FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – The Northeast Indiana Alumni Association of Ball State took center stage at Chestnut Hills on Thursday, with football coach Mike Neu and head men’s basketball coach James Whitford among the notable names at the event.
Neu’s Cardinals are coming off perhaps the most successful season in program history. The Cardinals finished 7-1 overall, won the program’s first-ever bowl game, and ended the year ranked no. 23 in the county.
The Cardinals have big expectations in 2021, as they return 20 of 22 starters, including star quarterback Drew Plitt and standout senior offensive lineman Curtis Blackwell, a Norwell High School graduate who’s been a starter since his freshman season.
In men’s basketball, Whitford will be heading into his ninth season leading the Cardinals. While he’s won three MAC West regular season titles in his previous eight seasons, BSU went 10-13 overall last year. The Cardinals will be without some familiar names this season as Columbia City High School graduate Brachen Hazen has graduated, while Ishmael El-Amin, KJ Walton, and Jarron Coleman all opted to transfer. However, Whitford brings in Northern Illinois transfer Tyler Cochran and Saint Louis transfer Demarius Jacobs to help.
The Annual Cardinal Classic Golf Outing proceeds will go toward the Northeastern Indiana Alumni Chapter Scholarship Fund. Three scholarships will be given to local students who will be freshmen at Ball State at the start of the Fall Semester.