CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Illinois athletic director Mike Thomas announced Wednesday Warren Hood will replace Tom Michael as senior associate athletic director overseeing the State Farm Center renovation, after Michael was introduced Tuesday as athletic director at Eastern Illinois.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Tim Beckman had some strong words Wednesday when describing the process of hiring a new offensive line coach on short notice. His former offensive line coach A.J. Ricker left for Missouri earlier this month, less than four weeks before the start of fall camp. That forced Beckman to make a fast hire. He brought in Tom Brattan, who wasn't retained at Maryland after 13 years on the Terps' staff. Beckman says it was important to find a coach who was unemployed, rather than doing to another school what Missouri just did to him. SUCH SHORT NOTICE, AND SAID HE DIDN'T WANT TO DO TO ANOTHER SCHOOL WHAT MISSOURI JUST DID TO HIM.
DANVILLE, Ill. - He is one of the Danville Dans' top relief pitchers, but Tuesday night Cam Wysocki showed off one of his other talents. Wysocki sang the national anthem before Danville's home game against Springfield. Wysocki just finished his redshirt freshman year at Michigan, and he does a long more than just pitch and sing. He also juggles and does magic - showing there's a lot more to his game than just balls and strikes.
CHARLESTON, Ill. - Eastern Illinois officially introduced Tom Michael as it's new athletic director Tuesday afternoon. Michael has spent the last 18 years working at the University of Illinois - most recently as senior associate AD, overseeing the State Farm Center renovation project. WCIA 3's Matt Wettersten has more on an emotional day for Michael as he takes the next step in his career.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The Illinois football program is mourning the loss of one of it's own. Former Illinois offensive lineman Shawn Afryl died suddenly Monday night after he collapsed during a workout, while getting ready for his senior season at Winona State University in Minnesota. Afryl was a member of the Illinois football team for three years, but he graduated early and planned to use the remainder of his eligibility at Winona State.
PANA -- Christian County used to be home to the popular Tanner Drive-In, but, for nearly two decades, the Our Town property has been home to something else.
Eureka standout golfer Trevor Gold has committed to play golf at Illinois. WCIA 3's Bret Beherns has more.
Eastern Illinois has been picked to finish second in the preseason Ohio Valley Conference poll released at the league's annual Football Media Day in Nashville.
Incoming Illinois freshman golfer Nick Hardy has already played on some of amateur golf's biggest stages, now he's looking to leave his mark with the Illini this fall.
After playing professional basketball for three seasons in Paris, France, former Illinois basketball standout and Centennial alum Trent Meacham is looking for a new place to play in Europe next year.
Illinois junior-to-be Tyler Jay is one of 24 players on the USA national collegiate team this summer. Jay was one of four pitchers to help the United States no-hit the Netherlands earlier this summer.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Central grad Kam Rowan is continuing the tradition of Champaign-Urbana stars playing Division-I basketball, and he is staying in-state to do it. Rowan announced Friday he will continue his basketball career at Western Illinois University in Macomb. Rowan averaged nearly 11 points and 3 assists per game for the Maroons, who made it all the way to the sectional final. He should be able to compete for some early playing time for a Western Illinois team that finished 10-20 last year.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Central High School will have a new girls basketball coach this year, and Aaron Ratka held his first open gym Friday night to meet some of his new players for the first time. Ratka is a former Division-III player, who spent last season as an assistant coach for the Judah Christian girls. He says his goals for this season will develop as the team gets together, but he had one clear message for the girls Friday.
ROCKFORD, Ill. - Former Illinois kicker Derek Dimke is hoping the third time is a charm when it comes to landing on an NFL team. Dimke will camp with the New Orleans Saints next week after getting cut each of the last two years. After a standout career at Illinois, Dimke says he is a little more relaxed this time around. Last year he tried out with the Tampa Bay Bucs. Before that, the Detroit Lions - but he has yet to make the team. He says he will go in relaxed and confident with the Saints.
ST. JOSEPH, Ill. - St. Joseph-Ogden grad Hunter Hart did not reach an agreement with the Baltimore Orioles, so instead he will pitch for Kaskaskia Community College next year. Hart was drafted by the Orioles in the 37th round last month, and he had until 4:00 pm Friday to sign. Hart had originally signed with Indiana, but now by attending Kaskaskia he can re-enter the draft next year.
WHEATON, Ill. - Illinois incoming freshman Nick Hardy shot back-to-back rounds of 66 and 69 Thursday afternoon before losing a four-hole playoff and a chance at an Illinois State Amateur Championship. Hardy gave Iowa sophomore Ray Knoll all he could handle before Knoll prevailed on the fourth hole of a sudden death playoff. Hardy (-7) takes runner-up at the State Am.
