Welcome to the Hall: 20 former Illini to be honored with Henson

Welcome to the Hall: 20 former Illini to be honored with Henson

Ahead of Friday night's Gala event in Chicago, sports editor MATT DANIELS looks at the other 20 former Illini besides Lou Henson who will be recognized:

Alex Agase

Football, wrestling

Quick hit: A three-time football All-American — first at Illinois in 1942 and then again in 1946 before one such accolade at Purdue in 1943 — he won a Purple Heart and Bronze Star for his two-year stint in the Marines for World War II. A UI wrestling captain, Agase died in 2007 at 85.

Kevin Anderson


Quick hit: Last year's U.S. Open runner-up, Anderson won the 2006 NCAA doubles title with Ryan Rowe at Illinois. The South Africa native, who lives in Gulf Stream, Fla., was an All-American in each of his three seasons with the Illini, leading Illinois to a national runner-up finish in 2007.

Nancy Brookhart Cherin


Quick hit: A first-team All-Big Ten selection for three straight seasons and a three-time second-team All-American honoree, Cherin guided the Illini to two Final Four appearances in 1987 and 1988. The Glenbard West graduate is fifth all-time in school history with 1,669 career kills.

Chuck Carney

Football, basketball

Quick hit: He played almost a century ago, but the two-sport standout is the only athlete in school history to earn consensus All-American honors in both football (1920) and basketball (1920, 1922). A College Football Hall of Fame inductee in 1966, Carney died in 1984 at the age of 84.

Dave Downey


Quick hit: He left as the program's all-time leading scorer with 1,360 points (good for 22nd now) and all-time leading rebounder with 790 (good for ninth now). Currently in Champaign, his 53 points at Indiana in 1963 still stands as the most-ever by an Illini in a single game.

Ray Eliot

Football, hockey

Quick hit: He won the second-most games by an Illinois football coach, going 83-73-11 from 1942 to 1959, and winning three Big Ten titles. He earned the nickname 'Mr. Illini.' Oh, and he also coached the school's hockey team from 1937 to 1939. Eliot died in 1980 at the age of 74.

Darrin Fletcher


Quick hit: Oakwood grad flourished at the plate and behind the dish for the Illini. His .497 average in 1987 still stands as the single-best mark in school history. He parlayed his first-team All-American honor in 1987 into a 14-year MLB career with the Dodgers, Phillies, Expos and Blue Jays.

Maxwell Garret


Quick hit: He started coaching at Illinois in 1940 and, in his 28 seasons in charge, put together a sterling 245-71-1 record while Illinois won 17 Big Ten titles. Garrettalso helped coordinate fencing competition at the 1996 Olympics and Paralympics. He died in 2013 at the age of 95.

Kendall Gill


Quick hit: A key part of the Flyin' Illini team that reached the 1989 Final Four, Gill earned consensus second-team All-American accolades in 1990 and led the Big Ten in scoring that season. After a 15-year NBA career that saw him score 12,914 points, Gill lives in the Chicago suburbs.

Jim Grabowski


Quick hit: He finished third in the 1965 Heisman Trophy voting after rushing for 1,258 yards that season and left Illinois with 2,878 career rushing yards, which is fourth in school history. Grabowski won two Super Bowls with the Packers under Vince Lombardi and lives in the Chicago suburbs.

Dana Howard


Quick hit: The first Illini to ever win a national award when he took home the Butkus Award as college football's top linebacker in 1994, Howard's 595 career tackles is the most in Big Ten history. The East St. Louis native will be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame later this year.

Tara Hurless


Quick hit: She left in 2004 as the program's all-time leading goal scorer with 47, a mark that stood until 2015. Hurless, who led Illinois to the 2003 Big Ten tournament title and a spot in the Elite Eight of the NCAA tournament in 2004, currently lives in Mahomet and is a UI police officer.

Johnny 'Red' Kerr


Quick hit: The Illini's team MVP and captain in 1954, he made his mark in the NBA, too, with 12,480 career points and 10,092 career rebounds from 1955 to 1966. Kerr coached with the Bulls and Suns and did broadcasting work for both teams before he died in 2009 at the age of 76.

Scott Langley


Quick hit: The NCAA individual champion in 2010, the St. Louis native was a three-time All-American at Illinois. He turned pro in 2011 and has earned more than $3 million during his career so far. Currently second on the 2018 Web.com Tour money list, Langley resides in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Celena Mondie-Milner

Track and field

Quick hit: Mondie-Milner earned All-American status 18 times in her Illini career from 1987 to 1990. She is Illinois' top all-time performer in the 55 meters, 200 meters and 300 yards indoors, along with the 200 and 400 outdoors. Mondie-Milner currently lives in Austin, Texas.

Charles Pond


Quick hit: The 1950s belonged to Pond and his Illini men's gymnasts as Illinois won 11 straight Big Ten titles and four NCAA championships from 1950 to 1960. Pond finished with an overall record of 319-152 coaching the Illini from 1949 to 1973. He died in 2003 at the age of 88.

Joe Sapora


Quick hit: A force on the mat during the Hoover administration, Sapora became the first Illinois wrestler to win two NCAA titles when he did so at 115 pounds during the 1929 and 1930 seasons before coaching for 36 years at City College in New York. Sapora died in 1992 at the age of 87.

Justin Spring


Quick hit: Currently the Illinois men's gymnastics coach, Spring excelled as an athlete with the Illini. He won four NCAA individual titles and was a 13-time All-American from 2003 to 2006. He also helped the U.S. Olympic team to a bronze medal at the 2008 Beijing Games.

Tonya Williams

Track and field

Quick hit: A dominant force in the hurdles, Williams won NCAA titles in the 400-meter hurdles in 1995 and 1996, setting an NCAA Championships meet record of 54.56 seconds in 1996. She also was a part of 20 Big Ten championships and currently resides in Pembroke Pines, Fla.

Willie Williams

Track and field

Quick hit: He won seven Big Ten sprint titles, but Williams gained even more notoriety when he broke Jesse Owens' world record in the 100-meter dash at 10.1 seconds in 1956 in Berlin, doing so at the same stadium and same lane Owens ran in during the 1936 Olympics.