Spring usually brings thoughts of sunshine, flowers, picnic, baseball, but what about football?


Traditionally, football is an autumnal sport where two teams face off as the leaves fall. Yet, collegiate athletes continue to train year round and even match up for special games. The Fighting Illini are no different and this weekend will bring the football players front and center, reminding us in the Archives of Illinois’ proud football legacy.

One particular hero of Illini football was the incredible Harold ‘Red’ Grange, commonly known as the Galloping Ghost. From 1922 till 1925 Grange led the Illini as a Halfback scoring an astonishing 31 touchdowns and gained 3,637 yards running. However, he is best remembered for his performance against the Michigan Wolverines. Using his fleet feet and strong ball handling skills, Grange led the Illini to a 39 to 14 victory. Red went on to have an extraordinary professional career, yet never forgot his Illini roots.

The University has since retired his number, 77 and in 1974 celebrated “Red Grange Day” honoring his college career.