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Daniel Verdun

Pen Name: Dan Verdun

Connection to Illinois: Verdun grew up in Odell and attended Eastern Illinois University. He currently lives in Naperville.

Biography: Dan Verdun earned bachelor's degrees in journalism and history at Eastern Illinois University. While there, he served as the sports editor for the university's daily newspaper, Verdun covered nearly every intercollegiate sport on campus. In addition, he covered teams led by future New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton and future All-Stars Kevin Duckworth in basketball and Kevin Seitzer in baseball. Verdun won a number of awards for sports writing, including placing in the William Randolph Hearst Collegiate Awards (the first in EIU history). Later, he worked in the sports information office. Verdun holds a master's degree in curriculum and instruction from Northern Illinois University. He has taught language arts and social studies for nearly 30 years. In addition, Verdun has written for various newspapers, and Currently, he teaches in Naperville District 204 where he lives.


Primary Literary Genre(s): Non-Fiction

Primary Audience(s): Adult readers


Selected Titles

Eastern Illinois Panthers Football
ISBN: 0875804837 OCLC: 1198019501

Northern Illinois University Press 2014

Eastern Illinois Panthers Football chronicles the legend and lore of this storied program, from the early days under coach and university-auditor-of-accounting Otis Caldwell, to today's perennial Ohio Valley Conference powerhouse. Sports historian Dan Verdun sets down amazing details about EIU's 15 FCS playoff appearances, 7 OVC championships, 3 NFL head coaches, 2 Walter Payton Award winners, and the 1978 NCAA Division II national championship. Panther fans will recognize the names of Mike Shanahan, Darrell Mudra, Jeff Gossett, Sean Payton, Bob Spoo and Tony Romo, and many others. Dan Verdun tells these men's stories from extensive research and personal interviews. Find out fascinating details about key players and coaches - how they arrived at EIU, what they accomplished in their time wearing the blue and gray, as well as the paths their lives took once they played their last game and graduation day arrived. The greatest moments in EIU Panther football glory are recounted with fresh new insight. Read about the legendary days of quarterback Bill Glenn, who found success in the NFL of the 1940s. Relive the dominance and get the inside stories of the greatest teams in EIU football history. They're all here: the 1978 NCAA Division-II national champions, the 1980 runners-up, the quarterfinalist 1982, 1986, 1989, and 2013 teams along with the 1995 and 2001 conference champions and playoff qualifiers. With far-ranging appeal, Eastern Illinois Panthers Football will interest those who identify as Panthers as well as sports fans who want to discover the merits of this fine football program. Focused on team members and their coaches over the entire history of EIU football, this book will inform and entertain all age groups.

Illinois State Redbirds Football
ISBN: 0875807593 OCLC: 948961256

Northern Illinois University Press 2016

This first-ever history of the Illinois State University football program chronicles Redbird legends and lore, from the 1880s team to today's Missouri Valley Football Conference powerhouse. Dan Verdun covers the early years (1887 to World War II) and the post-war era (late 1940s to 1950s) before delving into a decade-by-decade examination of the program. The 1950 Corn Bowl team, playoff appearances, NFL draft picks, and the 2014 team's second-place finish in the FCS National Championship are all included. Opening with a foreword by James "Boomer" Grigsby, an ISU all-American linebacker who was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs in 2005, Illinois State Redbirds Football includes many names that will be familiar to Illinois State fans, including Frank Chiodi, Guy Homoly, Kevin Glenn, Laurent Robinson, Brock Spack, and Tre Roberson. Informed by extensive research and personal interviews, Verdun relays the inside stories of several players and explores the details of where they came from, how they arrived at ISU, what they accomplished on the playing field, and the paths their lives took after graduation. This engaging account retells the greatest moments in ISU Redbirds history with fresh new insight. It will appeal to ISU fans and alumni, and those fascinated by sports history and the history of the region will also find much of interest in this comprehensive volume.