BLOOMINGTON, Ill. - IHSA leaders feel like they are being unfairly singled out while they await word on if - and when - they will be called in for another hearing as state leaders investigate their transparency and financial accountability. They were scheduled for a hearing in Chicago last week, but it was canceled and has not been rescheduled. At the first hearing in Springfield the IHSA was not given sufficient time to call any of the witnesses they had arranged and were told they would not be allowed to call any witnesses at a second hearing. IHSA assistant executive director Kurt Gibson sat down with WCIA 3 to talk about it, and he says the state isn't treating his organization fairly.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The Illinois basketball will add EIU-transfer Alex Austin as a walk-on, Austin confirmed to WCIA 3. Austin played two seasons at Eastern Illinois before announcing he would transfer elsewhere. The Mt. Carmel grad averaged 7.0 ppg as a sophomore last season at EIU. That's a decrease from his 9.3 ppg average as a freshman. Austin will have to sit out this season, due to NCAA transfer rules, and then he will have two years of eligibility remaining.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (UI Release) – University of Illinois head coach Tim Beckman announced the hiring of Tom Brattan as offensive line coach on Thursday. Brattan joins the Fighting Illini staff after spending the last 13 years as offensive line coach at Maryland, and he also spent time at Stanford and Northwestern.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Illinois junior Josh Ferguson was named to the preseason watch list for the Doak Walker Award Thursday. The award is given each year to the nation's top college running back. Ferguson led the Illini ground attack last year with about 65 yards per game and 11 touchdowns. He also had nearly 45 yards a game receiving, which was second most of any running back in the nation. Ferguson is one of eight Big Ten backs and 53 players nationwide to make the watch list.
GEORGETOWN, Ill. - To some people it's just a bucket of coal - but to football fans in Our Town Georgetown it means much more than that. And the tradition goes back long before any of the current players were born. WCIA 3's Bret Beherns took a trip to Georgetown for a history lesson in one of the best rivalries Central Illinois.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - It didn't take long for Illinois to find its new offensive line coach. Exactly one week after AJ Ricker left for Missouri, a source close to the program confirmed to WCIA 3 that Tim Beckman has hired former Maryland offensive line coach Tom Brattan to replace him. Brattan spent 13 years coaching the offensive line at Maryland, but he wasn't retained after last season. In his time with the Terrapins, Brattan was responsible for recruiting the state of Illinois. The Delaware native has also spent some time as an assistant at Stanford and Northwestern. Brattan has 37 years of coaching experience in all. An official announcement is expected in the coming days.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - South Carolina is the latest school to offers St. Thomas More star Tori McCoy. The Gamecocks offered McCoy on Wednesday. ESPN ranks McCoy as the No. 5 recruit nationally in the 2016 class. The junior-to-be holds more than a dozen offers including Illinois, Michigan State and Ohio State.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Illinois baseball coach Dan Hartleb has a valuable position to fill on his staff with the news that associate head coach Eric Snider has taken a job at Louisville. The Cardinals announced Tuesday that Snider will become their new hitting coach and recruiting coordinator.
MAROA, Ill. - Okaw Valley leaders woke up Tuesday morning with some work to do. We first told you last night Maroa-Forsyth has voted to leave the Okaw and join the Sangamo Conference starting in 2016. WCIA 3's Matt Wettersten has more on what it all means, and why Okaw leaders are now desperate to find a replacement.
CHARLESTON, Ill. - Eastern Illinois University is staying local with its athletic director position. EIU announced Monday Illinois senior associate athletic director Tom Michael will be the Panthers' new AD. Michael will be introduced at EIU July 22. His first day on the job will be August 11. WCIA 3's Matt Wettersten has the story.
MAROA, Ill. - Maroa-Forsyth is leaving the Okaw Valley Conference and will join the Sangamo Conference starting in the 2016-2017 school year. The school board voted Monday night to accept the Sangamo's invitation. The Trojans were one of just six schools set to compete in the new Okaw Valley. Maroa will now be in the Okaw for just two more seasons before heading to the Sangamo. Trojans' athletic director Josh Jostes told WCIA 3 that a "nomination to decline the Sangamo's invite" failed by a 3-4 vote before the board later voted overwhelmingly to accept the Sangamo invite. Jostes says the Sangamo will be a good fit from an enrollment standpoint, but says it will be "bittersweet" leaving the Okaw.
A web exclusive interview with new Eastern Illinois University Athletic Director Tom Michael.
SAVOY, Ill. - Former Illinois basketball star Kendall Gill was back in town Monday for his 25th annual golf outing to benefit Cunningham Children's Home. The event has been a hit every year since Gill graduated from the U of I more than two decades ago, and he never misses an opportunity to come back. "Cunningham Children's Home is definitely the beneficiary of everything we do," Gill said. "And we're just glad to bring attention to their cause and what they're trying to do."
CHARLESTON, Ill. - Eastern Illinois University made official Monday the hiring of Tom Michael as its new athletic director. WCIA 3 first broke the news Sunday night, and now EIU will introduce Michael as its new AD next week.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Two Illini were named to national watch lists Monday. Junior Mason Monheim was named to the watch list for the Butkus Award, which is given to the nation's best linebacker. The award is named after Illinois legend Dick Butkus. Monheim, who is a former freshman All-American was ninth in the Big Ten with 8.1 tackles per game, including 6.5 tackles for loss, last year. Meanwhile senior Matt LaCosse was named to the College Football Performance Awards tight end watch list. LaCosse caught 20 passes for 237 yards and 3 touchdowns last season.
