Track and Field

Loren Tate: Illini have taken many hits

Ron Garner was ready to run, but his legs were shot out from under before the gun went off.

He had barely drawn a breath as UI women’s track and field coach when he learned that superstars Ashley Spencer and Morolake Akinosun will follow coach Tonja Buford-Bailey to Texas.


Track stars headed to Texas

On June 26, Tonja Buford-Bailey announced she was leaving Illinois to become an associate head coach at the University of Texas.

On Tuesday, two of her biggest recruits at Illinois announced they were leaving to join Buford-Bailey in the Lone Star State.


Happy Birthday, Craig Virgin!

Illini Legends, Lists & Lore

Leo Johnson


Garner new Illinois women's track coach

CHAMPAIGN — Nearly a month after Tonja Buford-Bailey left Illinois to become the associate head coach at Texas, Illinois has a new women’s track and field coach.

Illinois announced the hiring of Ron Garner on Friday to replace Buford-Bailey, who went to Texas after five seasons as head coach at her alma mater.


Loren Tate: Game has too much weight

As an annual exhibition of stars, baseball’s All-Star Game is attractive and exciting. It provides a welcome four-day break midway through a grueling season.

But the suits are determined to make it something it isn’t.


All in the family

Tom, Darrin and Casey Fletcher are far from the only multi-generation family members to make their mark in University of Illinois sports history. Here are other notable examples of Illini athletes who kept it all in the family

Bill and Doug Altenberger


Big Ten dumps Favor Hamilton

The Big Ten female athlete of the year award no longer is named for the Olympic track star from Wisconsin who later acknowledged working as a prostitute.

Big Ten spokesman Scott Chipman said Tuesday that Suzy Favor Hamilton’s name was removed from the award after discussions between the league and Wisconsin.


Wiest back with Illini

CHAMPAIGN — Former Illinois men’s gymnastics standout Chad Wiest is back with the Illini.

Wiest, who was the 2011 Big Ten floor champion and a two-time All-American, was named the Illinois women’s gymnastics assistant coach Thursday.


Buford-Bailey leaves Illinois

The University of Texas announced on Wednesday that Illinois women's track and field coach Tonja Buford-Bailey has joined its women's and men's track and field program as associate head coach.


Lewis-Smallwood getting better with age

If there ever was a time for Gia Lewis-Smallwood to deviate from her training diet, Sunday night was it.

To celebrate her gold medal in the discus at the U.S. track and field championships in Des Moines, Iowa, the former Illini and Centennial High star splurged at one of her favorite fast-food joints, Red Robin.


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