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: 1987
March 1: Lou Henson’s hard-luck men’s basketball team finally won a close one, defeating No. 3 Indiana 69-67 in Champaign. It would turn out to be the eventual national champs’ final loss of the season.
March 11 & 14: In NCAA tournament play, coach Laura Golden Illinois women’s basketball team beat Bowling Green 80-64 in the first round, then lost 92-58 to No. 3 Auburn.
March 12: In opening-round NCAA tournament action at Birmingham, Ala., Austin Peay applied a disappointing end to Illinois’ basketball season with a 68-67 upset.
May 13: In his final game as an Illini baseball player, Darrin Fletcher hit a grand slam home run as Illinois defeated Purdue 13-9. Fletcher wound up the season with a school-record batting average of .497.
June 22: At the NBA draft, UI’s Ken Norman became a first-round pick of the Los Angeles Clippers.
Aug. 12: Athletic director Neale Stoner hired Cal State-Fullerton’s Augie Garrido as the Illini baseball coach.
Oct. 24: At Spartan Stadium, Illinois’ Scott Davis blocked a Michigan State field-goal attempt in the final seconds, allowing the Illini to salvage a 14-14 tie. It would prove to be the only blemish on Michigan State’s 7-0-1 Big Ten record.
Nov. 21: In the season finale at Northwestern, the host Wildcats defeated Illinois, 28-10. It would be the last Illini game that Mike White would coach. He was fired on Jan. 18, 1988.
Nov. 29: A 3-0 win against Michigan wrapped up Illinois volleyball’s second straight Big Ten title.
Dec. 17: Volleyball advanced to the NCAA’s Final Four with a sweep against Nebraska. Six days later, UI lost to top-ranked Hawaii in the semifinals.