Western Illinois Leathernecks football

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Western Illinois Leathernecks
2018 Western Illinois Leathernecks football team
Western Illinois Leathernecks wordmark.svg
First season 1903
Head coach Jared Elliott
1st season, 0–0 (–)
Stadium Hanson Field
(Capacity: 16,368)
Field surface Matrix Turf
Location Macomb, Illinois
NCAA division Division I FCS
Conference Missouri Valley
All-time record 509–438–38 (.536)
Bowl record 2–1 (.667)
Playoff appearances 10
Playoff record 7–9 (Div. I FCS)
0–1 (Div. II)
Conference titles 13
1939, 1942, 1949, 1958, 1959, 1964, 1969, 1981, 1988, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2002
Consensus All-Americans 59
Colors Purple and Gold[1]
Fight song We're Marching On
Mascot Colonel Rock (Live Bulldog), Rocky (Costumed Bulldog)
Marching band Western Illinois University Marching Leathernecks
Website goleathernecks.com
Western Illinois Leathernecks

The Western Illinois Leathernecks football program is the intercollegiate American football team for Western Illinois University located in Macomb, Illinois.[2][3] The team competes in the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) and are members of the Missouri Valley Football Conference.[4] The school's first football team was fielded in 1903. The team plays its home games at the 16,368 seat Hanson Field.


Head coaches[edit]

Years Name
1903 Unknown
1904 L.H. Laughlin
1905 A. Laughlin
1906 Oliver Dickerson
1907–1908 Coach Barnett
1909 Coach Taft
1910 Oliver Dickerson
1911 Albert Walbrath
1912–1913 Unknown
1914 E.S. Dowell
1915 Unknown
1916–1917 Erskine Jay
1918 No team
1919 Erskine Jay
1920–1921 W.A. Cleveland
1922–1925 Howard Hawkes
1926–1941 Ray Hanson
1942–1943 Wix Garner
1944 Bob Barnwell
1945–1947 Wix Garner
1948 Harold Ave
1949–1953 Vince DiFrancesca
1954–1956 Wes Stevens
1957–1959 Lou Saban
1960–1968 Art Dufelmeier
1969–1973 Darrell Mudra
1974–1975 Brodie Westen
1976–1978 Bill Shanahan
1979–1982 Pete Rodriguez
1983–1989 Bruce Craddock
1990–1998 Randy Ball
1999–2009 Don Patterson
2008–2012† Mark Hendrickson
2013–2015 Bob Nielson
2016–2017 Charlie Fisher
2018- Jared Elliott

† Acting head coach first seven games of 2008 season and last eight games of 2009 season.

Conference affiliations[edit]

Years Conference Classification
1903–1914 Independent
1915–1919 Little 19
1920–1941 Illinois Intercollegiate Athletic
1942–1949 Illinois Intercollegiate Athletic NCAA College Division
1950–1969 Interstate Intercollegiate Athletic NCAA College Division
1970–1972 Independent NCAA College Division
1973–1977 Independent Division II
1978–1980 Mid-Continent Division II
1981–1984 Mid-Continent Division I-AA
1985–1991 Gateway Collegiate Athletic Division I-AA
1992–2005 Gateway Football Division I-AA
2006–2007 Gateway Football Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS)
2008–present Missouri Valley Football Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS)


Conference championships[edit]

Years Conference Overall Record Conference Record
1939 Illinois Intercollegiate Athletic 5–1–1 2–0–1
1942 IIllinois Intercollegiate Athletic 5–0–2 3–0–1
1949 Illinois Intercollegiate Athletic 9–1–0 4–0
1958 Interstate Intercollegiate Athletic 6–1–1 5–1
1959 Interstate Intercollegiate Athletic 9–0–0 6–0
1964† Interstate Intercollegiate Athletic 6–3–0 3–1
1969 Interstate Intercollegiate Athletic 8–2–0 3–0
1981† Mid-Continent 5–6 2–1
1988 Gateway Collegiate Athletic 10–2–0 6–0
1997 Gateway Football 8–3 4–1
1998 Gateway Football 11–2 6–0
2000 Gateway Football 9–3 5–1
2002† Gateway Football 11–2 6–1

† Co-championship

Playoffs and bowls[edit]


Season Result Classification
1973 First Round NCAA Division II Playoffs
1988 First Round NCAA Division I-AA Playoffs
1991 First Round NCAA Division I-AA Playoffs
1996 First Round NCAA Division I-AA Playoffs
1997 Quarterfinals NCAA Division I-AA Playoffs (Pecan Bowl)
1998 Semifinals NCAA Division I-AA Playoffs (Pecan Bowl)
2000 First Round NCAA Division I-AA Playoffs
2002 Quarterfinals NCAA Division I-AA Playoffs (Pecan Bowl)
2003 Quarterfinals NCAA Division I-AA Playoffs (Pecan Bowl)
2010 Second Round NCAA Division I FCS Playoffs
2015 Second Round NCAA Division I FCS Playoffs
2017 First Round NCAA Division I FCS Playoffs

*Note: Since 1981, the NCAA Division I-AA/Division I FCS Playoffs Regional Championships were commonly referred to as the Boardwalk Bowl (East Region Championship), Pecan Bowl (Midwest Region Championship), Grantland Rice Bowl (South Region Championship), and Camellia Bowl (West Region Championship).

Bowls games[edit]

Season Bowl Opponent Result
1949 Corn Bowl Wheaton W 13–0
1953 Corn Bowl Iowa Wesleyan W 32–0
1955 Corn Bowl Luther L 20–24

College Football Hall of Fame members[edit]


Notable former players[edit]

Notable alumni[edit]

Western Illinois Leathernecks selected in the NFL Draft[edit]


Hanson Field[edit]

Hanson Field is a 16,368-seat multi-purpose stadium in Macomb, Illinois, USA.[5] The stadium which opened in 1950 is home to the Western Illinois Leathernecks football team and track and field team. The field is named after former WIU football coach/A.D. and Marine legend Rock Hanson. A unique feature of the facility is an extensive hillside that surrounds the field allowing for additional seating for thousands of spectators. Outside the stadium, a statue of former WIU track and field coach and two time Olympic gold medalist Lee Calhoun stands and a bulldog statue is located at the main entrance.

Highest-Scoring Game[edit]

On September 11, 2004, Western Illinois defeated Division II Chenyey State 98–7.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Western Illinois Leathernecks Athletics 2017–18 Branding & Style Guidelines (PDF). July 11, 2017. Retrieved August 28, 2017. 
  2. ^ "Western Illinois Athletics Leathernecks Football". goleathernecks.com. Retrieved 2015-01-16. 
  3. ^ "Western Illinois Leathernecks College Football Clubhouse". espn.go.com. Retrieved 2015-09-09. 
  4. ^ "Western Illinois Leathernecks". College Football Data Warehouse. Retrieved 2015-01-25. 
  5. ^ "Hanson Field". goleathernecks.com. Retrieved 2015-01-12. 

External links[edit]