Listen to this article

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: 1991

Jan. 1: For the second straight year, Illini football completed its season with a New Year’s Day bowl game. This one resulted in a 30-0 loss to Clemson at the Hall of Fame Bowl in Tampa, Fla.

March 13: Illini wrestling heavyweight Jon Llewellyn won the NCAA title.

April 9: Mark Johnson was introduced as Illinois’ wrestling head coach.

April 21: Illini defensive back Henry Jones was a first-round pick of the Buffalo Bills at the NFL draft. Moe Gardner and Darrick Brownlow were chosen in the fourth and fifth rounds, respectively.

April 30: Junior first baseman Bubba Smith collected six hits in seven at-bats against Illinois-Chicago. His performance included a record four home runs and 10 RBI in a 28-17 win.

May 18: Freshman Tonja Buford was named the top athlete at the Big Ten Outdoor Track and Field Championships, winning the 100 hurdles and running legs on the winning 400 and 1,600 relay units.

Oct. 12: Chris Richardson’s career-best 41-yard field with 37 seconds remaining defeated visiting Ohio State 10-7.

Nov. 2: Illinois dedicated its new $2.5 million Atkins Tennis Center.

Dec. 12: Texas hired Illinois’ John Mackovic as its head football coach. A day later, the Illini named Lou Tepper as Mackovic’s replacement.

Dec. 31: UCLA topped Illinois 6-3 at the John Hancock Bowl in El Paso, Texas during Tepper's first game in charge of Illinois.

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

Trending Videos