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In 1999, Willie Gartrell, Football '76, Chubby Phillips, Football '77, and Tracy Campbell, Football '77 coordinated an event to pay tribute to J.C. "The Kid" Caroline, Football '56.

J.C. was an All-American halfback for the Illini in the 1950s who went on to play for the Chicago Bears from 1956 to 1965. J.C. later returned to his alma mater as an assistant coach until 1976.