The Eastern Illinois Panthers are the men's and women's athletic teams representing Eastern Illinois University of Charleston, IL in the NCAA's Division I. Most Eastern Illinois teams, including the FCS football team, participate in the Ohio Valley Conference. The men's soccer and men's swimming and diving teams are associate members of [1 ] The Summit League, and the women's rugby team (one of only three Division I and six total teams in this NCAA "emerging sport for women") is an independent. Eastern Illinois University's colors are [2 ] blue and gray. The team mascot, a panther, was informally known as "Billy" until its name was officially changed to "Prowler the Panther," in 2003 and then changed back to "Billy the Panther" in 2008.
Eastern Illinois University sponsors ten men's and eleven women's teams in
NCAA sanctioned sports: [3 ]
* = Rugby is an NCAA "emerging sport" which is fully sanctioned, but does not yet have a national championship.
Wrestling was a thriving sport at EIU until 2007, the last year that Eastern Illinois University sponsored a sanctioned NCAA Division I wrestling program.
Sports Highlights [ edit ]
Baseball [ edit ]
1981 NCAA Division II World Series Runner-Up.
Men's basketball [ edit ]
All time tournament results
First Round Winner
First Round Loser
Division II National Champion, 1980 National Runner-Up.
NCAA Division I Football Championship tournament appearances: 1982, 1983, 1986, 1989, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2007, & 2009
Men's soccer [ edit ]
NCAA Division II runners-up in 1978, 3rd in 1977, and 4th in 1974.
Stripped of 1981 Division I 3rd place finish.
Men's cross country [ edit ]
1968 – NCAA College Division National Champions
1969 – NCAA College Division National Champions
1977 – NCAA National Champions
Men's track and field [ edit ]
Team Championships (men's):
1974 – NCAA College Division National Champions
1955 – Ray White, NAIA Long Jump
1967 – John Craft, NAIA Triple Jump
1969 – John Craft, NCAA College Division Triple Jump
1972 – Rodney Jackson, NCAA College Division 400 hurdles
1973 – Rodney Jackson, NCAA College Division 400 hurdles
1974 – Darrell Brown, NCAA Division II Long Jump
1975 – Toni Ababio, NCAA Division II Long Jump
1975 – Toni Ababio, NCAA Division II Triple Jump
1976 – Ed Hatch, NCAA Division II 400 Meter Dash
1979 – Robert Johnson, NCAA Division II 110 hurdles
1981 – Augustine Oruwari, NCAA Division II 110 hurdles
1988 – Jim Maton, NCAA Division I 800 meter run (Indoor)
1992 – Dan Steele, NCAA Division I 400 hurdles
Fight Song [ edit ]
Eastern Loyalty or EIU Fight Song is the fight song for the university. The lyrics are:
We are loyal EIU, we're loyal and true –
'though the odds be great or small
we'll still be cheering you (rah! rah!)
so fight you Panthers for the glory of our dear name
fight on for Eastern, come on you Panthers win this game!
Notable former athletes [ edit ]
Tim Bogar, retired Major League Baseball infielder
Brad Childress, former head coach of the Minnesota Vikings
Henry Domercant, professional basketball player in Europe
Kevin Duckworth, former NBA All-Star forward
Kyle Hill, professional basketball player in Europe
Matt Hughes, 2x NCAA All-American wrestler, former UFC Welterweight Champion
Marty Pattin, former MLB baseball pitcher for the California Angels, Seattle Pilots, Milwaukee Brewers, Boston Red Sox, and Kansas City Royals
Sean Payton, head coach of the New Orleans Saints
Kenny Robertson, 4x NCAA Division I qualifier for wrestling; current mixed martial artist for the UFC
Tony Romo, quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys
Micah Rucker, former wide receiver for the Pittsburgh Steelers, Kansas City Chiefs, and New York Giants; also played in the Arena Football League
Mike Russow, current mixed martial artist
Mike Shanahan, head coach of the Washington Redskins
Chris Szarka, retired Canadian Football League fullback
Pierre Walters, NFL linebacker for the Kansas City Chiefs
Jeff Gossett, former NFL punter for the LA/Oakland Raiders and 3 other NFL teams
Ted Petersen, retired NFL Offensive/Defensive tackle for the Pittsburgh Steelers, Cleveland Browns, and Indianapolis Colts
Matt Veach, current mixed martial artist
References [ edit ]
External links [ edit ]