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Illinois State Redbirds
University Illinois State University
Conference Missouri Valley Conference
NCAA Division I
Athletic director Larry Lyons
Location Normal, IL
Varsity teams 17 (7 men's, 10 women's)
Football stadium Hancock Stadium
Basketball arena Redbird Arena
Baseball stadium Duffy Bass Field
Mascot Reggie Redbird
Nickname Redbirds
Fight song Go, You Redbirds
     Red       White
Website www.goredbirds.com

The Illinois State Redbirds are the athletic teams that represent Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois. Teams play at the NCAA Division I level (FCS in football). The football team competes in the Missouri Valley Football Conference while most other teams compete in the Missouri Valley Conference. The fight song is Go, You Redbirds.[1]


A member of the Missouri Valley Conference, Illinois State University sponsors eight men's and eleven women's teams in NCAA sanctioned sports:[2]

Men's Intercollegiate Sports Team Article Head Coach Women's Intercollegiate Sports Team Article Head Coach
Baseball Redbirds baseball Bo Durkac Basketball Barb Smith
Basketball Redbirds men's basketball Dan Muller Cross Country Jeff Bovee
Cross Country Jeff Bovee Golf Darby Sligh
Football [v 1] Redbirds football Brock Spack Gymnastics [v 2] Bob Conkling
Golf Ray Kralis Soccer Eric Golz
Tennis Mark Klysner Softball Melinda Fischer
Track & Field (Indoor & Outdoor) Jeff Bovee Swimming & Diving Scott Cameron
Tennis Mark Klysner
Track & Field (Indoor & Outdoor) Jeff Bovee
Volleyball Melissa Myers
  1. ^ The football team competes as a member of the Missouri Valley Football Conference.
  2. ^ The gymnastics team competes as a member of the Midwest Independent Conference.


Illinois State began its athletics program more than 100 years ago. The school, which had already been an NCAA Division I competitor for a decade, left behind its independent status in 1980 and affiliated itself with the Missouri Valley Conference. From 1981-92, Redbird women's teams competed under the Gateway Conference banner before women's sports were absorbed into the Missouri Valley Conference.

From approximately 1910-1970, Illinois State was affiliated with the Illinois Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

Athletics at Illinois State consists of 19 intercollegiate sports, having won 125 league titles in 23 years.[citation needed]

Today, 17 of the 19 Redbird sports compete in the Missouri Valley Conference, with the football team playing in the Missouri Valley Football Conference, formerly known as the Gateway Conference. On 7 April 2015, 7 died when a privately-owned Cessna 414 carrying Redbirds men's basketball coach Torrey Ward and the Deputy Director of Athletics Aaron Leetch crashed.[3] The plane crashed in a soybean field outside of Central Illinois Regional Airport in McLean County.[4]


Men's basketball[edit]

Conference Title: 1983, 1990, 1993, 1997, 1998 NCAA Appearances: 1983, 1984, 1985, 1990, 1997, 1998

  • In 2008 they reached the NIT with a 25-10 record, They won their first round game as a 2 seed but ended up losing to Dayton in the 2nd round.
  • In 2009 they reached the NIT. They faced Kansas State in the first round and lost in overtime.
  • In 2010 the Redbirds once again made it to the National Invitation Tournament as a 7 seed. They traveled to Dayton, Ohio to take on the eventual 2010 NIT champion Flyers.
  • In 2012 the Redbirds made it to the NIT Tournament. They defeated Ole Miss in the first round, but lost to eventual 2012 NIT champion Stanford.

