All-Decade Moments from Illini Athletics

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All-Decade Moments  by Illinois Fighting Illini

Published 2019-12-31 16:42:01 UTC

Story by Illinois Fighting Illini

Men’s Golf

A Decade of Dominance for the Illini

  • 1 NCAA Runner-Up Finish
  • 2 NCAA Individual Champions
  • 1 National Coach of the Year
  • 4 NCAA Top-Three Finishes
  • 6 NCAA Top-Five Finishes
  • 9 Big Ten Championships
  • 8 Big Ten Players of the Year
  • 9 Big Individual Medalists
  • 10 NCAA Finals Appearances
  • 22 All-America Honors
  • 43 Individual Tournament Titles
  • 52 Team Tournament Titles
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Illinois earned a runner-up finish at the 2013 NCAA Championships. The Illini were four-time National Semifinalists in 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2017.

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Scott Langley (2010) and Thomas Pieters (2012) were NCAA Individual Champions. 

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The Illini won nine Big Ten Titles during the 2010s.


Illinois Football upset No. 6 Wisconsin on October 19, 2019

The largest comeback in Illinois Football history. The Illini came back from being down 31-10 to defeat Michigan State, 37-34 on November 9, 2019. Illinois became bowl eligible with the win.

Illinois topped Northwestern at Wrigley Field in 2010. 

Whitney Mercilus was named a consensus First-Team All-American.

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The Dick Butkus Statue was unveiled on October 12, 2019

Illinois won back-to-back Bowl Games in 2011 and 2012.

Men’s Basketball

Illinois defeated No. 5 Michigan at State Farm Center on December 11, 2019.

Illinois defeated No. 1 Indiana in 2013.

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The 2013 Maui Invitational Champions

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Illinois hosted College Game Day on February 6, 2010.

Brandon Paul’s phenomenal game against Ohio State in 2013

Illinois won five-straight Braggin’ Rights titles during the decade. Rayvonte Rice hits the buzzer beater.

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Illinois won the 2015 Big Ten Title at Illinois Field 

The Illini won the 2015 NCAA Champaign Regional at Illinois Field 

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Tyler Jay was the No. 6 overall pick in the 2015 MLB Draft

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Bren Spillane won 2018 Collegiate Baseball National Player of the Year

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Illinois advanced to the 2018 Final Four.

The 2011 NCAA Runner-Up Team

Jordyn Poulter earned 2018 Big Ten Co-Setter of the Year and First-Team All-America honors

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The 2011-12 Illinois wrestling team finishes seventh at NCAA Championships, with four wrestlers earning All-America honors

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Jesse Delgado wins back-to-back national titles at 125 pounds in 2013 and 2014

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Men’s Gymnastics

Illinois won the 2012 NCAA Men’s Gymnastics Championship at the State Farm Center.

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Illinois men’s gymnastics won three Big Ten Championships during the decade (2011, 2012, 2018)


Back-to-Back NCAA Regional appearances

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Nicole Evans named NFCA All-America Third-Team, Athur Ashe Jr. Female Sports Scholar of the Year and setting the career home run, RBI and total bases records at Illinois in 2017

Meredith Hackett named NFCA All-America First-Team in 2010

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Men’s Tennis

Illinois won the Big Ten regular season and tournament titles in 2015 at the Atkins Tennis Center. 

Aleks Kovacevic reached the NCAA Singles Semifinal in 2019.

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Jared Hiltzik and Aleks Vukic became just the second and third Illini men’s tennis players to earn three All-America honors. 

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Men’s Track

Illinois won the 2015 Big Ten Outdoor Champions behind five first-place performances. The Illini would tie for 10th at NCAA Outdoor Championships

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Andrew Riley wins both the 100m Dash and 110m Hurdles national titles at the 2012 NCAA Outdoor Championships. Riley also won the 110m Hurdles national title at the 2010 outdoor championships, and the 60m Hurdles national title at the 2011 indoor championships.

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David Kendzeria places 2nd in the 110m Hurdles and 3rd in the 400m Hurdles at 2018 NCAA Outdoor Championships. He finished his career as a 10-time All-American.

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Women’s Track

Illinois won the 2013 Big Ten Indoor Champions behind six first place performances

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Angela Bizzarri wins the 3K national title at the 2010 NCAA Indoor Championships

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Ashley Spencer wins the 400m national title at the 2013 NCAA Outdoor Championships. 

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Women’s Cross Country

The Illini won 2019 NCAA Midwest Regional Championships, with four student-athletes earning Midwest All-Region honors. Team qualifies for NCAA Championships for the first time since 2009. Sarah Haveman earns NCAA Midwest Region Women’s Coach of the Year honors in her second season.

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Women’s Cross Country finishes fourth at 2018 NCAA Midwest Regionals, a 20-spot jump from their 2017 finish under first-year head coach Sarah Haveman.

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Men’s Cross Country

The Illini qualified for the NCAA Championships in 2016 for the first time since 1986

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Jon Davis wins 2017 Midwest Regional Title with 10K finish time of 29:06.2, the second-fastest 10K in program history.

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Janet Rayfield earns her 200th win as a head coach

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Women’s Basketball

The Illini defeated No. 9 Kentucky in 2014

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Illinois topped No. 12 Minnesota in 2019.

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Alex Wittinger reset the single-game blocked shots record.

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Women’s Gymnastics

Illinois advanced to the NCAA Championships in 2011, 2013 and 2014

Illinois scored a team record 197.350 at the 2015 Big Ten Championships

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Women’s Tennis

Illinois reached the NCAA Tournament in back-to-back seasons in 2018 and 2019.

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Women’s Golf

In 2019, Illinois reached the NCAA Championships for the first time ever.

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Swimming and Diving

Diver Ling Kuhn advanced to the 2019 NCAA Diving Championships. Kuhn was the first diver to advance to the NCAA Championships since 1993.

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