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: 2019
January 26: At Madison Square Garden in New York, Illinois topped No. 13 Maryland, 78-67. Ayo Dosunmu and Tevian Jones led the Illini attack with 20 and 18 points, respectively.
February 5: Illini basketball marked its first win over an AP top 10 opponent since 2013, beating Michigan State, 79-74.
February 10: Giorgi Bezhanishvili set Illinois’ freshman single-game scoring record with 35 points, leading the Illini to a 99-94 overtime victory over Rutgers.
March 6: Sixteen legends from the past were added to the Illinois Athletics Hall of Fame. Among the honorees were J.C. Caroline, Simeon Rice, Gary Wieneke and Ashley Berggren.
March 13: In an opening round game at the Big Ten Tournament, freshman Giorgi Bezhanishvili tallied 26 points in Illinois’ 74-69 overtime win over Northwestern.
April 24: Seven-foot, 290-pound center Kofi Cockburn signed a national letter of intent to play for Illinois.
October 11: A 12-foot tall bronze statue of Dick Butkus, Illinois football’s greatest defensive player, was unveiled outside the main entrance of UI’s Henry Dale and Betty Smith Football Center.
October 19: James McCourt’s game-winning 39-yard field goal helped underdog Illinois beat sixth-ranked Wisconsin at Memorial Stadium.
November 9: Brandon Peters threw a five-yard touchdown pass to Daniel Barker with five seconds left, completing a record-setting rally that stunned host Michigan State, 37-34. UI trailed 31-10 entering the fourth quarter. The victory made Illinois’ football team bowl eligible.
December 11: Behind freshman Kofi Cockburn’s sixth double-double of the young season, Illinois knocked off No. 5 Michigan at the State Farm Center, 71-62.
December 30: Illinois dropped a 35-20 decision to California in the Redbox Bowl. Illini quarterback Brandon Peters passed for 273 yards in UI football’s first postseason game in five years.