BTN School Days: Illinois Fighting Illini
When it comes to the 2011-12 athletic year for Illinois, many people will remember it for all of the transition. Football coach Ron Zook, men’s basketball coach Bruce Weber and women’s basketball coach Jolette Law all coached their last games and gave way to Tim Beckman, John Groce and Matt Bollant, respectively. But it also was a successful year, one highlighted by the men’s gymnastics team’s 10th NCAA title and first since 1989. The coach of the team, Justin Spring, 29, became the youngest gymanstics coach to win the national crown.
Catch Illinois Day on BTN all day Monday. View our programming schedule for the list of shows, games and features to be shown on Illinois Day. Future Illinois Days include: June 26 and July 17.
Other Illinois highlights from the 2011-12 athletic year:
- Women’s volleyball advanced to its first NCAA title match, losing to UCLA.
- Men’s basketball player Brandon Paul erupted for 43 points, on only 15 shots, to lead Illinois past No. 5 Ohio State.
- Men’s golf won its fourth consecutive Big Ten crown and advanced to the NCAA Finals.
- Women’s soccer won its second Big Ten Championship and advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament.
- Men’s tennis upset top-seeded Ohio State to win its first Big Ten tournament since 2005 and advanced to the Sweet 16.
- Senior track star Andrew Riley won Big Ten Track Athlete of the Year and Big Ten Track Athlete of the Championships.
- Men’s sophomore golfer Thomas Pieters won the NCAA individual title.
- Women’s golf qualified for its second consecutive NCAA Regional berth.
- Women’s gymnast Kelsey Joannides won her second career NCAA title, tying for first on the beam at the Big Ten Championships.
Shows/games featured on BTN during Illinois Day:
Big Ten Icons: Lou Henson
Big Ten Icons: Red Grange
The Big Ten’s Greatest Games – Football 1999: Illinois at Michigan
The Big Ten Greatest Games – Football 2001: Wisconsin at Illinois
Big Ten Basketball Replay: Ohio State at Illinois – 1/10/12
Big Ten Football Replay: 2011 Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl – Illinois vs. UCLA