoming Parade

Weekend festivities include concert/pep rally, parade and football against Indiana

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October 21, 2009 | by Judy Moore
Nick Roach
Nick Roach, a linebacker for the Chicago Bears and a former Northwestern Wildcat football player, will be the Parade Marshal for the Homecoming Parade Friday at 8 p.m. Roach received a bachelor of art degree from the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences in June 2007 and joined the Chicago Bears in November 2007.
EVANSTON, Ill. --- Nick Roach, a linebacker for the Chicago Bears and a former Northwestern Wildcat football player, will be the Parade Marshal during Northwestern University's 2009 Homecoming festivities this weekend (Oct. 23 to 25).

Reunion weekend at Northwestern also is Oct. 23 to 25, for the classes of 1959, 1964, 1969, 1974, 1979, 1984, 1989, 1994, 1999 and 2004.

Roach will lead Northwestern's Friday night (Oct. 23) Homecoming Parade, as it winds north along Sheridan Road. Other parade participants will include Northwestern University President Morton Schapiro, Evanston Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl, and Marie Arana, a Washington Post editor, former Northwestern Homecoming Queen and recipient of the 2009 Alumnae of Northwestern Award. In addition to appearing on one of the Homecoming Parade floats, Arana, an award-winning author, will crown the 2009 Homecoming queen at the half-time celebration during the Saturday (Oct. 24) football game at Ryan Field.

Parade Marshal Roach received a bachelor of art degree from the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences in June 2007. He majored in art theory and practice with a minor in business institutions.

He joined the Chicago Bears from the San Diego Chargers practice squad in November 2007 and played in games 14 to 16, recording 5 special teams tackles (special teams are the units that play in the kicking game --- punts, kickoffs, etc.) in those contests.

During his first two National Football League seasons (2007 and 2008), he played in 17 games, including 9 starts. He is credited with 40 tackles (25 solo), 2 TFLs (tackles for losses) and 1 PBU (pass broken up). Roach spent the first 11 weeks of 2007 on the Chargers practice squad before being signed to the Bears' active roster, where he played in three games.  

Roach started 32 career games during his Northwestern Wildcat football years (2003 to 2006). He finished his college career with 241 tackles, 9 sacks, 16 TFLs and two interceptions. He led the Wildcats with 62 tackles despite playing in just eight games in 2006. He was Northwestern's second-leading tackler as a junior with 77 stops. Roach earned the Northwestern Gridiron Network (NGN) Defensive Newcomer of the Year Award as a sophomore after finishing second on the team with 7.5 TFLs. He played in all 13 games as a freshman.

The Friday night parade, the pre-parade Homecoming concert and Pep Rally and the Saturday football game, are among several Homecoming events on the University's Evanston campus that are open to the public.

Northwestern University 2009 Homecoming events:

  • During the 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 23 Northwestern University Marching Band Homecoming Concert and Pep Rally in Deering Meadow, the Wildcat band members will perform high-spirited highlights of their pre-game, half-time and Ryan Field favorites. Daniel J. Farris, Northwestern's director of athletic bands, will conduct the concert. The program also will feature appearances by the Northwestern Ladycats (Northwestern's varsity dance team), cheerleaders, Willie (the mascot), head Wildcat Football Coach Patrick Fitzgerald and 2009 Parade Marshal and Chicago Bears linebacker Nick Roach. Admission is free. If it rains, the concert will be held indoors at Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, 50 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston campus. The Pep Rally will be held at Deering Meadow, even if it rains. In the event of a torrential downpour, Northwestern Alumni Association (NAA) staff members and Homecoming committee members will direct people to Pick-Staiger Concert Hall.

  • Northwestern's 2009 Homecoming Parade begins at 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 23, at the intersection of Sheridan Road and Chicago Avenue, and proceeds north along Sheridan Road to Lincoln Street. This year's Homecoming theme is "got purple?" The Northwestern student groups participating in this year's parade are encouraged to showcase their Northwestern spirit by wearing as much purple as possible and highlighting all of the good works they do on campus and in the Evanston community.

  • Northwestern football fans will have an opportunity to cheer for the Wildcats as they take on the Indiana University Hoosiers during the Homecoming game at 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 24, at Ryan Field. Tickets for reserved seats in the west and east stands are $50 for adults and end zone tickets are $35. Tickets for graduate students with valid WildCard IDs are $30. (Graduate student tickets must be purchased prior to the day of the game to receive the $30 price.) Single tickets for corner seats are $40 for adults or $20 each for youths. (Youth corner tickets must be purchased prior to the day of the game to receive the $20 rate.) Corner seats (section 113) for groups of 25 or more are $20 each. Full-time Northwestern undergraduate students attend free with valid WildCard IDs. To purchase tickets by phone, call (847) 491-2287 (CATS). Tickets can be purchased online at www.nusports.com or by visiting the Northwestern Athletic Ticket Office at 1501 Central St., Evanston campus. Only online and in-person orders will be accepted after 1 p.m. Friday. During football season, the ticket office is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday.

Beginning at 5:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 23, there will be limited access into and from Northwestern's Evanston campus prior and during Northwestern's Homecoming Parade. Access to all lots and drives east of Sheridan Road will be closed until the parade ends at approximately 9:30 p.m. Lincoln Street will remain opened to westbound traffic until the parade reaches the street, after which it will be closed until the parade concludes.

For more information about Northwestern University 2009 Homecoming events, visit http://groups.northwestern.edu/homecoming/ and the Northwestern Alumni Association (NAA) Web page at http://alumni.northwestern.edu/events/406.