Northern Illinois Huskies Football
ISBN: 0875804551 OCLC: 760973403

Northern Illinois University Press DeKalb, Ill. : 2013

1951: Bob Heimerdinger leads Northern Illinois to a perfect record. 1963: Record-setting quarterback George Bork guides the Huskies to the 1963 National Championship. 1983: Bill Mallory coaches the Huskies to a MAC Championship and victory in the California Bowl. 1993: Running back LeShon Johnson finishes sixth in the Heisman Trophy race. 2003: Northern Illinois shocks national powerhouses Maryland and Alabama en-route to a 10-win season. 2011: Quarterback Chandler Harnish sparks the Huskies to a thrilling MAC Championship over Ohio. 2012: Heisman candidate Jordan Lynch and the Huskies win a second straight MAC title and earn a historic Orange Bowl berth. Larry English. Doug Free. Michael Turner. Garrett Wolfe. P.J. Fleck. There's nothing quite like being a Huskie, and only the chosen few can comprehend the feeling of pride, loyalty, and honor that defines the experience. Northern Illinois Huskies Football captures that feeling through revealing interviews with some of the greatest players to ever wear the Huskie uniform. Sports journalist and historian Dan Verdun chronicles the memories and stories of the countless young men who blocked and tackled their way to victory as a part of the great Huskies football tradition. Telling the fascinating story of Huskies football decade by decade, Verdun recalls all the important moments, unforgettable games, and lasting traditions that have been a part of football at Northern Illinois for over 113 years. From the school's very first team led by coach John L. Keith in 1899 to Dave Doeren's most recent squad and its unforgettable trip to the 2013 Orange Bowl, Northern Illinois Huskies Football will dazzle and delight fans of the subject with its irresistible mix of pride and nostalgia. Lavishly illustrated with photographs from throughout the program's storied history, and with a foreword by beloved former head coach Joe Novak, Verdun's book deserves a place in the collection of any football fan ever to sing: Forward together forward. There's victory in view. Come on you Huskies. Fight on you Huskies. And win for NIU.

Southern Illinois Salukis Football
ISBN: 0809336197 OCLC: 978835479

Southern Illinois University Press 2017

Southern Illinois Salukis Football, the first book to focus solely on the program and its history at Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIUC), details the organization’s greatest moments, from its origins around the beginning of the twentieth century through the extraordinary leadership of head coaches William McAndrew, Rey Dempsey, and Jerry Kill, to the present-day team and its coach, local hero Nick Hill. Dan Verdun draws on more than one hundred interviews with coaches, players, sports historians, and sports reporters, as well as newspaper and magazine archives and other sources, to give readers an in-depth look at Saluki players, coaches, and teams from all eras. Beginning with an exploration of the earliest days of football at Southern Illinois Normal University—as it was then called—including the first official team in 1913 under the school’s first athletic director and the years leading up to World War II, the book covers the history of the Illinois Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (IIAC), referencing personal interviews with key players and coaches of the IIAC from the late 1940s through the disbanding of the conference in 1970. Chapters about the 1950s and subsequent decades tell of the program’s history through biographical sketches of coaches as well as legendary players such as Marion Rushing, Carver Shannon, Houston Antwine, and Jim Hart. These brief tales reveal where the players came from, why they chose SIUC, what they accomplished while wearing the maroon and white, and how they fared after college. Additional chapters cover recruiting, transfers, rivals, venues, and celebrated supporters such as Mike Reis, the “Voice of the Salukis.” A final chapter offers media analysis of the fans’ central debate: which historical Saluki team was the greatest? Appendixes include “All-Century Team,” “Retired SIU Jersey Numbers,” and “Saluki Hall of Fame” and list SIU players in the NFL, the CFL, the USFL, and the Arena Football League. Illustrated with approximately seventy-five color and black-and-white photos of players and coaches, games, and other subjects, Southern Illinois Salukis Football offers readers a fresh, colorful perspective of the SIUC football program.