Eastern Illinois Panthers football
2023 Eastern Illinois Panthers football team
Eastern Illinois Panthers wordmark.svg
First season1899
Athletic directorTom Michael
Head coachChris Wilkerson
1st season, 2–9 (.182)
StadiumO'Brien Field
(capacity: 10,000)
Year built1970
Field surfaceArtificial Turf
LocationCharleston, Illinois
NCAA divisionDivision I FCS
ConferenceOhio Valley Conference
Past conferencesIIAC (1912–1969)
AMCU (1978–1984)
GCAC/GFC (1985–1995)
All-time record559–552–42 (.503)
Bowl record0–1 (.000)
Playoff appearances2 (Div. II)
1978, 1980
16 (Div. I FCS)
1982, 1983, 1986, 1989, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012, 2013, 2015
Playoff record5–1 (Div. II)
4–16 (Div. I FCS)
Claimed national titles1 – (Div. II): 1978
Conference titles19
1912, 1913, 1914, 1928, 1948, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1986, 1995, 2001, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2009, 2012, 2013
RivalriesIllinois State (rivalry)
ColorsBlue and gray[1]
   
Fight songEastern State March
MascotBilly the Panther
Marching bandPanther Marching Band
OutfitterAdidas
Websiteeiupanthers.com

The Eastern Illinois Panthers football program is the intercollegiate American football team for Eastern Illinois University located in the U.S. state of Illinois. The team competes in the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) and is a member of the Ohio Valley Conference. The school's first football team was fielded in 1899. The team plays its home games at the 10,000 seat O'Brien Field, which is named after former head coach Maynard O'Brien.

History

See also: List of Eastern Illinois Panthers football seasons and List of Eastern Illinois Panthers in the NFL Draft

This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (November 2018)

The inaugural football team took the field only three weeks after the first students arrived on campus in 1899.[2]

Affiliations

Classifications

Conference memberships

Championships

National championships

Eastern Illinois has won one national championship, doing so in 1978. They also made an appearance in the Division II National Championship Game in 1980, losing 13–21 to Cal Poly.

Year Selector Coach Record Opponent Score
1978 Division II Darrell Mudra 12–2 Delaware 10–9

Conference championships

Season Conference Coach Overall Record Conference Record
1912 Illinois Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Charles Lantz 6–1 4–0
1913 Charles Lantz 6–2 5–1
1914 Charles Lantz 8–0–1 5–0–1
1928 Charles Lantz 7–1 5–1
1948 Maynard O'Brien 7–3 4–0
1980 Association of Mid-Continent Universities Darrell Mudra 11–3 4–0
1981 Darrell Mudra 6–5 2–1
1982 Darrell Mudra 11–1–1 2–0–1
1983 Al Molde 9–3 3–0
1984 Al Molde 6–5 2–1
1986 Gateway Collegiate Athletic Conference Al Molde 11–2 5–1
1995† Gateway Football Conference Bob Spoo 10–2 5–1
2001 Ohio Valley Conference Bob Spoo 9–2 6–0
2002† Bob Spoo 8–4 5–1
2005 Bob Spoo 9–3 8–0
2006 Mark Hutson 8–5 7–1
2009 Bob Spoo 8–4 6–2
2012 Dino Babers 7–5 6–1
2013 Dino Babers 12–2 8–0

† Co-champion

Playoff appearances

NCAA Division I-AA/FCS playoffs

Year First Round Home Team First Round Away Team Second Round Home Second Round Away Quarterfinal Home Quarterfinal Away
1982 OT Eastern Illinois 16 Jackson State 13 Tennessee State 20 Eastern Illinois 19
1983 2OT Indiana State 16 Eastern Illinois 13
1986 Eastern Illinois 28 Murray State 21 Eastern Illinois 22 Eastern Kentucky 24
1989 Idaho 21 Eastern Illinois 38 Montana 25 Eastern Illinois 19
1995 Stephen F. Austin 34 Eastern Illinois 29
1996 Northern Iowa 21 Eastern Illinois 14
2000 Montana 45 Eastern Illinois 13
2001 Eastern Illinois 43 Northern Iowa 49
2002 Western Illinois 48 Eastern Illinois 9
2005 Eastern Illinois 6 Southern Illinois 21
2006 Eastern Illinois 13 Illinois State 24
2007 Southern Illinois 30 Eastern Illinois 11
2009 Southern Illinois 48 Eastern Illinois 7
2012 South Dakota State 58 Eastern Illinois 10
2013 Bye Bye Eastern Illinois 51 Tennessee State 10 Eastern Illinois 39 Towson 49
2015 Northern Iowa 53 Eastern Illinois 17

NCAA Division II playoffs

The Panthers made two appearances in the Division II playoffs, with a combined record of 5-1.

Year Round Opponent Result
1978 Quarterfinals
Semifinals
National Championship
UC Davis
Youngstown State
Delaware
W, 35–31
W, 26–22
W, 10–9
1980 Quarterfinals
Semifinals
National Championship
Northern Colorado
North Alabama
Cal Poly
W, 21–14
W, 56–31
L, 13–21

Bowl games

Eastern Illinois has participated in one bowl game, going 0–1.

