Mike Thomas’s tenure as the athletics director of the Illinois Illini is in its third year and during this time the program has gone on to achieve considerable success both on and off the field. There have been record breaking sponsorship deals and other notable commercial improvements whereas multiple teams have also gone on to lift some of the biggest prizes in their respective sports. If the last two years are anything to go by then it certainly looks as if fans of the Illini are in for a really special ride for many seasons to come.
Since the time Illinois Fighting Illini started taking part in intercollegiate sports, they have gone on achieve considerable success. Their accomplishments have put them among the list of the most famous athletics programs in the business. All of their successes have brought them to a strong standing with which they can contend for major honors in the future as well. They have gone from strength to strength and they are showing no signs of letting those standards slip. Their fans know what their program is capable of and they are once again buying Illinois Fighting Illini tickets in huge numbers to turn up at the games in order to catch the action live.
The Illinois Fighting Illini have had a pretty strong football program over the years. The sport began for them way back in the year 1890 and has been at the forefront of all that they have achieved over the years. They have an overall record going above .500 which is a remarkable achievement over such a period of time. They have also produced twenty four Consensus All-Americans. The Illini have also managed to get their hands on fifteen conference titles and five national crowns. As far as postseason bowl appearances go, they have headlined seventeen, winning eight of them.
The Illinois Fighting Illini have a formidable baseball program. They have won the regular season conference title on twenty nine occasions and have lifted the conference tournament four times. On top of that, they have also made it to the NCAA Tournament ten times to cement their place as an excellent baseball program.
Men and women have been quite successful when it comes to the sport of basketball as well. The men have managed to bring the regular season conference title home on seventeen occasions while lifting the conference tournament title twice. Their NCAA Tournament appearance count stands at thirty. The basketball teams have gone all the way to the Elite Eight stage nine times and to the Final Four on five occasions. They also have one pre-tournament Helms championship to show for their efforts. Women’s basketball program, on the other hand, has gone on to win one regular season conference title while making it to the NCAA/AIAW Tournament on eight occasions.
The Illinois Fighting Illini have won numerous championships and accolades in various other sports as well. Their golf program has won twelve conference titles and has produced two individual champions, Scott Langley and Thomas Pieters. Apart from multiple conference titles, the Illinois Illini men’s gymnastics program has also won the national title on ten occasions. In tennis, the Illini have won the regular season conference title on eighteen occasions while getting their hands on the conference tournament half a dozen times. They have also lifted one NCAA Tournament Championship in tennis as well.
The Illinois Fighting Illini are looking to add a few more chapters to what is already an impressive legacy. The season is now underway and this is as good a time as any for them to make their presence felt in the NCAA once again.