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Illinois Fighting Illini
Illini logo.svg
University University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Conference(s) Big Ten
NCAA Division I
Athletics director Mike Thomas
Location Champaign-Urbana, IL
Varsity teams 21 (10 men's, 11 women's)
Football stadium Memorial Stadium
Basketball arena Assembly Hall
Baseball stadium Illinois Field
Mascot Chief Illiniwek (1926–2007)
Nickname Fighting Illini
Fight song Illinois Loyalty, Oskee Wow Wow
Colors Orange and Blue

         

Homepage fightingillini.com

The Fighting Illini (also known as The Illini) are the intercollegiate athletic teams of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The University offers 10 men's and 11 women's varsity sports.

The University operates a number of athletic facilities, including Memorial Stadium for football, the Assembly Hall for both men's and women's basketball, and the Atkins Tennis Center for men's and women's tennis. The Fighting Illini lay claim to over twenty-five National Championships dating back to 1900. However, the Illini have won just two National Championships since 1958—Men's Tennis in 2003 and Men's Gymnastics in 1989. The men's basketball team finished as National runner-up in 2005, falling just short in the championship game.

OrganizationEdit

The University's Division of Intercollegiate Athletics administers the official athletics teams of the University. All of the University's athletics teams participate in the NCAA's Division I, and form the Big Ten Conference with 11 other primarily midwestern universities. The football team participates in a subdivision within the Division I known as the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS).

Men's SportsEdit

Baseball, basketball, cheerleading, cross country, football, golf, gymnastics, tennis, track and field, and wrestling.

Women's SportsEdit

Basketball, cheerleading, cross country, golf, gymnastics, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, track and field, and volleyball.

Athletic AccomplishmentsEdit

BaseballEdit

  • NCAA Tournament Appearance: 1947, 1948, 1962, 1963, 1989, 1990, 1998, 2000, 2011
  • Big Ten Champions: 1900, 1903, 1904, 1906, 1907, 1908, 1910, 1911, 1914, 1915, 1916, 1921, 1922, 1927, 1931, 1934, 1937, 1940, 1947, 1948, 1952, 1953, 1962, 1963, 1989, 1990, 1998, 2005, 2011
  • Big Ten Tournament Champions: 1989, 1990, 2000, 2011

Basketball: MenEdit

  • National Champions: 1915 awarded by the Helms Athletic Foundation in 1935)
  • NCAA Runner Up: 2005
  • NCAA Final Four: 1949, 1951, 1952, 1989, 2005
  • Big Ten Champions: 1915, 1917, 1924, 1935, 1937, 1942, 1943, 1949, 1951, 1952, 1963, 1984, 1998, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005
  • Big Ten Tournament Champions: 2003, 2005

Basketball: WomenEdit

  • NCAA Sweet Sixteen: 1997, 1998
  • Big Ten Champions: 1997

Cross Country: MenEdit

  • Big Ten Champions: 1921, 1947, 1984

Fencing: MenEdit

  • National Champions: 1956, 1958

FootballEdit

Golf: MenEdit

  • Big Ten Champions: 1923, 1927, 1930, 1931, 1940, 1941, 1988, 2009, 2010, 2011

Gymnastics: MenEdit

  • NCAA National Champions: 1939, 1940, 1941, 1942, 1950, 1955, 1956, 1958, 1989
  • Big Ten Champions: 1911, 1912, 1929, 1935, 1939, 1941, 1942, 1950, 1951, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1981, 1983, 1988, 1989, 2004, 2009, 2010, 2011

Gymnastics: WomenEdit

  • Big Ten Champions: 1990

SoftballEdit

  • NCAA Tournament Appearance: 2003, 2004, 2009, 2010

Swimming and Diving: MenEdit

  • Big Ten Champions: 1911, 1912, 1913

Tennis: MenEdit

  • NCAA National Champions: 2003
  • NCAA National Runner-up: 2007
  • Big Ten Champions: 1914, 1917, 1922, 1924, 1926, 1927, 1928, 1932, 1946, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005
  • Big Ten Tournament Champions: 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005

Tennis: WomenEdit

  • NCAA Tournament Appearances: 1996, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2008, 2010

