The Daily Illini

Athletic director gifts $100,000 in honor of football alumni

Athletic director gifts $100,000 in honor of football alumni

By Sports Staff

April 11, 2019


Filed under Football, Men's Sports, Sports

Illinois' new 107,650-square-foot, $79.2 million Henry Dale and Betty Smith Football Performance Center will add a corridor recognizing athletic director Josh Whitman and his wife Hope, made possible by the family's $100,000 gift. "Hope and I are making this gift to solidify our personal commitment,...

Junior Day pulls in new recruits

Junior Day pulls in new recruits

By Gavin Good, Staff Writer

April 11, 2019


Filed under Football, Men's Sports, Sports, Sports Top Stories, Top Stories

On Saturday, Illinois football had zero commits for the Class of 2020. But that changed after the Illini took advantage of hosting a slew of elite recruits for its Junior Day, turning the visits into commitments. By early afternoon on Monday, Illinois had racked up big-time commitments from thre...

Illini make changes for upcoming season

Illini make changes for upcoming season

By Gavin Good, Staff writer

April 8, 2019


Filed under Football, Men's Sports, Sports, Sports Top Stories

Three seasons removed from Lovie Smith’s decision not to retain Mike Bellamy on staff, Illinois football is in nearly the same position it started in when Smith arrived. Now, Smith has brought Bellamy back, but in a different role. After working with receivers for three years at Illinois, Bellamy is working w...

Beer sales coming this fall

Beer sales coming this fall

By Gavin Good, Staff writer

April 4, 2019


Filed under Football, Men's Sports, Sports, Sports Top Stories, Uncategorized

A decade ago, it was rare for a school to allow alcohol or beer sales at football or basketball games. On Tuesday, the University joined a rising tide of institutions that are selling beer at athletic events. The Department of Intercollegiate Athletics announced Memorial Stadium and the State Farm Center will a...

Smith, Pearl swap positions

Smith, Pearl swap positions

By Gavin Good, Staff Writer

April 1, 2019


Filed under Football, Men's Sports, Sports, Sports Top Stories, Top Stories

Kendall Smith came to Illinois from Bolingbrook High School as a receiver. Two years later, after being moved to safety in 2018, Smith is back where he started. The 6-foot-1-inch, 200-pound athlete is a welcome addition to an Illinois receiving corps that's admittedly thin and lacks proven Big Ten...

Illini add Richmond grad transfer receiver

Illini add Richmond grad transfer receiver

By Gavin Good, Staff writer

March 18, 2019


Filed under Football, Men's Sports, Sports, Sports Top Stories

On Sunday, former Richmond wide receiver Dejon Brissett announced he was headed to Illinois as a graduate transfer. Brissett redshirted in 2018 after playing just three games due to a foot fracture. As a junior in 2017, though, he racked up 896 yards on 63 catches to go along with seven touchdowns, ea...

2018 starters compete for a spot in NFL

2018 starters compete for a spot in NFL

By Eli Schuster, sports editor

March 14, 2019


Filed under Football, Men's Sports, Sports

AJ Bush: Illinois’ grad-transfer quarterback finished off an up-and-down year when the season came to a close in November. With a load of freshman quarterbacks coming in for the Illini coaching staff, Bush quickly took control of the offense during summer training camp. He played 10 games on the seas...

New coaches discuss future

New coaches discuss future

By Miles Powers-Huang, Staff writer

February 25, 2019


Filed under Football, Men's Sports, Sports

After losing assistants in multiple key areas, football head coach Lovie Smith finally announced his official replacements on Wednesday. The Illini coaching staff, which added Bob McClain, Mike Bellamy and Lou Hernandez, is now solidified for 2019. With Luke Butkus and Jon Boese off to the NFL and Thad Ward n...

Smith hires son to staff, adds cornerbacks coach

Smith hires son to staff, adds cornerbacks coach

By Gavin Good, Staff writer

February 11, 2019


Filed under Football, Men's Sports, Sports, Sports Top Stories, Top Stories

Lovie Smith’s Illinois football staff is going to look different in 2019.  Gone are the likes of former defensive coordinator Hardy Nickerson as well as several coaches who have been in the program for a while, like former offensive line coach Luke Butkus, who joined the Green Bay Packers, and strength a...

Offensive line coach Luke Butkus headed to Green Bay Packers

Offensive line coach Luke Butkus headed to Green Bay Packers

By Miles Powers-Huang, Assistant Sports Editor

February 7, 2019


Filed under Football, Men's Sports, Sports

The Illinois football coaching staff "shakeup" continued Thursday as offensive line coach Luke Butkus jumped to the NFL. Butkus, who served as the Illini offensive line coach for the last three seasons as well as one previous season in 2012, is set to become an assistant offensive line coach with the G...

REPORT: Thad Ward to leave Illini football program

REPORT: Thad Ward to leave Illini football program

By Meghan Rest, Assistant sports editor

January 30, 2019


Filed under Football, Men's Sports, Sports, Sports Top Stories

After two years with the Illini running back coach and creator of Illinois’ “Littyville” recruiting slogan Thad Ward is leaving Illinois to pursue a job at Temple University as a receiver’s coach, according to footballscoops.com Ward came to Illinois in March of 2016 after coaching at Norther...

Jeff Thomas flips back to Hurricanes

Jeff Thomas flips back to Hurricanes

By Miles Powers-Huang, Assistant Sports Editor

January 17, 2019


Filed under Football, Sports

Over the past week, there was plenty of speculation regarding the status of Jeff Thomas in the Illini football program. On Monday, the situation was thought to be finally cleared up. In an interview with The News-Gazette, Thomas provided what many thought to be a confirmation he would be joining th...

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