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Eastern Illinois Panthers

Eastern Illinois Panthers
University Eastern Illinois University
Conference Ohio Valley Conference
NCAA Division I
Athletic director Tom Michael
Location Charleston, IL
Varsity teams 10 men's and 11 women's
Football stadium O'Brien Stadium
Basketball arena Lantz Arena
Baseball stadium Coaches Stadium at Monier Field
Mascot Billy the Panther (Replaced by Prowler the Panther in 2003, returned on September 13, 2008)
Nickname Panthers
     Blue       Gray

The Eastern Illinois Panthers are the men's and women's athletic teams representing Eastern Illinois University of Charleston, IL in the NCAA's Division I. Most Eastern Illinois teams, including the FCS football team, participate in the Ohio Valley Conference.[1] The men's soccer and men's swimming and diving teams are associate members of The Summit League,[2] and the women's rugby team (one of only three Division I and six total teams in this NCAA "emerging sport for women") is an independent. Eastern Illinois University's colors are blue and gray. The team mascot, a panther, was informally known as "Billy" until its name was officially changed to "Prowler the Panther," in 2003 and then changed back to "Billy the Panther" in 2008.


A member of the Ohio Valley Conference, Eastern Illinois University sponsors ten men's and eleven women's teams in NCAA sanctioned sports:[3]

  • * = Rugby is an NCAA "emerging sport" which is fully sanctioned, but does not yet have a national championship.[4]

Sports Highlights


    • 1981 NCAA Division II World Series Runner-Up.[5]

Men's basketball

Year Seed First Round Winner First Round Loser
1992 15 Indiana 94 Eastern Illinois 55
2001 15 Arizona 101 Eastern Illinois 76


Year First Round Home Team First Round Away Team Quarterfinal Home Quarterfinal Away
1982 OT Eastern Illinois 16 Jackson State 13 Tennessee State 20 Eastern Illinois 19
1983 2OT Indiana State 16 Eastern Illinois 13
1986 Eastern Illinois 28 Murray State 21 Eastern Illinois 22 Eastern Kentucky 24
1989 Idaho 21 Eastern Illinois 38 Montana 25 Eastern Illinois 19
1995 Stephen F. Austin 34 Eastern Illinois 29
1996 Northern Iowa 21 Eastern Illinois 14
2000 Montana 45 Eastern Illinois 13
2001 Eastern Illinois 43 Northern Iowa 49
2002 Western Illinois 48 Eastern Illinois 9
2005 Eastern Illinois 6 Southern Illinois 21
2006[8] Eastern Illinois 13 Illinois State 24
2007 Southern Illinois 30 Eastern Illinois 11
2009 Southern Illinois 48 Eastern Illinois 7

Men's soccer

  • NCAA Division II runners-up in 1978, 3rd in 1977, and 4th in 1974.
  • Stripped of 1981 Division I 3rd place finish.

Men's cross country

Team Championships:

  • 1968 – NCAA College Division National Champions
  • 1969 – NCAA College Division National Champions
  • 1977 – NCAA National Champions

Men's track and field

See also: Track and field

Team Championships (men's):

  • 1974 – NCAA College Division National Champions

Individual Champions:

  • 1955 – Ray White, NAIA Long Jump
  • 1967 – John Craft, NAIA Triple Jump
  • 1969 – John Craft, NCAA College Division Triple Jump
  • 1972 – Rodney Jackson, NCAA College Division 400 hurdles
  • 1973 – Rodney Jackson, NCAA College Division 400 hurdles
  • 1974 – Darrell Brown, NCAA Division II Long Jump
  • 1975 – Toni Ababio, NCAA Division II Long Jump
  • 1975 – Toni Ababio, NCAA Division II Triple Jump
  • 1976 – Ed Hatch, NCAA Division II 400 Meter Dash
  • 1979 – Robert Johnson, NCAA Division II 110 hurdles
  • 1981 – Augustine Oruwari, NCAA Division II 110 hurdles
  • 1988 – Jim Maton, NCAA Division I 800 meter run (Indoor)
  • 1992 – Dan Steele, NCAA Division I 400 hurdles

Fight Song

Eastern Loyalty or EIU Fight Song is the fight song for the university. The lyrics are:

We are loyal EIU, we're loyal and true –
'though the odds be great or small
we'll still be cheering you (rah! rah!)
so fight you Panthers for the glory of our dear name
fight on for Eastern, come on you Panthers win this game!

Notable former athletes


External links