Women's basketball[edit]

Conference Title: 1983, 1989, 2005, 2008, 2009 NCAA Appearances: 1983, 1985, 1989, 2005, 2008

  • In 2008 the women made it to the NCAA tournament with a 26-6 record as a 13 seed but lost first round to the Oklahoma
  • During the 2007-2008 season, former Head Coach Dr. Jill Hutchinson was recognized for her pioneering work in the advancement of women’s basketball. A banner was hung from the rafters at Redbird Arena in her honor.
  • 2009 Kristi Cirone becomes the all-time leading scorer.
  • December 28, 2009 Kristi Cirone's No. 10 jersey was retired at Redbird Arena. Redbird Women's Basketball
  • Reached Semifinals in the 2009, 2010, and 2011 postseason WNIT. Lost in the second round of the 2012 postseason WNIT.[5]


Missouri Valley Football Conference title: 1999, 2014

NCAA Division I Football Championship playoffs: 1998, 1999, 2006, 2012, 2014

Bowl Games

Date played Bowl Champion Runner-Up
November 23, 1950 Corn Bowl Missouri-Rolla 7 Illinois State 6
December 4, 1999 Pecan Bowl Illinois State 37 Hofstra 20
December 1, 2006 Pecan Bowl Youngstown State 28 Illinois State 21
  • The 1999 & 2006 the Midwest Region Championship (FCS Quarterfinal) was referred to as the Pecan Bowl
  • In 1999 the Redbirds football team advanced to the Final Four and finished 3rd in the AP poll.
  • Illinois State holds the NCAA Division I-AA record for the most tied football games with 66.[6]


Notable former athletes[edit]


External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Illinois_State_Redbirds — Please support Wikipedia.
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3466 news items

Lexington Herald Leader

Mon, 30 Nov 2015 18:29:10 -0800

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) Kentucky coach John Calipari took heart in his young Wildcats absorbing Illinois State's best shots before getting off the deck to inflict some aggression of their own. He expected some struggles with point guard Tyler Ulis ...


Mon, 30 Nov 2015 13:11:15 -0800

Special thanks to Academy Sports + Outdoors for presenting our pregame Keys to Victory for each game this season. The No. 1 Kentucky Wildcats (6-0) take on the Illinois State Redbirds (3-4) of the Missouri Valley Conference in the first-ever game ...


Tue, 01 Dec 2015 08:41:15 -0800

Illinois State Redbirds' Brannon Barry (81) pulls down Northern Iowa Panthers quarterback Aaron Bailey (15) during the second quarter of their NCAA football game at Hancock Stadium in Normal, Ill. on Saturday, Oct. 3, 2015. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette).

Mid-Major Madness

Mid-Major Madness
Tue, 24 Nov 2015 20:52:30 -0800

Game Recap: Illinois State Redbirds come up short against Maryland Terrapins in Mexico. By Benjamin Miraski @bmiraski on Nov 24, 2015, 9:00p +. Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports. Paris Lee may have been the best guard on the floor for both teams ...

Testudo Times

Testudo Times
Mon, 23 Nov 2015 03:37:30 -0800

The Maryland men's basketball team is in Mexico this week for the Cancun Challenge, a two-day tournament also featuring Illinois State, Rhode Island and TCU. For the Terps to get a crack at either Rhode Island or TCU, they'll first have to get past ...


Sat, 21 Nov 2015 13:44:18 -0800

NORMAL, Ill. (AP) Marshaun Coprich and Tre Roberson looked like kids playing in a snowstorm Saturday while leading Illinois State to a 46-0 win over South Dakota. Coprich ran for 251 yards and four touchdowns and Roberson ran for 121 yards and a TD ...

Mid-Major Madness

Mid-Major Madness
Fri, 13 Nov 2015 07:43:13 -0800

Game Preview: Illinois State Redbirds vs. San Diego State Aztecs. By Benjamin Miraski @bmiraski on Nov 13, 2015, 7:30a +. Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports. Illinois State could be a sleeper at large selection for the NCAA Tournament. To get there though ...

Chicago Tribune

Chicago Tribune
Sun, 22 Nov 2015 09:08:14 -0800

The teams did not meet in regular-season play in 2014 or 2015. The FCS title game is Jan. 9 in Frisco, Texas. Copyright © 2015, Chicago Tribune · Illinois State Redbirds · College Sports · North Dakota State Bison · Western Illinois Leathernecks ...

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