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During the six decades of Loren Tate’s service as a reporter for The News-Gazette, he has chronicled a myriad of Illini athletic competitions and events for the Champaign-Urbana community.

As part of The News-Gazette’s special section about its Hall of Famer, we were asked to gather a list of notable Illini experiences each year that have happened over the last half-century of Tate’s employment.

Over the next 55 days, we will looking back at some notable moments in Illini history. Up next: 1967

Jan. 16: The University announced that former Illini athlete Gene Vance would become the new athletic director. He eventually assumed duties on April 1.

March 11: Harry Combes coached his final Illini basketball game, a 102-92 loss at Wisconsin. His 316 victories in 20 seasons were the most in school history at the moment.

March 19: Combes, his assistant coach Howard Braun, and head football coach Pete Elliott resigned.

March 29: Illinois named Jim Valek (football) and Harv Schmidt (basketball) to their respective head coaching positions.

April 23: Illinois’ Jim Dawson was named winner of the Chicago Tribune’s Silver Basketball, symbolic of the Big Ten’s most valuable player.

Sept. 23: In Valek’s debut, Illinois lost its season opener at Florida, 14-0.

Sept. 30: Valek got his first Illini victory in a 34-6 decision over visiting Pittsburgh.

Oct. 28: Illini football won at Ohio State, 17-13, on Davis Jackson’s 1-yard plunge with 34 seconds left. It marked UI’s first back-to-back victories over Ohio State since 1946 and 1947.

Nov. 25: John Wright’s 144 receiving yards led Illini football in a 21-19 win at Iowa in the season finale to cap a 4-6 season under Valek.

Dec. 2: In his debut as UI’s basketball coach, Schmidt’s Illini beat Butler 75-57 in Indianapolis.

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