Illinois enjoys extensive coverage by the media, both print and electronic. The Big Ten Conference boasts one of the best television packages in college football, especially with the creation of the Big Ten Network. Every conference game, and the vast majority of non-conference games, that each Big Ten team plays is broadcast nationally through such partners as ABC, ESPN, ESPN2 and the Big Ten Network. Click here to check out the Big Ten football television schedule.
Fighting Illini Insider
Illini Productions will produce approximately 30 weekly 30-minute shows covering primarily football in the fall, men's and women's basketball starting in early December, and spring sports through the end of May. Illinois radio voice Brian Barnhart will host the majority of the fall shows, which will include game highlights, in-studio interviews with Illini head coaches, special features and Olympic sports reviews in a 30-minute magazine style format. Many individual segments will be archived at fightingillini.com.Check your local listing for 2014-15 air dates and times.
Fighting Illini Radio Network
Football Coach Radio Show
The Tim Beckman radio show airs Tuesday evenings on the Fighting Illini Radio Network from 6:30-7:30 p.m. The live show originates from Buffalo Wild Wings in Savoy and is hosted by Brian Barnhart, the play-by-play voice of Fighting Illini football. The Tim Beckman radio show is also available through Illini All-Access on the official Fighting Illini Athletics website.
Men's Basketball Coach Radio Show
The John Groce radio show is a weekly call-in radio show aired statewide on the Fighting Illini Sports Network and locally on WDWS-AM 1400, the flagship station for the network. The show is hosted by Illini play-by-play announcer Brian Barnhart and is broadcast live from Buffalo Wild Wings each Monday from 7-8 p.m. starting Dec. 15 and running through March 9. A complete schedule of the show is listed in the weekly game notes update. The John Groce radio show is also available through Illini All-Access on the official Fighting Illini Athletics website.
Fighting Illini Radio Network Talent
The 43-station statewide Fighting Illini Radio Network is managed by Fighting Illini Sports Properties and encompasses all sponsorship and operational elements. ISN programming includes Illinois football, men's and women's basketball, volleyball and baseball, along with the "Illini Today" series.
Football and men's basketball play-by-play
Barnhart is in his 12th season as the "Voice of the Illini" in 2013-14 after a long stint in professional baseball, including two years as the play-by-play voice of the Anaheim Angels. Barnhart serves as the voice of the Fighting Illini Radio Network, providing play-by-play coverage of football and men's basketball, and as the host of the statewide coaches show call-in programs.
A native of nearby Tolono, Barnhart graduated Liberty University before beginning a 15-year career in professional baseball in 1986. In 1998, Barnhart was named the play-by-play announcer for the Angels and spent two full seasons with the American League club before returning to the Champaign-Urbana area in 2000. He currently is a news and sports announcer at WDWS-AM 1400 in Champaign. During the 2007 season, Barnhart was honored by the Illinois Broadcasters Association with the "Silver Dome Award for Best Sports Play-by-Play" for his call of Illinois' football upset of No. 1 Ohio State. In 2008, Barnhart was named "Sportscaster of the Year" in the state of Illinois by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association.
Football color analyst
Former Illini quarterback All-American Kurt Kittner is in his seventh season as expert analyst in 2013-14. Kittner lettered at Illinois from 1998-2001, leading the Illini to a the Big Ten title, a 10-win season and a trip to the BCS in 2001. The three-time team MVP was the signal caller for the most proficient offenses in school history. During his time under center, Illinois posted the two highest scoring seasons at the time with 32.5 ppg in 2001 and 32.3 in 1999. Kittner still holds school records for single-season (27) and career (70) touchdown passes thrown and is second in career total offense (8,880). Kittner was the starting quarterback as a sophomore for the Illini in 1999 when the Illini mounted two upset road victories at ninth-ranked Michigan and at Ohio State. That season, Illinois went on to romp Virginia 63-21 in the Micronpc.com Bowl, where the squad broke 22 records. Kittner was a two-time All-Big Ten selection, won 24 games in an Illinois jersey, finished 12th in the Heisman Trophy voting in 2001 and was a finalist for the Johnny Unitas National Quarterback Award. The Schaumburg, Ill. native was a fifth-round draft pick by the Atlanta Falcons and started four games during the 2003 season.
Men's basketball color analyst
Jerry Hester is now in his ninth season in 2013-14 serving as the expert analyst on Fighting Illini Radio Network men's basketball broadcasts. Hester started at Illinois from 1994-98 and was a key member of the UI's 1998 Big Ten Championship team. Following graduation, he played professionally in Poland, England and Italy. Hester is currently a financial advisor with The Downey Group.
Football pregame, halftime and postgame
Along with Barnhart and Kittner on the broadcast again this fall is Kelly, a veteran Illini sportscaster who handles pregame, halftime and postgame host duties. Kelly has covered Illini athletics for over two decades on television and radio. He hosts the popular "Sports Talk" show on WDWS-AM 1400 in Champaign and also hosts "Gameday" extended coverage of Illini athletics on WDWS and Lite Rock 97.5.
Women's basketball, volleyball and baseball play-by-play
Dave Loane is in his 25th season as the play-by-play voice for Fighting Illini women's basketball, volleyball and baseball in 2013-14. Loane is the sports director at NewsTalk 1400 WDWS-AM in Champaign-Urbana, where he anchors the daily morning show sportscasts and produces the daily feature "Illini Today," which airs on the Fighting Illini Radio Network statewide. He also serves as the host of the Fighting Illini Insider show in the spring. In 2005, Loane was named the winner of the Women's Basketball Coaches Association's Mel Greenberg Media Award for displaying a commitment to Women's basketball and to advancing the role of the media in the women's game.
Football | 1/27/2015
General Release | 1/27/2015
Football | 1/27/2015
Wrestling | 1/27/2015
W. Volleyball | 1/27/2015
General Release | 01/26/2015
General Release | 01/26/2015
M. Cross Country; Track & Field | 01/26/2015
W. Basketball | 01/26/2015