Champaign, IL – A star-studded Fighting Illini Athletics Hall of Fame Weekend is planned for Sept. 20-21 when the Class of 2019, including athletes and coaches from 11 different sports, will be inducted.
Induction activities begin at 6 pm, Friday, Sept. 20, at State Farm Center when the incoming class of 16 all-time greats will be honored in an event that is free and open to the public. Long-time Big Ten Network personality Dave Revsine will emcee the induction ceremony.
Twelve of the 13 living members of the class are expected to be in attendance, with NFL Hall of Famer Bobby Mitchell having to miss after a recent health setback. Illinois is working with Mitchell for a possible return later in the year after recover to be honored at an Illini event.
Following the induction ceremony, a Hall of Fame Celebration will take place in the VIP Tent at the corner of First Street and Kirby Avenue. This event will present the best opportunity for fans to interact with hall of famers on Friday evening as there will no longer be an autograph session at the conclusion of the induction ceremony.
The Illini Party of the Season takes the place of the Hall of Fame Gala this year in a less formal setting and will include a live band, the opportunity to mingle with Fighting Illini Hall of Famers and other greats and includes an open bar. Tickets for the Hall of Fame Celebration are $100 and can be purchased through the Illinois Ticket Office or at FightingIllini.com HERE. Proceeds help defray costs of the HOF weekend and class member accommodations.
The Celebration will include several additional notable Illini as well. Former Fighting Illini football coach Mike White, who stands third on the school’s victory list and led Illinois to the 1983 Big Ten Championship and subsequent Rose Bowl, will be in attendance to help celebrate his two-time All-America receiver David Williams’ induction. Jack Trudeau, Williams’ record-setting quarterback from 1983-85, is also expected to be present for the weekend. Other expected attendees include Fighting Illini hall of famers Darren Fletcher, Craig Virgin, Tara Hurless, Dana Howard and NASA Astronaut Mike Hopkins.
Prior to the Fighting Illini football game against Nebraska on Saturday, members of the Hall of Fame class will be available for autographs in Grange Grove. Specific times will be established once the kickoff time is known.
The Hall of Famers will also be recognized on the field at the beginning of halftime of the football game. Illinois vs. Nebraska game tickets, including a Family 4-Pack for only $89.00 are available at Fightingillini.com HERE
2019 Hall of Fame Induction Information
- Date: Friday, September 20
- Time: Ceremony Begins Promptly at 6:00 pm CT
- Place: State Farm Center. Enter main west doors.
- Admission: Free of Charge and Open to the Public
- Parking: Free at SFC lots
- Concessions: Available at SFC
- Dress Code: None
- Note: State Farm Center will enforce the building clear bag policy for this event
2019 Hall of Fame Celebration Party
- Date: Friday, September 20
- Time: 8:00 pm – 11:00 pm CT
- Place: VIP Tent at the corner of First Street and Kirby Avenue.
- Parking at State Farm Center or grass lot 31.
- Admission: Tickets purchased through the Illinois Ticket Office for $100 (HERE)
- Dress Code: Business Casual or Smart Casual
- Format: No assigned seating, high-end food stations, open bar, dancing and music by Talk of the Town featuring Maggie Speaks
Fighting Illini Athletics Hall of Fame Class of 2019
Ashley Berggren – Basketball – 1995-98
Lindsey Nimmo Bristow – Tennis – 1991-93
J.C. Caroline – Football – 1953-54
Amer Delic – Tennis – 2001-03
Don Freeman – Basketball – 1964-66
Joseph Giallombardo – Gymnastics – 1938-40
Jenna Hall – Softball – 2003-06
Joe Hunsaker – Swimming & Diving – 1957-59
Eddie Johnson – Basketball – 1978-81
Bobby Mitchell – Football / Track & Field – 1955-58
Bob Norman – Wrestling – 1957-58
Angela Bizzarri Pflugrath – Track & Field / Cross Country – 2006-10
Simeon Rice – Football – 1992-95
Deon Thomas – Basketball – 1991-94
Gary Wieneke – Men’s Track & Field (1974-2003) / Cross Country Coach (1967-2002)
David Williams – Football – 1983-85