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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: 1988

Feb. 2: Fifteen days after firing football coach Mike White, athletic director Neale Stoner replaced him with John Mackovic.

March 5: Illini 142-pounder Kirk Azinger became the UI wrestling program’s first individual Big Ten champ in 27 years, defeating Ohio State’s Ken Ramsey 4-2.

March 24: Illinois’ baseball team edged Western Illinois 11-10 in the first-ever game at its new $1.6 million Proano Stadium.

April 24: The Los Angeles Raiders chose Illini defensive lineman Scott Davis in the first round of the NFL Draft.

May 16: Starring medalist Steve Stricker, Illinois men’s golf ended Ohio State’s six-year reign and won the program’s first Big Ten championship since 1941.

July 12: Following an investigation that revealed improper personal use of gifts and services, the University of Illinois announced that athletic director Neale Stoner had resigned.

Oct. 1: On his 45th birthday, coach John Mackovic and his Illini football team celebrated with a 31-12 victory at Ohio State.

Nov. 26: With a 3-2 victory at Iowa, Illini volleyball finished a perfect 18-0 Big Ten record. It advanced to the Final Four, but once again lost to Hawaii in the NCAA semifinals.

Dec. 19: Sixth-ranked Illini men’s basketball fell behind by 18 points, then rallied to beat No. 10 Missouri 87-84 at the Braggin’ Rights game in St. Louis. Kenny Battle starred with a game-high 28 points.

Dec. 22: Illinois men’s basketball improved its record to 9-0 with a smashing 127-100 victory over host LSU. It was the most points ever by an LSU opponent at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.

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