Division of Intercollegiate Athletics – Illinois Advancement
Josh Whitman and graduated Illinois women's athletes standing and smiling together.

Fiscal Year 2023 Update

Division of Intercollegiate Athletics

Celebrating the impact of your generosity

One year following the conclusion of the With Illinois Campaign, the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics continues to see the direct benefits of the incredible support of the many donors who participated. The resources received during the campaign have manifested in the results seen in the competitive arena and in the classroom during recent years.

The 2022-23 season can be characterized as a tremendous step forward for Fighting Illini Athletics. Illinois was one of only 14 schools in the nation to have its football team play in a bowl game and men’s and women’s basketball programs make NCAA Tournament appearances. And in addition to the critical success in these high-profile sports, Illinois also captured Big Ten championships in men’s and women’s golf, while three student-athletes brought home individual NCAA championships in men’s gymnastics and women’s indoor track and field.

Our student-athletes continue to push the bar forward. This past academic year produced a graduation rate of 95%, the highest the department has on record. The combined GPA for student-athletes in the fall and spring was 3.45 and marked the 25th and 26th consecutive semester student-athletes above 3.0. Each year, more than 100 student-athletes earn degrees, many of them advanced degrees, setting themselves up for success on and off the field, court, diamond, pitch, or track. The characteristics that make our student-athletes successful athletically also make them successful academically.

These accomplishments continue to elevate the reputation and value of the University of Illinois on the national stage.

With the fiscal year now in the rearview mirror, Illinois Athletics proudly secured more than $37 million in new business, which served as the sixth consecutive year the athletic program has surpassed $30 million in new production. It was the fourth-most successful year in the last decade, with an increased number of active, annual donors to Illinois Athletics.

As always, our committed fans and financial supporters serve as the foundation for all our successes, and their investments are credited for the results we are beginning to realize. We continue to be incredibly grateful to those individuals who believe in our vision and see the student-athlete experience as a meaningful undertaking as part of the University’s educational mission.

To those, we call you FAMILLY!

Josh Whitman
Signature Josh Whitman
Director of Athletics

FY 2023 By the Numbers

Thanks to your support during this past fiscal year, Illinois Athletics continues to be transformed, resulting in:

Dollars Raised37,466,483 Dollars Raised

Donors10,562 Donors

Gifts12,889 Gifts

First-Time Donors997 First-Time Donors

Gifts from small to large6,109 Gifts Between $1 and $100

Party21,794,284 Unrestricted Dollars Raised

*Data as of 8/1/23.

FY 2023 Highlights

Your support has helped us continue to elevate the values that make Illinois distinctive: a sense of boundless aspiration, collaboration, and a global perspective.

Illini Football players walking past Marching Illini onto the field.

The Illini Go Bowling

Illini Football traveled to Tampa Bay, Florida to battle the Mississippi State Bulldogs in the ReliaQuest Bowl. It marked the ninth January bowl game in program history and the first since the 2008 Rose Bowl Game. The team returned 25 players to their home state to play in front of their friends and families.

The Fighting Illini Football program continues to benefit from the generosity of the donor community. This past year saw updates to the East Side of Memorial Stadium.

Illinois had its first 8-win season since the Rose Bowl team in 2007 went 9-4. On the rise, the program is set for an exciting 2023 season opening with Toledo on September 2nd.

The Illinois Women's Softball team celebrates the opening of the Alice A. Martin Softball Training Center as they stand and smile together around light-up letters spelling "MARTIN" and balloons.

Two Home Run Facilities

Illinois Baseball dedicated the Susan and Clint Atkins Baseball Training Center during the 2022-23 school year. The facility spans 23,500 square-feet and includes a full-sized diamond, bullpen throwing lanes, and a state-of-the-art netting system that provides maximum flexibility for how the Illinois Baseball team uses the facility to train year-round. The $3 million lead naming gift from Susan Atkins shows her philanthropic leadership, and embodies the values and ideals instilled in her by her father, William C. Stitt.

Illinois Softball opened the doors to the Rex and Alice A. Martin Softball Training Center during the 2022-23 school year. Sheltering the team during the cold months, the new facility has a full infield as well as hitting and pitching cages, and state-of-the-art technology to aid the student-athletes and coaches to propel Illinois Softball forward. The $3 million lead naming gift from Rex Martin and his daughters, Ashley Martin and Alexis Martin-Klose commemorates their late wife and mother, Alice Martin.

Fighting Illini student-athletes and coaches smiling and standing side-by-side in a parking lot.

Big Life Series

The Second Annual Big Life Series: Selma to Montgomery took place in July 2023. This journey provided an educational experience hosted by the Big Ten Conference. The series features visits to civil rights museums, speeches and discussions by civil rights activists and service events for the attendees to participate in. Illini Football’s, Tarique Barnes, Illini Track & Field’s, Madison Hardamon, Illini Softball’s Kelly Ryono and Head Coach Tyra Perry as well as Associate Director of Athletics for Illini Way Student-Athlete Development, Liz Reyes, made the trip to partake in the series.

By supporting the I FUND, student-athlete programs, and scholarships, student-athletes have the opportunity to engage in these life-changing experiences.

Interior of an Illini Basketball court.

Championship Level Basketball

In Coach Shauna Green’s first season as head coach of Illinois Women’s Basketball, the team saw a resurgence back towards the top of the Big Ten Conference with a return to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 20 seasons, and a Top-25 AP ranking. At the end of a stellar season, Coach Green was recognized as a finalist for the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association National Coach of the Year. Additionally, stand-out Makira Cook earned All-America honorable mention.

Illinois Men’s Basketball made its 33rd all-time appearance in the NCAA Tournament. Under Coach Underwood, Illinois is the Big Ten Conference’s winningest team in league play over the last four seasons (55-25, .688), the Illini have now achieved four straight 20-win regular seasons, four straight top-five Big Ten Conference finishes, and four straight winning records in Big Ten Conference play.

Both programs benefit from the preeminent Ubben Basketball Complex. In February the training facility was re-dedicated to highlight the support that allowed for a two-year renovation that doubled Ubben’s size and expanded the technology aimed at enhancing the performance, science, nutrition, and training possible throughout the complex.

The interior of the Fighting Illini strength training room.

Supporting Strength

The Coyne family gave $1 million to Fighting Illini Athletics to establish the Dr. John Coyne Strength and Conditioning Center. The joint gift to Athletics and the College of Veterinary Medicine will impact students across the Illinois campus. The center is home to revolutionary technology designed to keep Fighting Illini Football players safe and allow them to maximize their strength. The space boasts 18 fully equipped racks, numerous machines including glute ham/reverse hyper, hip press, belt squat, neck, and row, dumbbell benches accompanied by dumbbells up to 175 pounds, ankle mobility boards, rear foot elevated split squat stands, a triple-enforced med ball wall, slide boards, a cardio deck with treadmills, ellipticals and bikes, and a sports nutrition recovery area.

The Coynes have supported the I FUND and continually show how the generosity of our Illini Family can impact our programs for years to come.

Continue Your Support

Your continued support ensures Illinois Athletics remains a place where progress and innovation can flourish. Find your passion and help us dream even bigger!

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Philanthropy has benefited students, faculty, and staff in many ways. Browse the list below to learn more about how your impact can be felt across campus.

© 2023 University of Illinois Board of Trustees