Eastern Illinois Panthers football first GameIn 1895 The Eastern Illinois Panthers football team played its first game against the Charleston High School, resulting in a 0-0 tie.
Panthers joined NAIAIn 1929 The Eastern Illinois Panthers joined the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA).
NCAA Division II National ChampionshipIn 1975 The Panthers football team won the NCAA Division II National Championship.
Eastern Illinois Panthers men’s basketballIn 1982 The Eastern Illinois Panthers men’s basketball team won the NCAA Division II National Championship.
Pierre WaltersPierre Walters Played defensive end for Eastern Illinois from 2006-2009. He set several school records and was signed by the Kansas City Chiefs as an undrafted free agent in 2010.
History of the Panthers
The Eastern Illinois Panthers are an NCAA Division I athletics program competing since 1899. The school is located in Charleston, IL, and competes in the Ohio Valley Conference (OVC). Over the years, the Panthers have had incredible successes on and off the field.
The men's basketball team has won two regular seasons of OVC titles (1994-95 & 2000-01) and three tournament championships (1998-99, 1999–00 & 2002–03). The football team also holds an impressive record with 18 OVC Championships. In addition to these accomplishments, they earned five bowl wins, including one win at the FCS level against San Diego State University in 2014, their first-ever bowl victory at this level of competition!
Eastern Illinois athletics is more than just winning games; it’s about building relationships between student-athletes and coaches while having fun! This can be seen through various community outreach programs such as Panther Pals, where student-athletes help out local elementary schools by volunteering or donating to assist with educational activities like reading books or helping students learn math equations. These initiatives show how much Eastern Illinois cares for its community members – something that will always remain true no matter what happens on game day!
Overall, Eastern Illinois Athletics is an excellent example of what college sports should strive for: excellence both on and off the field/court/track, etc., dedication from everyone involved within its athletic department, plus strong support from alumni who want nothing but success for their beloved alma mater - Go Panthers!!
College Sports Established
Eastern Illinois University
1973 - Present / NCAA Division I
1921 - 1973 / University Division of the NCAA
1996 - Present / Ohio Valley Conference
1983 - 1995 / Mid-Continent Conference
1978 - 1982 / Mid-Continent Athletic Association
1913 - 1970 / Interstate Intercollegiate Athletic Conference
Panthers - The Eastern Illinois Panthers have a long and proud history of athletic excellence, but many fans may not know the origins of their nickname. The story behind the “Panthers” moniker dates back to 1921 when EIU was still known as Eastern Normal College. It all began with a group of students who wanted to give the school an official mascot representing its spirit and energy on and off the field.
After much debate, they settled on “Panthers” because it represented strength, courage, and agility—all qualities they felt embodied their college experience. This decision made sense since panthers were native animals in east-central Illinois during this era (they are now extinct in this region). Although there is, no record of why exactly these students chose panthers specifically over other animals such as bears or wolves remains unknown!
Today, EIU's Panther pride continues to be strong inside and outside athletics circles; from student organizations like Panther Productions (which puts together fun events for campus) to alumni gatherings across different parts of the country—the spirit lives on! The team has also seen success throughout its NCAA Division I career, including multiple Mid-American Conference championships and several trips deep into postseason tournaments like March Madness or NITs, making them one college basketball program worth keeping an eye out for each season!
Men's Basketball 0
Women's Basketball 0
To qualify as the greatest player for this team, the player must have played one season for this team. If not, we will remove the player.
* verifies that player has played for this team as an added player by a fan.