Texas Bowl Day 2: Practice, Lucky Strike Lanes


Dec. 26, 2010

Illini in Houston - Day 2 Photo Gallery | Illini Bowl Central

Illinois had a full first day in Houston, preparing for the 2010 Texas Bowl. The Illini went through a full practice in the late morning before enjoying some downtime at the Lucky Strike Lanes bowling alley.

When the Fighting Illini practiced at Rice Stadium today, they were honored with the presence of two prominent University of Illinois graduates who are currently in the NASA Astronaut program and who will serve as honorary captains Wednesday night for the Texas Bowl against Baylor. Col. Lee Archambault, who earned his bachelor's degree and master's degree from the University of Illinois in 1982 and 1984, respectively, spoke to the team at the end of practice. Col. Archambault was commander of the last space shuttle flight in 2009 after being selected as a NASA pilot in 1998. He was a member of the Fighting Illini club hockey team during his time on campus.

The second guest was former Illini football player and current astronaut candidate Lt. Col. Mike Hopkins. He played safety for the Illini from 1987-91 and was co-captain of the 1991 squad that played in the John Hancock Bowl. The Illini advanced to postseason play all four years that Hopkins lettered for the Illini and tied for the Big Ten title in 1990. He graduated with his bachelor's degree from Illinois in 1991 and with his master's degree from Stanford in 1992. Hopkins and Archambault will help represent Illinois during the coin flip Wednesday for the Texas Bowl.