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This tiny college is a coaching cradle for high school football around central Illinois


Influenced by their time spent in the Illinois College football program, a number of alumni have gone on to be successful coaches within the region.

A story about Illinois College football alumni was featured in the State Journal-Register on Aug. 26, 2022. 

Ryan Mahan of the State Journal-Register writes, "Football is known for successful coaches producing coaching trees — think the late San Francisco 49ers coach Bill Walsh. But there is a cradle of coaches across central Illinois with roots back to one place: Illinois College." IC has produced numerous successful high school coaches and assistant coaches in the region. Mark Grounds ’91John Allison ’02Patrick Bowman ’02, Derek Leonard ’03Jon Hebb ’07 and Ryan Gardner ’15 are featured.

To read the full story, visit

About Illinois College

Founded in 1829, Illinois College is a residential liberal arts college fostering academic excellence rooted in opportunities for experiential learning while preparing students for lifelong success. The college is located in Jacksonville, Illinois. With an enrollment of more than 1,000 students, the college offers over 50 undergraduate programs. In 1932 the society of Phi Beta Kappa established a chapter at Illinois College, and it remains one of only 11 in the state.

Illinois College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association.

Visit or call 217.245.3000 for more information.

Media Contact Information
Office of Marketing and Communication
Rosalind Essig | Senior Writer
217.245.3194 |