Track and Field: MenEdit

INDOOR

  • NCAA National Champions: 1921, 1926, 1943, 1945, 1946
  • Big Ten Champions: 1912, 1913, 1914, 1916, 1920, 1921, 1924, 1928, 1946, 1947, 1951, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1958, 1977, 1981, 1987, 1988, 1989

OUTDOOR

  • NCAA National Champions': 1921, 1927,[1] 1944, 1946, 1947
  • Big Ten Champions: 1907, 1909, 1913, 1914, 1920, 1921, 1922, 1924, 1927, 1928, 1929, 1934, 1945, 1946, 1947, 1951, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1975, 1977, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1994

Track and Field: WomenEdit

INDOOR

  • Big Ten Champions: 1989, 1992, 1993, 1995, 1996

OUTDOOR

  • Big Ten Champions: 1988, 1989, 1992, 1995, 2005, 2007

VolleyballEdit

  • NCAA Final Four: 1987, 1988
  • NCAA Elite Eight: 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1992
  • NCAA Sweet Sixteen: 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1992, 1995, 1998, 2003, 2008, 2009, 2010
  • NCAA Tournament Appearances: 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2008, 2009, 2010
  • Big Ten Champions: 1986, 1987, 1988, 1992

Women's SoccerEdit

  • NCAA Elite Eight: 2004
  • NCAA Sweet Sixteen: 2004, 2006, 2008
  • NCAA Tournament Appearances: 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010
  • Big Ten Tournament Champions: 2003

WrestlingEdit

  • Big Ten Champions: 1913, 1917, 1920, 1922, 1924, 1925, 1926, 1927, 1928, 1930, 1932, 1935, 1937, 1946, 1947, 1952, 2005

Famous athletesEdit

Men's Basketball: 1988–1989 seasonEdit

Notable Players:

Story: Ranked #1 during the regular season. Known for their athletic style. Defeated in the Final Four of the 1989 NCAA Tournament, by the Michigan Wolverines even though they had defeated them twice during the regular season. Michigan went on to win the National Championship.

Men's Basketball: 2004–2005 seasonEdit

  • Overall record (tournaments included): 37–2
  • Regular season: 29–1
  • Big Ten Conference play: 15–1
  • Head coach: Bruce Weber

Starters:

Story: The first Illinois men's basketball team to be ranked number one in the polls since Lou Henson's "Flyin' Illini" of 1989. Illinois won the Big Ten Tournament and were the overall number one seed in the 2005 NCAA Tournament, eventually losing to the University of North Carolina, the number two overall seed, in the finals, 75–70. This Illinois team tied the NCAA record at that time for most wins in a season with 37 and was undefeated until losing the final game of the regular season at Ohio State by the score of 64–65, on a three pointer by Matt Sylvester in the final seconds of the game.

ControversyEdit

File:Illiniwek logo.svg

A symbol/mascot of the University's athletic teams was, from 1926–2007, a Native American figure, Chief Illiniwek, who sparked significant controversy beginning in the 1980s. Critics of the Chief claimed that it was a racist stereotype and a symbol of the oppression to Native Americans that took place in past American history. Supporters claimed that it was inoffensive and a source of pride and reverence to the Native American heritage of Illinois Past Sioux elder, Frank Fools Crow, made and sold an authentic ceremonial costume and headdress to the university; recently, the Oglala Sioux tribe demanded the costume and headdress back from the university, though this move was opposed by one of Fools Crow's descendants.[2]

The University was (and is) deeply divided on this issue; while some of the faculty condemned the symbol, the administration remained supportive of it. The University Board of Trustees announced on February 16, 2007, that the Chief's last public performance would be the final home game of the 2006–2007 Men's Basketball season. The name "Fighting Illini" was retained, as the NCAA rescinded its criticism of the use of the term. The name "Fighting Illini" pre-dates the Chief Illiniwek symbol and was bestowed upon the team in honor of Illinoisans who fought in World War I; the use of the name "Illini" dates to the 19th century.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. The Illini were voted unofficial National Champions in 1927, since the NCAA did not hold a National Championship competition that year.
  2. "U of I says Chief Illiniwek feathers returned; tribe disagrees". Sioux City Journal (Associated Press). 22 January 2007. http://www.siouxcityjournal.com/news/state-and-regional/article_922ee216-4d4a-575c-9c78-4eca3d07da2f.html. Retrieved 3 March 2011.

External linksEdit

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