Tag: Ohio Valley Conference

New face in Ohio Valley Conference leads to scheduling adjustment for Eastern Illinois, other league members

First-year Eastern Illinois head coach Chris Wilkerson’s Panthers host new Ohio Valley Conference member Lindenwood Oct. 15 in Charleston. (photo courtesy Sandy King, EIU Athletics) Perhaps the only thing busier than the transfer portal these days in college football is tracking the ever-changing world of conference membership. The Ohio Valley Conference certainly had seen its... Read more »

Spring game takeaways spotlight EIU defensive goal for fall season

Sophomore safety Blake Ruffin (4) had two first-half interceptions in Saturday’s Eastern Illinois spring game. (photo courtesy Sandy King, EIU Athletics) CHARLESTON — If there’s a mathematical formula to success, first-year Eastern Illinois head coach Chris Wilkerson thinks he has part of the equation. “The statistics will show you that if you take away 25 possessions... Read more »

Eastern Illinois offense in a hurry to put 2021 season behind

Eastern Illinois tight end Anthony Manaves (11) fights for extra yardage during Saturday’s spring football game in Charleston. (Photo by Sandy King, EIUPanthers.com) CHARLESTON — Everything the Eastern Illinois offense did Saturday during the annual spring football game had one thing in common – a faster pace. “We’re very up-tempo,” tight end Jay Vallie said.... Read more »
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New Eastern Illinois coach Wilkerson proud to be a softball dad for 'that other school'

Eastern Illinois head football coach Chris Wilkerson celebrates his hiring with daughter Bella, an Illinois State softball player, Jan. 28 in Charleston. (Photo courtesy of Bella Wilkerson) CHARLESTON – Underneath O’Brien Field, past the Ohio Valley Conference championship trophies and the deep blue walls, Chris Wilkerson is surrounded by football in his new office. On... Read more »

First-year coach & EIU alum Wilkerson focuses on connection with players during spring practice

Eastern Illinois head coach Chris Wilkerson has returned to his alma mater to lead the Panthers. (photo courtesy Sandy King, EIU Athletics) Chris Wilkerson hits a milestone birthday next month, yet the Eastern Illinois football coach got perhaps his best present in January when he was hired by his alma mater. Wilkerson, who turns 50... Read more »

National Signing Day, Feb. 2022: Eastern Illinois Panthers

Chris Wilkerson’s first Eastern Illinois recruiting class was made up of 12 players, including nine who have previous college or prep school experience. (Photo via EIUPanthers.com) New Eastern Illinois head football coach Chris Wilkerson brought nine seasons of previous head coaching experience to Charleston when he was hired last month to replace Adam Cushing. His... Read more »
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New EIU football coach has former teammates 'thrilled that he's back'

Eastern Illinois head coach Chris Wilkerson (left) and Panthers’ athletic director Tom Michael (right) each spoke at Friday’s introductory media address. (photo courtesy Sandy King, EIU Athletics) When the news broke Jan. 11 that Eastern Illinois was suddenly without a head coach, alumni across the nation felt the sting and wondered aloud if the Panthers... Read more »

Eastern Illinois welcomes new head football coach Wilkerson 'home' to Charleston

New Eastern Illinois head football coach Chris Wilkerson (left) poses Friday at his introductory press conference with EIU athletic director Tom Michael. (Photo by EIUPanthers.com) When 49-year-old Chris Wilkerson was introduced Friday in Charleston as the new Eastern Illinois head football coach, he recalled a life-altering moment from high school. “Thirty-two years ago this Wednesday,... Read more »

Former EIU player, U of Chicago head coach Wilkerson tabbed to lead alma mater's football program

Former Eastern Illinois defensive tackle and University of Chicago head coach Chris Wilkerson has been named to lead the football program at his alma mater, EIU announced Wednesday morning. Wilkerson — who played for the Panthers from 1991 to ’94 and served as an EIU assistant coach from 1995 to 2001 —  replaces Adam Cushing, the... Read more »
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Eastern Illinois head coach Adam Cushing departs Charleston for FBS Duke

Eastern Illinois head coach Adam Cushing is departing EIU after three seasons to coach the offensive line at FBS Duke. (Photo by Barry Bottino, Prairie State Pigskin) Adam Cushing arrived at Eastern Illinois as its head football coach in December 2018 with 15 years of experience as an FBS assistant at Northwestern under his belt.... Read more »