Season Coach Bowl Opponent Result
1948 Maynard O'Brien Corn Bowl Illinois Wesleyan L 0–6

All-time record vs. current OVC teams

Official record (including any NCAA imposed vacates and forfeits) against all current OVC opponents as of the completion of the 2021 season.[4]

Opponent Won Lost Pct. First meeting
Lindenwood 0 0 2022
Murray State 19 19 .500 1946
Southeast Missouri State 18 11 .621 1956
UT Martin 15 12 .556 1995
Tennessee State 15 10 .600 1982
Tennessee Tech 21 7 .750 1975
Totals 88 59 .599 5 opponents

Rivalries

Illinois State

Main article: Mid-America Classic

The Mid-America Classic is the rivalry game between Illinois State and Eastern Illinois. The rivalry began in 1901 and is the oldest in the state of Illinois. For the 100th game in the series, representatives from both schools met and developed the Mid-America Classic renaming for the rivalry. The two schools also collaborated on a traveling trophy, which holds plaques with the results of the previous 100 games in the series and has room for results of future games in the series.[5] The two teams have played 110 times in total, with Illinois State holding a 59–42–9 advantage in the all-time series as of the end of the 2022 game.

Head coaches

No. Years Name
1 1899–1901 Otis Caldwell
2 1902 Thornton Smallwood
3 1903 Thomas Briggs
4 1904–1909 Joseph Brown
5 1910 Harold Railsback
6 1911–1934, 44 Charles Lantz
7 1935 Winfield Angus
8 1936–1937, 39–41 Gilbert Carson
9 1938 Harold Ave
10 1942 Clayton Miller
11 1945 James Goff
12 1946–1950, 52–55 Maynard O'Brien
13 1951 Rex Darling
14 1956 Keith Smith
15 1957–1964 Ralph Kohl
16 1965–1971 Clyde Biggers
17 1972–1974 Jack Dean
18 1975–1977 John Konstantinos
19 1978–1982 Darrell Mudra
20 1983–1986 Al Molde
21 1987–2005, 07–11 Bob Spoo
22 2006 Mark Hutson
23 2012–2013 Dino Babers
24 2014–2018 Kim Dameron
25 2019–2021 Adam Cushing
26 2022–present Chris Wilkerson

# Interim head coach

Individual accomplishments

1st Team All Americans

Selectors: AP-Associated Press, AFCA-American Football Coaches Association, FBG-FB Gazette, SN-Sports Network, WC-Walter Camp Football Foundation[6]

Player Year Organization
Nate Anderson 1972 AFCA
Ted Petersen 1976 AP
James Warring 1978 AP, AFCA
Pete Catan 1979, 1980 AP, AFCA
Poke Cobb 1979 AP, AFCA
Kevin Gray 1981 AFCA
Robert Williams 1982, 1983 AP, AFCA
Bob Norris 1982 AP
Chris Nicholson 1983 AP
Jerry Wright 1984 AFCA
Roy Banks 1986 AP, AFCA
John Jurkovic 1988, 1989 AP, AFCA, SN
Tim Lance 1990 AP, SN, WC
Dan Dee 1992 WC, SN
Tim Carver 1995 FBG
Willie High 1995 FBG
J.R. Taylor 2002 AP, FBG, SN, WC
Nick Ricks 2002 AP, FBG, SN
Kevin Hill 2002 FBG, SN, WC
Tony Romo 2002 AP, AFCA, SN, WC
Clint Sellers 2005 AFCA, FBG
Tristan Burge 2006 AFCA
Erik Lora[7] 2012, 2013 AP, AFCA, SN, WC
Jimmy Garoppolo 2013 AP, AFCA, SN, WC
Collin Seibert[8] 2013, 2014 AP, AFCA, SN, WC
Dino Fanti[9] 2015 AFCA

Award winners

College Football Hall of Fame members

Eastern Illinois has two inductees in the College Football Hall of Fame as of 2021.

Name Position Years Inducted Ref.
Darrell Mudra Coach 1978–1982 2000 [10]
Tony Romo QB 1999–2002 2021 [11]

Retired numbers

Main article: List of NCAA football retired numbers

No. Player Pos. Career No. ret. Ref.
17 Tony Romo QB 1999–2002 October 17, 2009 [12]
18 Sean Payton QB 1983–1986 September 11, 2010 [13]

Future non-conference opponents

Announced schedules as of September 7, 2022.[14]

2023 2024 2025 2026 2028
at Indiana State vs Indiana State vs Dayton at Minnesota at Kentucky
at Bowling Green at Illinois State at Indiana State vs Indiana State
vs Illinois State at Illinois vs Illinois State
vs McNeese State at Alabama
at Northwestern State

Notable former players

Notable alumni include the following.

References

  1. ^ "Eastern Illinois University Panthers - Media Relations". October 15, 2015. Retrieved October 6, 2016.
  2. ^ "History". Eastern Illinois University Athletics. Retrieved September 3, 2015.
  3. ^ "2017 NCAA FCS Records" (PDF).
  4. ^ "2021 EIU Record book page 44" (PDF).
  5. ^ "Illinois State, Eastern Illinois unveil Mid America Classic trophy - WJBC - the Voice of Central Illinois". Archived from the original on 2011-10-13. Retrieved 2012-09-10.
  6. ^ "Division I EIU All Anericans" (PDF). p. 71.
  7. ^ "Five OVC Players Named to College Sporting News FCS Fabulous Fifty All-American Team". ovcsports.com.
  8. ^ "Seibert, Drake named AP All-Americans | Eastern | jg-tc.com". jg-tc.com.
  9. ^ "JSU's Dunn, EIU's Fanti Named to AFCA FCS All-American Team". ovcsports.com.
  10. ^ "Darrell Mudra (2000) - Hall of Fame". National Football Foundation.
  11. ^ "Tony Romo Selected for College Football Hall of Fame's 2021 Class ✭". 11 January 2021.
  12. ^ "EIU Retired Numbers - Eastern Illinois University Athletics".
  13. ^ Kilhoffer, Kevin. "Sean Payton Jersey Retirement". JG-TC.com.
  14. ^ "Eastern Illinois Panthers Football Schedules and Future Schedules". Retrieved September 7, 2022.