University of Illinois athletic teams finished in 23rd place in the 2010-11 Learfield Sports Director's Cup, which honors the nation's best overall athletic program. It marked Illinois' second-highest finish in the 18-year history of the award. Nine Illinois teams finished in the top 25 nationally, including four in the top 10.
The Illinois men's gymnastics team reached the NCAA Team Finals for the ninth-straight year and placed third, its highest finish since 1998. Under second-year coach Justin Spring, the squad earned a third-straight Big Ten title, crowned two NCAA Champions -- Tyler Mizoguchi on parallel bars and Daniel Ribeiro on pommel horse.
Illinois men's golf won its third-straight Big Ten title and advanced to the match play quarterfinal round at the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history, marking the highest finish by the program since 1941. Luke Guthrie earned PING first-team All-America honors and claimed medalist honors at both the Big Ten Championship and NCAA Regional.
The Illini baseball team won the Big Ten regular-season and tournament championships for the first time in school history, and reached the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2000. The Illini won a school-record five straight Big Ten series to clinch a share of the regular-season title before posting three consecutive wins at the Big Ten Tournament. Illinois knocked out Kansas State and No. 11 Cal State Fullerton to advance to the regional title game before falling to No. 20 Stanford.
The Illini volleyball team finished as runner-up in the Big Ten and made its third straight NCAA Sweet 16 appearance. Illinois reached as high as No. 3 in the national polls during the season and ended Penn State's record 65-match winning streak in a thrilling five-set win in front of a sellout crowd of more than 4,100 at Huff Hall.
Illinois women's gymnastics recorded its highest national ranking in school history, finishing the year ranked 11th under first-year head coach Kim Landrus. The Illini finished third in the Big Ten, second at NCAA Regionals and 11th at the NCAA Championships. Illinois earned six All-America honors at NCAAs, led by a pair of first-team accolades by Melissa Fernandez in all-around and on balance beam.
Led by All-American Dennis Nevolo, the men's tennis squad reached the NCAA Sweet 16 for the ninth time in 10 seasons.
The Illini football team finished fourth in the Big Ten and won the 2010 Texas Bowl. All-American running back Mikel Leshoure broke the school single-season rushing record.
Illinois' men's basketball team also finished fourth in the Big Ten. The Illini reached the 20-win marker for the seventh time in eight years and reached the Round of 32 in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2006.
The Illini soccer squad also notched a fourth-place Big Ten finish and earned their seventh NCAA Tournament berth under coach Janet Rayfield.
Jimmy Kennedy and B.J. Futrell each finished eighth at the NCAA Wrestling Championships, earning All-America honors and leading the Illini to 22nd place.
The Illini softball team won 27 games and finished in third place in the Big Ten.
The men's track and field squad finished 12th at the NCAA Outdoor Championships, its best finish since 1998. Andrew Riley was NCAA runner-up in the 110-meter hurdles and starred on the UI 4x100-meter relay team that placed third nationally. Riley claimed his second national title during the indoor season, meanwhile, winning the NCAA 60-meter hurdles.
The women's track and field team finished fourth at the Big Ten Outdoor Championships. Ashley Kelly won a conference title in the 400-meter run indoors was a first-team All-American outdoors, while Tamika Robinson was a first-team All-American indoors in the 60-meter hurdles.
The women's golf team advanced to the NCAA Regional Championships for the first time since 2003 and just the third time in school history.
Forty-seven (47) Illini were named to All-Big Ten teams and 25 were All-Americans.