URBANA — Former Illini basketball coach Lou Henson opens the season as "Illinois Pioneers" returns to WILL-TV in September.
Retired WILL-AM host David Inge's interview of the coach will air Thursday, followed by University of Illinois early childhood education pioneer Lilian Katz on Sept. 12 and Wolfram Research co-founder Theo Gray on Sept. 19.
Former Champaign mayor Dannel McCollum is featured Sept. 26, interviewed by former WILL general manager Mark Leonard.
In the season premiere episode at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Henson, the all-time Illinois leader in men's basketball victories, talks about how he got the best out of his teams and discusses the danger of expecting too much from a player.
He also talks about his early life on a farm, his relationship with former Indiana University basketball coach Bob Knight, overcoming health problems, why he started wearing his trademark orange blazer and whether it irritated him that TV sportscaster Dick Vitale made fun of his hair, dubbed the "Lou 'do."