Brown, Turner lead way

CHAMPAIGN – Don Hardin liked how his team looked at Saturday's alumni match. What he saw in the Huff Hall stands wasn't disappointing, either.

"I was happy to see as many fans (640) come out for a scrimmage," the UI volleyball coach said. "I think they are curious to see what we have this season."

Return to campus results in role reversal

Sixteen years ago, Janet Rayfield took a call from a fellow North Carolina graduate offering an assistant coach's job.

In June, the head coach of the Illinois women's soccer team placed the very same call to her former boss.

Tate: New look translates into hope

RANTOUL – This is Ron Zook's 23rd season of coaching on a university campus.

He has served at Tennessee, Ohio State and Florida among seven collegiate stops, has participated as player and coach on 15 bowl teams, and has been a part of five SEC championship teams.

Receiver Willis might go from walk-on to starter

RANTOUL – He never stopped thinking it could happen. Even during the two-a-day workouts in 110-degree heat at New Mexico Military Institute. Even during four junior college stops in two years. Even after schools failed to recruit him out of high school and didn't offer scholarships after junior college.

"I always believed in myself," Jacob Willis said.

Wieneke gets Hall of Fame nod

CHAMPAIGN – Former Illinois coach Gary Wieneke was among 12 coaches named this week to the U.S. Track and Field and Cross-Country Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

Wieneke and the rest of the Class of 2006 will be inducted Dec. 12 during the group's annual convention in San Antonio.

Gone camping

Each day during Camp Rantoul, we will run survey answers from the Illinois football players. Today's guests: linebacker J Leman and safety Kevin Mitchell.

Masar, Weeks help squad pass first test

CHAMPAIGN – Coach Janet Rayfield's No. 13 Illinois women's soccer team wanted to see how it measured up heading into the regular season.

Mission accomplished.

Gone camping

Each day during Camp Rantoul, we will run survey answers from the Illinois football players. Today's guests: receiver Frank Lenti Jr. and center Ryan McDonald.

Mezydlo: Small quick to show he belongs on stage

MEDINAH – For a guy who doesn't play on the PGA Tour any more, Mike Small knows how to do it up right. The Illinois men's golf coach is playing in his third straight PGA Championship this week, loving every minute and holding his own with the best the game has to offer. Jeff Mezydlo, who covers golf for The News-Gazette, followed along bright and early Thursday at Medinah Country Club and chronicled Small's first round that resulted in an even-par 72. Here's how it went:

Small solid early on

MEDINAH – With dew on the grass, the sun peeking through the trees and a couple hundred people looking on, Mike Small smacked his drive off the No. 1 tee.

The 2006 PGA Championship was under way.