Butkus chose to attend the University of Illinois and played center and linebacker from 1962 through 1964 for the Illinois Fighting Illini football team. In his first year on the varsity team, he was named to the 1962 All-Big Ten Conference football team as the third-team center by the Associated Press (AP) and second-team center by United Press International (UPI). ...
Williams was recruited to play college basketball at the University of Illinois for the 2002–03 NCAA season by Bill Self. In his freshman year, he started 30 of 32 games and ranked third in the Big Ten Conference in assists with 4.53 per game. Bruce Weber assumed the head coach position for the Illini in April 2003 and helped develop ...
History of the Illini
The Illinois Fighting Illini are the intercollegiate athletic teams that represent the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. The university offers 10 men's and 11 women's varsity sports.
The University operates a number of athletic facilities, including Memorial Stadium for football, the State Farm Center for both men's and women's basketball, Illinois Field for baseball, the ARC Pool for women's swimming and diving, the Atkins Tennis Center for men's and women's tennis, Eichelberger Field for softball, Huff Hall for men's and women's gymnastics, women's volleyball and men's wrestling, Demirjian Park for women's soccer and for men's and women's outdoor track and field, the Atkins Golf Club at the University of Illinois for men's and women's golf, the University of Illinois Arboretum for cross country and the University of Illinois Armory for men's and women's indoor track and field.
The Fighting Illini lay claim to over 25 National Championships dating back to 1900.
Oskee Wow-Wow is the official fight song of the University of Illinois. Most commonly, it is played "from the hold" at the start of the chorus, when the "O" in "Oskee Wow-Wow" is held out. This version is played after first downs and touchdowns in football, and leading into time outs in basketball. Coincidentally, the buzzers at nearly every arena are in the same chord as the hold.
For many years, the band started playing the song "from the top" toward the end of the warmup period in basketball. When conducted correctly, the "hold" is played just as the buzzer sounds.
College Sports Established
University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign
1973 - Present / NCAA Division 1
1921 - 1973 / University Division of the NCAA
1907 - 1921 / Athletic Association of the United States
1896 – Present / Big 10
Fighting Illini - The University of Illinois official team nickname is the Fighting Illini. The earliest reference of Illini appears to be mentioned in January 1874, when the campus weekly newspaper changed its name from The Student to The Illini. An editorial in the first edition of the renamed newspaper indicated that Illini was a new term. During the late 19th century and beginning of the 20th century, it was used to refer to the students, faculty, staff, and alumni of the University, as well as to the campus as a whole.
The term Illini referring to the universities athletic teams seems to come from secondhand accounts of the athletic teams. The earliest reference in the Illio yearbook appears to be one mention in the summary of the 1907 football season. The term was more widely used in the 1910s especially during the 1914, 1915, and 1916 football seasons. The Daily Illini and football programs prior to these dates do not extensively cite the term and also used the terms "Indians," "our men," "Orange and Blue," and the "homecomers."
The term Fighting Illini first appeared in a January 29, 1911 newspaper article describing the basketball team's effort during a game versus Purdue. By March 3, 1911, the athletic teams appeared to have earned the Fighting Illini nickname as a formal appellation evidenced in a newspaper report. In 2005, evidence suggested Fighting Illini was first used in 1921 as part of a fundraising campaign for construction of Memorial Stadium, but articles discovered in 2013 show it was first used in 1911. The Fighting Illini nickname was adopted by general consensus as an unofficial school nickname sometime between 1921–1930. It was then used in newspaper articles, football programs and other publications eventually becoming the official nickname.
Men's Basketball 2
Women's Basketball 0
1951, 1927, 1923, 1919, 1914
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.