Illini Legends, Lists and Lore: May 5, 2019

Illini Legends, Lists and Lore: May 5, 2019

Last weekend, coach Mike Small's Illini golf squad won its fifth consecutive Big Ten men's championship, edging runner-up Purdue by five strokes. A third-round 278, four strokes less than the Boilermakers, clinched Illinois' 10th title in the last 11 years.

Among individual golfers, thanks to a third-round 66 last Sunday, Illini freshman Adrien Dumont De Chassart shared medalist honors.

Here are five little-known historical facts about past Illini men's golf teams and their history at the Big Ten championship:

Only Ohio State has captured more Big Ten team titles than Illinois. The Buckeyes have won 23 championships, six more than the Illini's 17. Third on the list are Michigan and Purdue with 12 titles apiece. Illinois is one title short of the record for most consecutive Big Ten championship team victories. From 1982-87, Ohio State won six successive times. Michigan (1932-36), Purdue (1956-60) and Ohio State (1976-80) all won five titles in a row at different periods.

The Illini's only non victory over the last 11 years at the Big Ten Championship came in 2014 when they finished second to Minnesota. That year, Illinois lost by just four strokes to the Gophers.

Illinois' most decisive victory over the last 11 years came in 2015 when it held a 32-stroke advantage over second-place Iowa. Historically, the largest margin of victory at the Big Ten Championship came in 1935 when Michigan had a 60-stroke final lead over Northwestern. The only time two schools have tied for the team title was in 2007 when Michigan State drew even with Minnesota.

Last Monday, Small was honored as Big Ten Coach of the Year for the 11th time. He's still six away from Ohio State's Jim Brown, who won 17 COY honors in 36 years as the Buckeye coach. Former Purdue coach Sam Voinoff won 10 times.

In Small's first season at Illinois (2001), his team placed 10th in the Big Ten Championship standings, finishing 41 strokes behind Northwestern. Other than that finish, an 11th-place effort in 2005, a ninth-place standing in 2007 and a fifth-place result in 2006, Small's Illini teams have finished first on 10 occasions (2009, '10, '11, '12, '13, '15, '16, '17, '18 and '19), second four times (2002, '03, '04 and '14) and third once (2008).

Including Dumont De Chassart in 2019, 21 Illini golfers have been Big Ten individual medalists, three more than Ohio State (18), six more than Michigan (15) and seven more than Purdue (14). Dating back to 2011, Illinois student-athletes have won nine consecutive medalist awards. Steve Stricker is the only Illini who won that honor three times (1986, '88 and '89). Nick Hardy (2015 and '18), Luke Guthrie (2011 and '12) and Richard Martin (1930 and '31) also won multiple times.

Illini Birthdays:

Today: Vontae Davis, football (31)

Monday: Megan Marchuk, swimming & diving

Tuesday: Joey Gunther, wrestling (22)

Wednesday: Lovie Smith, football coach (61)

Thursday: Danny Clark, football, (42)

Friday: Guy Teafatiller, football (55)

Saturday: Vuk Budic, tennis (21)

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

Sections (3):Illini Sports, Golf, Sports