A source confirmed to WCIA 3's Matt Wettersten Sunday that Eastern Illinois has reached an agreement with Illini Senior Associate Athletics Director Tom Michael to be the Panthers' new Athletic Director.
Huff Hall, the home to Illini volleyball, got some big upgrades. WCIA 3's Bret Beherns takes an inside look.
Former Illini Steve Stricker shot a third round 64 (-7) to get to -16 at the John Deere Classic. He trails Brian Harman by one shot entering Sunday's final round. Former Illini Scott Langley is -9 while Luke Guthrie is -6.
Champaign's Aaron Pinkerton got the golfer's thrill of a lifetime at the John Deere Classic this week. He was a standard bearer at the event, carrying the scores of one group.
At 116 pounds, Bret Pfeiffer doesn't look like your typical weightlifter. But the Charleston High School sophomore has no problem pulling his own weight and more.
WCIA 3's Bret Beherns talks with IHSA Associate Executive Director Kurt Gibson as Champaign-Urbana prepares a bid to bring the IHSA State Basketball Tournament back to State Farm Center.
SILVIS, Ill. - Former Illini Steve Stricker fired a first round 68 (-3) at the John Deere Classic Thursday afternoon. Stricker is five shots off the lead held by a trio of golfers Zach Johnson, Rory Sabbatini and Brian Harman. Fellow Illinoi
CHICAGO, Ill. - A committee of trustees presented a plan Thursday that would give Illinois men's basketball coach John Groce a raise and contract extension, and all it needs is approval by the full Board of Trustees later this month. The Governance, Personnel and Ethics committee met Thursday in Chicago and recommended rewarding Groce with a $100,000 raise and a one-year contract extension. The raise would bring his salary to $1.7 million, and the extension would keep him under contract through the 2018-2019 season. This is already the second raise and extension Groce has received in his two years at Illinois. He has one NCAA Tournament appearance and one NIT berth so far at Illinois. The full Board of Trustees will meet July 24 to approve the raise and extension.
ST. JOSEPH -- Friday night lights will be a little brighter this fall.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - We are less than a month away from the start of fall camp, and Tim Beckman is now searching for a new offensive line coach. That's because A.J. Ricker is leaving the U of I to accept the same position at Missouri.
SILVIS, Ill. - The John Deere Classic has been a home away from home for Steve Stricker. The former Illini star has won three times, and even when he cut his schedule back he always makes sure he plays in the quad cities. He hardly needs an introduction, and he only needs a couple hours to drive from his home to TPC Deere Run. The only thing Stricker needs is a win at one of his favorite tournaments. It has been three years since the end of this three-peat.
SILVIS, Ill. - The John Deere Classic has not been kind to D.A. Points over the years. In fact the former Illini star has made the cut just once in his eight career appearances there. The Pekin-native has plenty of motivation to change that this year. Points is coming off a career year last year where he earned more than $2.5 million. This year, though, has been disappointing. Points has only made nine cuts in his 22 tournaments, but he is hoping the John Deere Classic will be a springboard to a strong finish.
SILVIS, Ill. - It will be a loaded field for the Illini at the John Deere Classic this weekend in the Quad Cities. Four former Illini players will be in the field, including Luke Guthrie, who is still looking for his first PGA Tour win. Guthrie was out on the course Tuesday trying to get things ironed out. In face he stopped in Champaign Monday to work with head coach Mike Small. The two worked on Guthrie's swing, and he is hoping he has things figured out heading into Thursday's first round.
CHARLESTON, Ill. - One of the top athletic officials at Illinois, Tom Michael, interviewed on campus Tuesday for the athletic director job at Eastern Illinois. Michael is one of three finalists for the Panthers' AD job, and WCIA 3's Bret Beherns was in Charleston as Michael laid out his vision for EIU.
SILVIS, Ill. - A lot has changed for Scott Langley over the last year. He is married, they're expecting a child, and he is having his best season on the PGA Tour. "I don't react to bad shots the same as I used to," Langley said. "I used to hit a bad shot, and I'd freak out. What happened? How do I fix it? Instead now I just move on and just forget about it and try and hit a good shot the next time, and I think that's a little better way to play."
Illinois junior V'Angelo Bentley is one of 47 players nationwide named to the watch list for Paul Hornung Award, which is given each year to the nation's most versatile player.
Fisher's Miranda Marry signed with Illinois to run track next year. Marry is a six-time state medalist and she also holds six school records.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - As district administrators try to pick the best location for Central's new high school, Central athletic director John Woods knows exactly which one he prefers. Woods says the Interstate site will be far better than the Spalding Park site when it comes to the future of the school and its extracurricular activities.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The Illinois men's basketball team will have to move as many as five home basketball games away from State Farm Center in November 2015 because of construction on the arena. A U of I spokesman said Monday the athletic department has known for quite some time that the arena wouldn't be available for the beginning of the year.