Illini Legends, Lists and Lore: July 29, 2018

Illini Legends, Lists and Lore: July 29, 2018

During every stage of his life, former Illini wrestler Eric Siebert has made an impact.

As a prep at LaSalle-Peru High School under his dad, Mark Siebert, Eric won the first state title in Cavaliers wrestling history (145 pounds).

At the University of Illinois from 1995-98, he was a four-time NCAA tournament qualifier. Siebert's senior season was particularly impressive, finishing with a perfect 36-0 record at 150 pounds, including Illinois' 16th national individual title. He finished with a career record of 112-30.

Siebert was selected as UI's 1998 Male Athlete of the Year, beating out such Illini greats as gymnastics' Travis Romagnoli, football's Robert Holcombe, basketball's Kevin Turner and baseball's D.J. Svihlik. Siebert also was the recipient of the prestigious Big Ten Conference Medal of Honor, symbolic of achievement on the mat and in the classroom.

In 2001, Siebert was inducted into the Illinois Wrestling Coaches and Officials Association Hall of Fame.

Following 10 years as an assistant coach for Mike Polz at Carl Sandburg High School, he will begin his 11th season in 2018-19 as the head coach of the Eagles. His teams have won two state titles (2012 and '13) and finished second once (2010). Eight of Siebert's protégés have earned individual state championships.

Today, he celebrates his 44th birthday with his wife and two children.

Illini Birthdays:

Today: Al Carius, cross country/track & field (76)

Monday: Morganne Criswell, volleyball

Tuesday: Mike Stankiewicz, baseball (32)

Wednesday: Alicia Sheeler, basketball (43)

Thursday: African Grant, football (53)

Friday: Austin Clark, football coach (28)

Saturday: Rachel Henderson, volleyball (31)

By Mike Pearson, author of Illini Legends, Lists & Lore (Third Edition now available in stores). Get more Illini birthdays, trivia and historical tidbits daily on Twitter@B1GLLL. His website is